Monday, June 6, 2011

You Gotta See It: River's Edge

An oldie but goody! I was shocked to discover just how many people have not seen this movie. It was released in 1986, and stars Keanu Reeves as a burnout rocker type, Crispin Glover as the speed freak, and Dennis Hopper as the one legged, schizophrenic, blowup doll girlfriend having pot head. The movie is about this dude John (Daniel Roebuck) who strangles his girlfriend by the river, and leaves her naked corpse just laying there. He then goes to school and tells his friends but they don't believe him, so he takes them to see the body. Everyone is very unemotonal and dismissive about the whole thing initially, except for Crispin Glovers character Layne, who takes it upon himself to help out John, because of friendship loyalty. He then takes John to the crazy biker's house to hide out. John feels a connection with the biker, Feck, because Feck has always claimed that he is hiding out after murdering his wife. Feck however, disgrees.

I am not gonna go any further becasue I would spoil it, but there is also a side plot dealing with Matt's (Keanu) little brother being a total delinquent, and Matt hooking up with Laynes girlfriend. The whole point of this movie was to show how modern (well 80's) teenagers are so disconnected and desensitized that a friend being murdered, and even actually seeing her body, doesn't mean shit.
 The weird thing about this movie is that it was based on a true life incident that took place in Milpitas, California. However, Hollywood did change it A LOT, the fact that some psycho killed a girl and showed off her body remains true. For two days students went out and viewed the body, even when the cops were tipped off and and were on scene, packed cars of teenagers were still pulling up. Most students claimed they thought the body was a hoax, but nonetheless, only two people came forward. It has also been said that the murderer, was mentally challenged, and suffered daily beatings and bullying at school, and even tried to kill his mother once. He was not part of any scene, or even dated the girl he murdered.