The Boys Next Door (1985 film)
|The Boys Next Door|
|Directed by||Penelope Spheeris|
|Produced by||Sandy Howard|
|Written by||Glen Morgan|
|Music by||George S. Clinton|
|Edited by||Andy Horvitch|
|Distributed by||New World Pictures|
The Boys Next Door is a 1985 American adventure-crime drama film about two teenage boys who leave their small town home on the day of their high school graduation and embark on a crime and murder spree. Alternate titles include: Big Shots, No Apparent Motive (Australia/New Zealand video title), Blind Rage (US) (working title (video title)), Death Takes a Holiday (US) (working title).
Roy Alston (Maxwell Caulfield) and Bo Richards (Charlie Sheen) are two outcasts of their high school community. Bo receives $200 as a graduation gift from his grandparents. Facing a lifetime of working blue collar factory jobs, the boys spontaneously decide to use the money to go on a vacation to Los Angeles.
During the drive to Los Angeles, Bo and Roy rob a gas station and beat the attendant (Joseph Michael Cala) with a crowbar. The next day, the boys go to a beach boardwalk, where Roy throws an empty beer bottle and it hits an elderly woman (Helen Brown) on the forehead. Three young women (Claudia Templeton, Mary Tiffany, and Marilou Conway) see this, and they chase Bo and Roy to a parking lot. The women yell at the boys and damage their car. Enraged, Roy starts the car and drives around in circles in the parking lot with the women still on the hood. After several loops, Roy throws the car into reverse, throwing one of the women from the hood of the car. After the incident, one of the women finds Bo and Roy's dog, Boner the Barbarian, and reads its ID tag, which leads to speculation of where Bo and Roy are from.
During a visit to La Brea Tar Pits, Bo expresses his wish that the world could just "go caveman" for one day, abandoning all rules and order. Roy agrees, and they spend their evening on the streets of Los Angeles.
Several additional encounters lead to more deaths, including a gay man Chris (Paul C. Dancer), a young couple (Richard Pachorek and Lesa Lee), and an older woman Angie Baker (Patti D'Arbanville) whom Roy kills while she is having sex with Bo. Eventually the duo are tracked and found by the LAPD and chased into a shopping mall. After unsuccessfully trying to steal some guns, Bo tries to talk some sense into Roy about surrendering. Roy refuses, and he orders Bo to give him the gun so he can go out in a "blaze of glory". Bo refuses and shoots Roy when he tries to take the gun away. The police surround Bo and ask him why he killed his friend. Bo replies, "Because I had to." Bo is then arrested and led away while reporters snap photos of him.
- Charlie Sheen as Bo Richards
- Maxwell Caulfield as Roy Alston
- Patti D'Arbanville as Angie Baker
- Christopher McDonald as Detective Mark Woods
- Hank Garrett as Detective Ed Hanley
- Paul C. Dancer as Chris
- Richard Pachorek and Lesa Lee as couple
- Kenneth Cortland as Dwayne
- Moon Unit Zappa as Nancy
- Dawn Schneider as Bonnie Roberts
- Kurt Christian as Shakir
- Don Draper as Mr. Heaton
- Blackie Dammett as Bartender
- Phil Rubenstein as Gutfield
- James Carrington as Ross
- Grant Heslov as Joe Gonzales
- Michael Lewis as Kanter
- Leonard O. Turner as Sergeant
- Vance Colvig Jr. as Old man
- Jeff Prettyman as Al
- Claudia Templeton as Girl at Beach
- Ron Ross as Drunk
- Carlos Guitarlos as Patient
- Helen Brown as Old Woman at Beach
- Hettie Lynne Hurtes as Anchorwoman
- Sarah Lilly as Female Officer
- Jimmy Ford as Bob the Jock
- Mary Tiffany and Marilou Conway as women
- James Bolt, Mark Stanton, and Kevi Kendall as Students
- Joseph Michael Cala as Gas Station Owner
- Carmen Filpi as Bum
- Christina Beck as Punk Girl
- John Davey as Watkins
- Geoff Brewer as Security Guard
- Toby Iland as Tom
- Richard Halpern as Boy
- John Escobar and Ray Lykins as policemen
- Judie David as Female Security Guard
- Texacala Jones, Pinkie Tessa, Tequila Mockingbird, Maggie Ehrig, and Ted Quinn as members of the Street Band
- The scene where a gas attendant is beaten was shortened to lessen the intensity and sound effects were toned down.
- A scene depicting the murder of Chris was cut down (mostly sound effects were heavily toned down).
- A scene in which Roy shakes and kills a woman was heavily cut down, with various shots removed to lessen the intensity.
Time Out London called The Boys Next Door superior to Spheeris' previous work Suburbia (1984) in that it didn't try to sympathize with the two lead characters while still letting in a "glimmer of understanding into the murderers' feelings." Vincent Canby, comparing the film to Over the Edge (1979) for its negative picture of a California teenager and to Badlands (1973) for its "lean and unsentimental" atmosphere, described it as a "very well made, disorienting movie about inarticulated despair and utter hopelessness." He praised the performances of Caulfield, Sheen, and D'Arbanville in the film.