River’s Edge Controversy

Rivers Edge is a film about a giant of a teen who impulsively strangles his girlfriend and leaves her naked body to rot by the river. He goes to school and brags about killing her then brings his friends to see her body. The shocking thing is that all these apathetic teens don’t seem to do anything about it. This is their friend who is dead and I guess by reason of ‘shock’ they don’t do anything about it. It’s almost as if they don’t even believe what has happened. This is in fact based on a true story but I will get into that story last. I can’t believe I actually still have this on VHS.

What kind of moron brags about a murder, shows people, and doesn’t think he will get away with it? And what’s with the weird yelping at the beginning after he murders her? It sounds like screams of joy and happiness. The cheese obviously fell off this kids cracker. You would think that after a few days of her body laying there it would start to smell but they still sit there and poke at it. You get to see this poor girls completely nude body several times. You see this image so many times it practically gets imprinted in your brain making it hard to disappear and stop thinking about.  One thing I noticed about the body, it even shows a close up of it, is her extremely long finger nail. It’s just a single finger nail. I guess I pay attention to small details.

I cannot decide if the acting in this is sooooo horrible or if it’s sooooooo amazing. It seems to have the same effect on other fans. Some applaud the acting and some think they have seen better acting in shitty Nickelodeon movies/tv shows. Keanu Reeves is a little bland as he can be often but I disagree when others say he’s a bad actor. This is an 80s film and the beginning of a lot of their acting careers. I always thought Keanu was hot. But I don’t know what to make of his character. I guess you could say that even though he’s a burn out (I am pro marijuana) he seems to have more of a conscience than the rest of the misguided youth. He’s the one that wants to come forward but he learns that when you want to come forward with a secret, others want you dead. Except for Ione Skye. She fucks his brains out and also agrees that something should be done about this dead body aka their friend.

I don’t know what to think about Crispin Glover as Layne. It does seem like it’s a bit of over-acting and his hands fly around so often it actually started to annoy me. It’s weird seeing him play George McFly, which was a brilliant performance, and then seeing him jump into the role of a teenager. His character wears a black leather jacket, black pants, and a black cap the entire time and his hair is actually long but I have to say that’s the worst hair cut I have ever seen. He does have some great lines though. After his murderous giant of a friend refuses to do anything to her body Layne feels he needs to step up and do something about the body. He even mentions how excited he is about the whole ordeal so he starts taking responsibility for it. “The things I do for my fucking friends.” I laughed pretty hard when he said he felt like Chuck Norris.  His character seems to have the most impact on the murder(s) Oh did I say murders? Yea that’s right, another person gets killed but I wont spoil the film entirely for you.

Perhaps my favorite thing about this film is Dennis Hopper. At first I got confused and I thought I was watching a David Lynch movie. Hopper plays a guy named FECK! I cannot remember if that’s his first or last name honestly. Apparently, the cheese also slid off this ones cracker. He comments about his girlfriend and killing her all of the time but never says how he killed her. He does always have a gun in his hands so maybe he did shoot her. BUT at one point in the film he takes off his fake leg and talks about his motorcycle wreck so it had me wondering if maybe…he killed her by accident from the motorcycle wreck? Something for you to think about. Any who, he carries around a blow up doll named Ennis. There is a city in Texas named Ennis. It has an old drive-in theater.  Feck sells these teenagers weed and helps them out whenever needed. He also plays the sax very horribly. I mean, it’s bad.

Above is Feck with his blow up doll, Ennis. What was the deal with Ione Skye and her teacher? Did anyone else notice that? She totally wanted him. That’s what the director wants us to think or else she wouldn’t be licking her lips. Makes me wonder what their afternoon sessions were like and what is the importance with the story.  Such a pretty girl. Then we have Keanu’s younger brother. What is it with this town? Everyone has lost their fucking marbles! Perhaps the message is that kids these day are freaks and criminals? This kid kills a cat and makes his kid sister cry and by the way, I couldn’t wait for her to stop crying. I almost wanted someone to slap her.  He is also a stalker and desperately wants to hang out with the older crowd and come off cool. NOT WITH THAT LISP! Yea, I remember that lisp from Teen Witch. The kids real name is Joshua John Miller. He’s the half brother of Jason Patric and aside from that lisp….he’s actually kind of cute now. He was also in Near Dark and Halloween III: Season of the Witch.

Below is an article and pictures of the murderer and victim. Thanks to the New York Times for this story:

On Friday, just three days before his 18th birthday, Anthony Jacques Broussard was sentenced here to 25 years to life in prison for the strangling of a 14-year-old girl in a case that became a stigma on the town of Milpitas, a few miles east of here.The sentence came after a hearing on a psychiatric evaluation that determined Mr. Broussard would not be helped by treatment at a juvenile center and should be sent to a state prison. He will be eligible for parole after serving 16 years and eight months.The case drew widespread publicity a little more than a year ago because the body of the girl, Marcy Conrad, had been dumped in the foothills outside town and remained unreported for two days while Mr. Broussard brought his friends to see it, after bragging of the killing. Other teen-agers went on their own to see ”the body in the hills.” Two other youths were charged in the case. Kirk Rasmussen, 16, was sentenced to three years in a juvenile center for attempting to conceal the crime by covering Miss Conrad’s body with leaves. Mark Fowlkes, 17, Mr. Broussard’s best friend and a former boyfriend of the victim, was charged with being an accessory because of statements he gave to the police. The charge was dismissed after a closed juvenile hearing.Pleaded Guilty in JulyMr. Broussard was 16 when he killed Miss Conrad on Nov. 3, 1981. He was ordered to stand trial as an adult but pleaded guilty last July 20, after Judge John A. Flaherty of Santa Clara County Superior Court decided to admit evidence that Mr. Broussard had bragged about the killing to a cellmate.

Mr. Broussard pleaded to a single charge of first-degree murder in the attempted commission of a felony, rape. Under California law, an adult would have faced execution or life in prison without the possibility of parole. However, recent state court decisions have voided those sentences for defendants under 18 years of age.Two felony sex charges against him were dropped. The parents of the 13-@ and 14-year-old victims reportedly wanted to spare their daughters the ordeal of testifying in court.Because he was a juvenile, Mr. Broussard underwent a 90-day psychiatric evaluation before being sentenced. Judge Flaherty had a choice of sending him either to a state prison or to a juvenile center, where he could be held only until his 25th birthday.However, the staff at the California Youth Authority in Sacramento decided that Mr. Broussard was not ”amenable to treatment” at a juvenile center. The defense lawyers, Robert Perez and Jerome P. Mullins, then requested the hearing Friday to question staff members about their decision.Appears to Have No RemorseThe staff report said that Mr. Broussard had no remorse. Eric Saylor, a case worker, testified that Mr. Broussard gave innumerable presentations of different aspects of the slaying.”He changes stories daily, hourly, whimsically,” Mr. Saylor said. Dr. Howard H. Lee, a staff psychiatrist, characterized Mr. Broussard’s many complaints of mental problems as ”overkill.” He said Mr. Broussard appeared to be without feelings ”about human life” and was ”without emotion, as if nothing touched him.”Dr. Samuel G. Benson Jr., a psychiatrist hired by the defense, testified that the defendant had been ”his mother’s delight” and had been devastated when he came home from school at the age of 8 to find her dead. Dr. Benson said Mr. Broussard’s ”maturation process” stopped and he developed a ”pathological fantasy life” that included talking to inanimate objects and seeking advice from his dog. He diagnosed Mr. Broussard as a chronic paranoid schizophrenic with transient organic brain disease caused by drug abuse. He acknowledged under cross-examination, however, that he had relied solely on Mr. Broussard about his drug use. I’ve read a lot of articles and comments on the story. Some say they were actually there and one of the people who saw the body. Some say that the two weren’t even dating. Apparently, she was dating somebody else? I plan on writing more about the true story but I don’t have any time today. Next time!

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