That was the original title (which I prefer) of the screenplay for the 1979 movie “Over the Edge,” which introduced Matt Dillion to the world. Literally. He was 14 and had never acted before. He was discovered in the hallways of his school. They liked him because he was a kid from a well-off family playing at being a punk. As Matt put it himself when asked what his parents did: My father’s a fucking stockbroker and my mom don’t do shit. He turned out to be just what the wanted for the trouble maker, Richie. That must be why I always seem to think of guys named Richie as tough guys and trouble makers and bullies and such. Except for Richie Valenz and Richie Rich of course.
Anyhoo… I like to think of this movie as one of the first, if not the first of the 80s teen angst movies. The tone and feel is very different from the kind of movies that John Hughes would eventually make but “Over the Edge” was much more punk than Hughes’ movies, which I love, and which are rebellious in their own way but the feel of them is definitely mid-80s. The late 70s had a different vibe.
Hadn’t really thought about this movie since I pushed to have it ordered for the library where I work when it was finally released on DVD (2005). But I got an email from my friend Mike from undergrad who watched it recently. It is one of his favorite teen movies, and with good reason. Mike also hipped me to this article, an oral history of the movie that includes commentary from 20 members of the cast an crew, including Matt Dillion.
Also, you can watch it on line at youtube, broken down into a 10 or so of about 7 to 8 minutes.
First time I saw this movie, I was well into my 20s; I caught in IFC, I think. I was hooked immediately and couldn’t believe I’d never heard of it before. It had a limited release and didn’t run long in theaters. It was pulled in some places for fear of riots apparently.
Ironic fact: it was filmed mainly in Greely, Colorado, less than an hour from where the Columbine shootings would happen some 20 years later.
Basis for the story was a news article in the San Francisco Examiner about a packs of kids running wild in Foster City, California, a planned community. The article dubbed them Mousepacks. Wouldn’t that be a good name for a band. It would spotlight the really hip people who got the very obscure reference.
The next year, 1980, “Foxes,” a similiar kind of movie, featuring a young Jody Foster and directed by Adrian Lyne, was released. It also had Scott Baio and Cherie Currie, the lead singer from The Runaways, Joan Jett’s first band, the story of which is being made into a feature film, staring Kristin Stewart as Joan Jett. Looking fwd to that one.
Anyway. My point is. Thus the 80s teen agnst movies were born.