28 June 2008

Over the Edge

I watched Over the Edge this weekend and am now prime for teenage rebellion. Apparently it was Kurt Cobain's favorite movie and was an inspiration for the Smells Like Teen Spirit video, though that must have been just another in the series of many disappointments for ol' Kurt since that video has nowhere near the amount of awesome anarchy and destruction as the movie.

The movie was made in 1979 based on "Mouse Packs: Kids On A Crime Spree" a story from the San Francisco Examiner by Charlie Haas about trouble making teens in 1970s Foster City, California. There doesn't seem to be a copy of it anywhere online and it seems people have been trying really hard to find it. I found this Foster City message board looking for anyone who remembers the original incidents.
The film never had a theatrical release because it was deemed to violent and incendiary but played on HBO in the 80s.
The basic premise is that this planned community in the middle of nowhere forgot to put in a bowling alley or skating rink and now the teens have nothing to do. Guess what they turn to? Drugs! Sex! Violence! Vandalism!

Over the Edge was Matt Dillon's film debut. I guess tough guys were really pretty and wore mid-drift bearing cut-off sweatshirts back then.
The teachers call an emergency PTA meeting is held to discuss what to do about the crazy kids but the children all band together and lock the adults in the cafetorium. (I think the use of the word cafetorium was one of my favorite parts of the whole movie.)They then proceed to blow up all their cars and destroy the school. It's probably the most amazing depiction of teenage anarchy of all time. It's not all mindless destruction and guilt pleasures though. I have a feeling someone was reading some heavy theory due to quotes like this: "Seems to me like you all were in such a hopped-up hurry to get out of the city that you turned your kids into exactly what you were trying to get away from."
All these images are from the amazing Tribute Site which includes tons of gems including photos of a scale diorama of the entire set that some genius made. Oh also, this kid is mute for some reason. (Maybe because 'any kid who tells on another kid is a dead kid")


thewalker said...

one of the great teen movies ever, up there wuth fast times.....

i plan on watching it for a second time with a mate tommorow. favourite scene is the teacher walking through the hall, all in chaos, repeating over and over: "every thing is under control".

Leti said...

Ha! I forgot about that part, awesome.

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