|Directed by||Tim Hunter|
|Produced by||Sarah Pillsbury
|Written by||Neal Jimenez|
|Music by||Jürgen Knieper|
|Edited by||Howard E. Smith
|Hemdale Film Corporation|
|Distributed by||Island Pictures|
|Running time||99 minutes|
|Box office||$4.6 million|
The movie was awarded Best Picture at the 1986 Independent Spirit Awards.
A group of high school friends discover that they are in the presence of a killer. One of them, John, has murdered one of their friends, Jamie. He brags to them all at school about killing her, and when they discover he is telling the truth, their reactions vary. Layne, the self-proclaimed leader of the group, is intent on keeping the murder a secret and protecting John, while the rest of the group (Matt, Clarissa, Maggie, and Tony) contemplate going to the police.
- Crispin Glover as Layne
- Keanu Reeves as Matt
- Ione Skye (credited Ione Skye Leitch) as Clarissa
- Daniel Roebuck as Samson 'John' Tollet
- Dennis Hopper as Feck
- Roxana Zal as Maggie
- Joshua John Miller as Tim
- Josh Richman as Tony
- Phillip Brock as Mike
- Tom Bower as Det. Bennett
- Constance Forslund as Madeleine
- Leo Rossi as Jim
- Jim Metzler as Mr. Burkewaite
- Taylor Negron as Checker
- Danyi Deats as Jamie
- Tammy Smith as Kim
- Christopher Peters as Tom
Broussard bragged about the crime, showing the body to at least thirteen different people; despite this, the crime went unreported for two days.
Neal Jimenez read the story in the newspaper while visiting friends, wrote a script and turned it in to his instructor while he was an English major at Santa Clara University. Jimenez said "that the incident is merely the inspiration for the screenplay".
The film featured early Thrash Metal/Death Metal tracks from bands such as Slayer and Fates Warning, an unprecedented noncommercial approach that created a very dark vibe and aided the film becoming unconventionally monumental for its era. 
- "Kyrie Eleison" Written by John Arch & Jim Matheos Performed by Fates Warning
- "Captor of Sin" Written by Jeff Hanneman & Kerry King Performed by Slayer
- "Tormentor" Written by Jeff Hanneman Performed by Slayer
- "Evil Has No Boundaries" Written by Jeff Hanneman & Kerry King Performed by Slayer
- "Die by the Sword" Written by Jeff Hanneman Performed by Slayer
- "Lethal Tendencies" Written by Stacy Anderson & David Stuart Performed by Hallows Eve
- "Let Me Know" Written by Greg Sage Performed by The Wipers
- "Fire in the Rain" Written by Mike Palm Performed by Agent Orange
- "Happy Day" Written by Winston Rodney Performed by Burning Spear
- "Let's Go, Let's Go, Let's Go" Written and Performed by Hank Ballard
- "I'm Gonna Miss You" Written and Performed by Hank Ballard
- Klinger, Karen. "A Town Looks at a Murder: Many Could Share the Blame". Detroit Free Press. July 25, 1982.
- "Law: Age of Accountability". Time. 1981-12-14. Retrieved 2010-04-17.
- Villagran, Nora. "'River's' Writer: 'I Made It Up' Filmmakers Say Movie Depicts a Rootless Post-Watergate World". San Jose Mercury News. May 22, 1987.
- "IMDB". Retrieved May 14, 2013.
- "DE Wikipedia". Retrieved May 14, 2013.
- River's Edge at the Internet Movie Database
- River's Edge at AllMovie
- River's Edge at Rotten Tomatoes
- Henry A. Giroux on River's Edge and postmodern education
- Marcy Renee Conrad Web Site