Reviews | Written by Kieron Moore 11/05/2021

OVER THE EDGE (1979)

CERT: 18 | PLATFORM: BLU-RAY| RELEASE DATE: MAY 31ST

Though its 1979 release was hampered by the negative publicity around other youth in revolt films like The Warriors, Jonathan Kaplan’s Over the Edge has built up enough of a cult following to get a new Blu-ray release from Arrow.

It centres around New Granada, a ‘planned community’ town in Colorado designed to appeal to the stuffy middle classes and wealthy developers. But the town’s kids are forgotten about; isolated and alienated, they’ve little to do but cause trouble. Michael Kramer stars as Carl, a kid from a ‘good’ family who reveals a rebellious side after he begins hanging out with the wild Richie (Matt Dillon, in his first on-screen role).

The film starts out as a coming-of-age charmer, with authentic portrayals of kids hanging out, having awkward crushes, pushing against their parents’ rules, and so on. There’s some anarchic humour – one kid takes acid before going to an art class on Hieronymous Bosch – and a great punky soundtrack featuring The Ramones, Cheap Trick, and Van Halen.

But when an aggressive cop tries to clamp down on the young delinquents, events spiral out of control, leading to a dramatic stand-off between the generations. Over the Edge becomes an angrier, more radical movie; it doesn’t pull its punches when it comes to shock value, but nor is it limited to shock, as Charles S. Haas and Tim Hunter’s astute script digs into why kids turn to crime, and how the patronising attitudes of the establishment exacerbate the problems.

The range and quality of the extras here is seriously impressive, with highlights including: Wide Streets + Narrow Minds, a new documentary in which cast and crew reflect on the film's inception, production, and legacy; the 'rock operetta' album it inspired, Welcome to New Granada by DRATS!!!; and Destruction... Fun or Dumb?, the educational short excerpted in the movie, newly remastered.