Over The Edge/Review

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< Over The Edge
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Based on true events that took place in the 1970s, Over The Edge is a cult classic about teens gone wild in a planned suburban Colorado community. This film directly foreshadowed events like the Columbine School shootings decades later.

Carl (Michael Kramer) and his best friend Richie White (Matt Dillon, in his first film role) are the main characters. They are just two of the disallusioned youth of New Granada. The main problem is that the kids have nothing to do outside of school. Their parents work all day and really don't pay attention to them. It's a recipe for disaster when the kids get together. Most of them are drug addicts and alcoholics.


While walking in the neighborhood Carl and Richie get falsely arrested after two punks shoot a cop car with a BB Gun. The officer that's been dogging everyone is aptly named Doberman (Harry Northup). He treats the kids like crap and they hate him. He explains that they need to stay out of trouble or they'll be going to prison. They just joke and laugh at him.


Carl sees a cute girl named Corey (Pamela Ludwig) who he really likes. One night, at a wild party he sees her kissing the kid (Vincent Spano) that got him and Richie in trouble. Carl watches them and smokes a joint and is clearly not happy. Carl confronts him and explains he didn't appreciate taking the heat for his antics. After Carl leaves the party and is walking home alone, the kid and his thug pal jump Carl and beat him up. When Carl gets home his parents see his bruises and he just tells them to leave him alone. His mom comes to his aid and helps him clean up.


All the kids in New Granada hang out at a local recreation club (called The Rec) which looks like a marine barracks. It's their only place to have any fun. There was supposed to be a Movie Theater and a Roller Rink put in the town, but the local business boards ditched that plan and changed it to an Industrial Park site instead. This only gets the kids more restless and it causes them to get into even more trouble.


One day Carl and Richie meet Corey and her friend after they robbed a house. They grabbed some random stuff including a loaded gun. They all go out to a field and practice shooting but Richie hangs on to it. Soon after Carl and Corey finally get together and become a couple.

The next day, during school, Richie and Carl decide to ditch and take Richie's mom's jeep to another town to have some fun, but Doberman chases them and in a tragic shootout, Doberman kills Richie. Carl runs away and hides out at a unfinished house in the neighborhood. Later, Corey comes by and they spend the night together.


In the explosive ending, there is a parent-teacher conference at the high school. The kids, who have decided to start a protest, lock all the doors and they begin vandalizing all the cars outside. They destroy everything they can. They have had enough. The war on the adults of New Granada is in full effect and it's not pretty.

The soundtrack for the film is one of the highlights. It features music by Cheap Trick, The Ramones, The Cars, Van Halen and more. Its a really great mix of tunes that were popular in the late 70s rock and punk music scene.

Over the Edge remains a unique time capsule movie along with similar rebellious teen themed cult classics from the time like Suburbia, The Warriors and Boulevard Nights. Recommended!


Peter Roberts is the co-founder/editor-in-chief of the Grindhouse Cinema Database (GCDb) and contributor to the GCDb's sister site Furious Cinema. A Massachusetts native, he is an avid film fan that has been immersed in the world of entertainment and pop culture his entire life. He holds an AS with Highest Honors in Communications and Interactive Media Design.

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