I was reminded of this movie today. Wow, what a blast from the past. It was one of those movies HBO played incessantly as though it was required viewing. Over the Edge was Matt Dillon’s very first movie, and check out that young Vincent Spano…wow. Made in 1979 by Jonathan Kaplan, the whole idea of casting was to use non-actors, just real juvenile kids.
Vice goes so far as to call it the “Greatest Teen Rebellion Movie of All Time.”
The film, as certain critics like to label it, is a “lost classic,” and yet—unlike the majority of lost or “cult” classics—Over the Edge is actually worth seeking out. Filled with scenes that are difficult to shake, with teen characters played by real-life teenagers (how often does that happen anymore?), and with an authenticity so intense that it appears at times as if the film could very well be a documentary, Over the Edge remains as thrilling today as it must have appeared three decades ago. While somewhat raw and certainly not without imperfections, it’s easy to understand why Kurt Cobain claimed that the movie “pretty much defined my whole personality,” and why it so heavily influenced Richard Linklater in making his own ode to restless youth, Dazed and Confused.
Ah, yes. I knew there was a familiar tang to that flick. I definitely need to see Over the Edge again, if I can find it. It was released on DVD in 2005, but I’m sure I’ll have to get it from Half.com or something. Anyway, great old film that doesn’t mess around with fancy lighting and such, just raw youth…’79 style.