River’s Edge (1986)

“I happen to know my friends, fuckin’ know them. We’re like a fuckin’ team … we’re like Starsky and Hutch.” A bunch of brain-dead, drug-addled teens attempt to protect one of their stoner buddies, “Samson ‘John’ Tollet (Daniel Roebuck), who has strangled his girlfriend and left her body along the bank of a river for no apparent reason (the film was loosely based on an actual incident). “Clarissa” (Ione Skye, daughter of 1960’s folk relic Donovan) and “Matt” (Keanu Reeves) hit the sleeping bag, burned-out Vietnam veteran and drug dealer “Feck” (Dennis Hopper) takes an inflatable sex doll along for a ride in arguably the funniest beer run in film history and Crispin Glover chews the scenery with his over-the-edge portrayal of a speed-popping freak named “Layne.” One critic likened Glover’s portrayal to that of an “extraterrestrial transvestite.” A stellar cast, which also includes Joshua John Miller as “Tim,” Roxana Zal as “Maggie” and Josh Richman as “Tony” helps turn this potentially mediocre film into a meaningful statement about teen angst. Billed as “The most controversial film you will see this year,” this nihilistic, post-punk view of American teenagers who live out the Sex Pistols’ creed—“No future, no future for you”—was directed by Tim Hunter and written by Neal Jimenez (The Waterdance). River’s Edge was awarded “Best Picture” at the 1986 Independent Spirit Awards.

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