Over the Edge: An Oral History

Over the Edge

On the movie’s 30th anniversary, Vice Magazine features Over the Edge: An Oral History of the Greatest Teen Rebellion Movie of All Time. They talk to the cast (including Matt Dillon), the writers, the director, the producer, and even Bun E. Carlos:

Bun E. Carlos (drummer for Cheap Trick): When the movie came out, we were still up-and-coming and not yet rock stars. This was our first major soundtrack; we hadn’t had a hit single yet. We were just glad to be asked to participate.

There were two scenes in particular that really worked well with our music. The first scene was when the kid [Mark] shoots the cop car with a BB gun. That song was “Downed,” and it was brand-new. The guitar had a kind of helter-skelter sound, and it was very effective. The second scene was when the other kid [Carl] lies on his bed, listening to headphones with “Surrender” playing. I just thought it was great.

The director admits that one of the teenaged actresses “was practically the music supervisor for the movie. I just listened to what she played me and paid attention. The movie is better for it.” The soundtrack is amazing and—in addition to Cheap Trick—also features the Cars, Van Halen, and the Ramones. Badass.

Via bb.


Trailer: Over The Edge (1979)

Over the Edge: Amazon, IMDB, wiki.

5 thoughts on “Over the Edge: An Oral History”

  1. such a great f’n movie. i remember watching it on hbo back in like 1980 and thinking i had stumbled upon something i should totally not be watching. kinda like the first time you realize how fun it is to play with matches.

    i had it on my tivo for like the past 3 years, but sadly that tivo died on me.

    valerie carter singing ‘ooh child’ as they take the kids to juvie is still the best version oh that song i’ve ever heard.

    long live new grenada.

  2. I have similar memories, Lance. I caught this movie on HBO years before I was allowed to watch R rated movies and it left a lasting impression. I tried to start my own rebellions on the playground but I guess I am not a very inspiring leader.

  3. Got this from Netflix last Spring, a full quarter-century or more since I last saw it. This movie was repeatedly played on HBO and, thankfully, my parents thought nothing of going to bed on the weekends and leaving me alone with the tv downstairs. There are so many movies that I watched during my formative years, unsupervised, and they’ve left such a lasting impression on me. Over The Edge was one of them, because it was fucking real as shit. Yes, the soundtrack had something to do with it, but another was just in the way in which the kids were portrayed. The party scene reminds me of a similar party that I had at my house when my parents were away at the tender age of fourteen. The party got busted, but we still managed to check out The Outlaws/UFO/38 Special/April Wine at the Iowa Jam on the following day. When my parents got back later that weekend, they gave me the “we can’t trust you ever again” speech and didn’t let me stay at home alone for another two or three years.

  4. I was probably only 7 or 8 when I saw this, but it made a big impression on me. These were the kids I knew. They were my sister and her friends and the other kids in our shitty apartments in various Texas suburbs. They huffed gasoline, stole beer from the 7-11, listened to AC/DC and (gasp!), had sex. I was fascinated by and afraid of them at the same time. I was an introverted, bespectacled, too tall for my age (6″ @ 12), fat kid. I grew up surrounded by these kids but I never was one of them.

    I had a jones the other day to see “Breaking Away”, another great movie made around the same time, and I found that it’s showing soon so it’s set to record. I need to seek out “Over the Edge” too. It’s been years since I’ve even thought about it and these two movies would make for a great dichotomous double feature night.

  5. This may have been my 1st exposure to Cheap Trick. I rented it recently- ‘Hello There’ ‘Speak Now’ ‘Downed’ and ‘Surrender’ were used.

    Made me fell like an angry teen again and that felt great!

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