Kicking off with an overweight and slobbish teenager (Roebuck) sitting dispassionately next to the naked corpse of the girl he's just murdered, this raw picture of the lost generation tackles thorny issues of responsibility and loyalty: will the psycho killer's peers remain true to their (lack of) ideals, or turn fink and risk retribution? In Hunter's smalltown hell, the dilemma is not easily dealt with: on the one hand, Roebuck's barely motivated act of violence escalates beyond fun into nightmare territory; on the other, society is truly fucked - why bother saving it? - with the kids gripped by the baleful influence of the dope-dealin', gun-totin', mannequin doll-lovin' Feck (Hopper, excessively indulged). For all its uncompromising toughness, the film, like the kids, gets out of hand, its bleak portrait of alienated, antisocial behaviour increasingly wrecked by hysterical performances (Glover especially), a sentimental teen-romance subplot, and melodramatic contrivance. There are some good, frightening scenes of volatile lunacy, but the whole thing badly lacks a controlling distance and perspective; much inferior to Hunter's script for Jonathan Kaplan's superficially similar Over the Edge, it continually teeters on the verge of self- parody.
Cast and crew
Ione Skye Leitch