River's Edge (1986) from Tuna

River's Edge (1986) was based on a real life incident. That is usually not a good sign, as the truth is usually not as cinematic as fiction, but, in this case, it didn't hurt. 
A High School boy calmly announces to his friends that he killed his girlfriend. He takes them out to view the body by the river. Sure enough, she (Danyi Deats) is very naked and very dead, obviously strangled. The group's self-proclaimed leader, Crispin Glover, decides to cover up the crime, and further decides that everyone will help him. None of the kids really know how to feel, and none of them trust adults, much less the police. Eventually, Keanu Reeves reports it to the police.  


see the main commentary

DVD info from Amazon.

  • Widescreen anamorphic, 1.85:1

  • no meaningful features

Meanwhile, the killer is taken to the home of Dennis Hopper, a crippled ex-biker, to hide. Hopper is an endless source of free pot to the kids, and is devoted to his blow-up sex doll, but becomes disenchanted with the kid's lack of values. Hopper is easily the main attraction, at the top of his form as a bona fide weirdo. 

I have to say that this is a very strange film, but is oddly compelling. The film looks good, and the character development is excellent.  

The Critics Vote

The People Vote ...

  • With their votes ... IMDB summary: IMDb voters score it 7.2, Apollo users 92/100! 
  • With their dollars ... it grossed a modest $4.6 million, but was made for less than $2 million.
IMDb guideline: 7.5 usually indicates a level of excellence, about like three and a half stars from the critics. 6.0 usually indicates lukewarm watchability, about like two and a half stars from the critics. The fives are generally not worthwhile unless they are really your kind of material, about like two stars from the critics. Films under five are generally awful even if you like that kind of film, equivalent to about one and a half stars from the critics or less, depending on just how far below five the rating is.

My own guideline: A means the movie is so good it will appeal to you even if you hate the genre. B means the movie is not good enough to win you over if you hate the genre, but is good enough to do so if you have an open mind about this type of film. C means it will only appeal to genre addicts, and has no crossover appeal. D means you'll hate it even if you like the genre. E means that you'll hate it even if you love the genre. F means that the film is not only unappealing across-the-board, but technically inept as well.

Based on this description, this film is a B-. IMDB calls it a crime/drama. I am not sure which genre I would place it in, possibly psychological drama. 

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