The Boys Next Door Reviews

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March 23, 2015
Definitely a period film of the 80s and underground at that. This is not as much a film to admire, but more a film that depicts a social message wrapped up in a cultish presentation. Growing up in the 80s, a guy could almost relate to Sheen's character albeit we hope that friend we know isn't really as psycho as portrayed here.... or are they?

All in all, worth the watch - plus ironically due to the low knowledge of this film, most people won't realize it was remade in 2013. That film is called "Girls against Boys". Same thing.
April 27, 2014
Charlie Sheen and Maxwell Caulfield go on a murderous rampage throughout L.A. What's not to like? Cheesy 80's awesomeness!
Super Reviewer
April 24, 2014
Penelope Spheeris' The Boys Next Door is a pretty good crime thriller starring a young Charlie Sheen in an impressive performance. The film starts off a bit too slow, but steadily builds up to a good final. This is not a perfect picture, but is nonetheless impressive in its acting, storytelling and directing, especially considering that director Spheeris would start making bland films after 1992's comedy classic Wayne's World, along with that film, this among her strongest efforts, and it's a shame her career in the 1990's would suffer the way it did, but at least she managed to make a few good film, and The Boys Next Door is one of them. The film could have been better in some areas, but for what it is, it's a well crafted picture that manages to be riveting from start to finish. If you enjoy a good crime drama, you're sure to enjoy this, it's not a great film, but it's a pleasant time waster for what it's worth. Charlie Sheen was far better as an actor in his younger years, and he displayed a charisma that just lights up the screen. I enjoyed the film for what it was, and though it may seem a bit dated, it still is worth seeing if you enjoy Sheen's early work. I felt that the story was good and that it could have been a bit longer. The biggest issue with this film is that it tries to compress way too much material into a short run time, therefore it falls short of it potential, and it never becomes the crime film that it deserves to be. Despite its imperfections, The Boys Next Door is a well crafted picture that is much better than you would think. But in the end, it could have been a great, memorable picture, nonetheless it's quite entertaining and like I've said, is worth seeing.
October 3, 2013
Here's a largely forgotten gem. Penelope Spheeris' follow up to "Suburbia" documents a different type of urban alienation as it follows Maxwell Caulfield and Charlie Sheen as two extremely alienated recent high school graduates who travel to L.A. and commit an escalating series of crimes. A really solid 80s genre flick.
June 7, 2013
Two newly graduated high school misfits take a road trip to Los Angeles where they engage in a spree of violence. Sheen and Caufield successfully portray two callous individuals but they don't quite fit the roles as guys who can't make any inroads with Bonnie and her popular friends or get invited to nerdy Joe's party.
May 20, 2013
this is one of the most underrated movies there is.
so much violence!!!!
October 15, 2008
Two outcasts with limited future prospects go on a destructive rampage of escalating violence after graduation. Caulfield looks a tad old for high school here. Soundtrack includes Great White before they achieved any mainstream success.
January 6, 2012
Back When He Only Played Crazy

There is a confusion in this movie between spree killers and serial killers. We start with discussion of the latter, but the movie is really about the former. These are not people who have anything in common with, say, David Berkowitz, who is one of the people shown at the beginning. These two are closer to Charles Starkweather, who--with or without the help of his girlfriend, Caril Ann Fugate (depending on which of them you asked)--killed eleven people in two months. Generally, spree killers are less methodical and less likely to kill similar people. Serial killers tend to have a preferred victim and a preferred method of killing. There are insights to be gained from the study of serial killers, but these boys just don't fit into it. This movie is the story of one terrible weekend, and while it's true that the boys were loners and outcasts before the movie starts, but it's equally true that there is no reason to believe they had a body count yet.

Roy Alston (Maxwell Caulfield) and Bo Richards (Charlie Sheen) are graduating from some high school in middle-of-nowhere, Arizona. They have never gotten along with their classmates. Bo's grandparents give him two hundred dollars for graduation, and after the boys make a total nuisance of themselves at a classmate's party, they steal his mother's dog and drive to California. Only Los Angeles isn't what they expect--Mythic Los Angeles strikes again--and they decide to make their own fun. This starts with a gas station attendant who angers them by only giving them the gas they pay for; Roy beats him half to death. They hit an old lady with a beer bottle on Venice Beach. They then drive off with several women attacking their car. And on and on, while policemen are left to figure out if the crimes are connected. Which initially they have no reason to expect but which becomes increasingly obvious, given their car.

Bo is not a healthy boy, but he would get in far less trouble in the end had he just avoided Roy like everyone else. He strikes me as the sort of person whose life would be improved if he just moved away from where everyone had known him his entire life, somewhere he could teach himself how to be a different person. Maybe if he got a little counseling. Got out of his own head for a while. Bad Influences and Peer Pressure only count for so much, I think; there are some minds that are just more susceptible to that kind of thing, and I think Bo is one of them. When he meets the girl, Angie (Patti D'Arbanville), he realizes that there's a life out there that isn't the one he's always thought he'd be stuck with. He can get out. He can meet girls. He doesn't have to work in a factor and stay in the same small town. And if he had learned that [i]before[/i] he had gone on a crime spree (and probably one which would get him the death penalty), that would have been so much the better for him.

Early in the film, Roy tells Bo about the anger he has inside himself. He reminds Bo of a time when he was legitimately angry, when someone damaged the car, and tells him that he himself feels that way all the time. He considers joining the Marines to find an outlet for it, but the recruiter (Leonard O. Turner) knows the sort of questions being asked and says that the Marines are not for him. And indeed they are not; a military organization doesn't want someone who resents taking orders. They don't want loose cannons, and there's only so much inner rage which can be channeled. Bo would not have gotten into anywhere near as much trouble without Roy, but eventually, Roy would have gotten into just as much trouble without Bo. He was a lit fuse. The rules of society not merely didn't apply to him but simply didn't factor into his thought processes. In short, Roy was legally insane. No matter what situation he found himself in, it was only a matter of time, and not much of it, before he killed.

That he was half in love with Bo didn't help. Oh, I'm not sure it was scripted that way; certainly one would not currently ask Charlie Sheen to find out. But there is definitely tension between the two, and it helps elevate a cheap exploitation flick into something a little more. Not [i]much[/i] more; this is still a mediocre film at best. (Though it is awfully satisfying when someone gets yelled at for using language which was common and even acceptable in 1985.) It could have been even better had that aspect of their relationship really been explored. After all, those rare killers who work together usually have something complicated and sexual between them. We don't much like to talk about it, because we as a society fear even tamer kinds of alternate sexuality, but the thrill of killing isn't just the kind of thrill the average person gets from, say, a roller coaster. There are more hormones at work than just adrenaline. Though of course, both of these guys are part of a mindset which wouldn't let them admit mutual attraction even if they weren't crazy.
½ December 29, 2011
from the lady that brought you "the decline of western civilization," "suburbia," and "wayne's world," this movie is like a homoerotic version of "badlands" that doesn't bother at all with the 'why' behind all the rage. the two sociopaths at the center of the story remind me of a few people i knew in high school and after, minus all the killing (at least as far as i know). it kinda creeped me out. also, anyone that doesn't get "drive" should probably watch this as it's totally a template for later style pieces that reinvent los angeles as all grime, all crime, all the time. pretty cool.
December 4, 2011
This was a pretty good movie. Seeing a very young charlie sheen was different. Shows some pretty troubled codependent youth with crappy parents and what can happen if they make bad choices.
June 16, 2006
this movie is just awesome. you got two teenagers on a road trip ones a psychopath and the other one is charlie sheen and together they kill, pee in pools and have fun.a must see
½ June 25, 2011
Two Catcher-In-The-Rye-type teens decide to go an after graduation psycho road trip to L.A. Charlie Sheen gets drunk , they kill some people, Charlie Sheen gets drunk, they kill some people, Charlie Sheen gets drunk, they kill..........well you get the idea.
Super Reviewer
June 21, 2011
A good teenage drama based on real life serial killers. It really makes you more paranoid about people you might run into on the streets. Sheen and Caulfield are really good in this movie as the two troubled teens. And the ending is both realistic and satisfying. This is a good movie.
½ May 5, 2010
Charlie Sheen Has come A Looong Way .. His youth and acting Are So raw Its Comical... The Chalk outline had me rollin so funny .. Thees two young boys go on a Murderous roadtrip One kid is out of controll the other kind of keeps thing's A Little mellow.. And The Weird Couger sex scene That Randomly Happends UGh?? ... Corny With out the chips Rilly .. This has high reviews .. I Dont get it ?? Not Good Not Even Great ..
½ October 23, 2009
this is a hard movie to find but if you can watch it. it is funny and distubing. one of sheens better early movies.
April 1, 2009
These teenager have so much angst that they drive to LA & go on killing spree; a John Hughes film this is not. Penelope Spheeris gives us road trip that goes deadly wrong (for Sheen mostly who for the most part seems along for Caulfield's bloody ride but in the end having to deal w/ all the consequences) laced w/ a superb soundtrax. Iggy Pop's I Got Nothin is classic.
½ August 6, 2009
Sometimes a film comes along, that will truly stick with you long after you've seen it. It will gnaw at your mind and make you look at life and people in a very different way, which you never did before. "The Boys Next Door" is just such a film for me.

Director Penelope Spheeris is probably most well-known for her work on perennial comedic fare, such as "Wayne's World" and "Black Sheep," but long before that she was a very edgy and somewhat visionary filmmaker. Some of her earliest works have a very deep social commentary to them, of which this film is one of her best (and most overlooked). This tale of two high school outcasts, who go to the big city and raise some murderous hell, almost has a modern ring to it. In the wake of real life events, like the massacres at Columbine and Virgina Tech, this film seems less the low-rent crime drama it probably was seen as when it first debuted and more like a prophecy of things to come.

It is absolutely chilling in how it shows the casual use of violence by two supposed teenagers. Their lack of conscience and concern for anything or anyone, save themselves, feels like a mirror being held up to our so-called modern world. What really stuck out for me, though, was the moments of seemingly uncontainable rage expressed by the character of Roy (incredibly performed by Maxwell Caulfield). One scene that truly made my blood run cold, was after his first act of violence on a gas-station attendant, when he and his friend Bo (played by a very young Charlie Sheen, in one of his earliest leading roles) are talking about it in their hotel room, and Roy expresses that the beating wasn't good enough. That he should have killed him. The look of satisfaction on his face as he expresses these thoughts, brought out a dark symmetry to the character, which would dominate everything he does afterwards. It actually comes off like a blueprint to the mindset of such thrill-killers that we see in our real world today. I really enjoyed how the film almost plays like a docudrama in some instances, like this one.

While some of the language and settings might be a bit dated, the emotion and societal insights into the mind of teenage rage are as powerful now as they ever were back in 1985 (when the film debuted). At the time, this film had a bit of controversy about it, due to the amounts of violence shown on screen, but I think that today, in our much more politically-correct minded worldview, it is the thoughts behind the violence which should be more disturbing. It is a film that has truly become MORE relevant as time has gone by, not less. If there is anything lacking in the film, it would be not enough information given on the characters life at home. We see the torment they have with not fitting in with their peers at school, as well as their fears of living out the rest of their lives at dead-end jobs, but there is little info on the role played by the family in helping these boys to be filled with such murderous contempt. There is one scene with Roy's father being shown as a neglectful parent, more interested in getting his next beer than the welfare of his son, but I felt this brief glimpse should have been expand on more. Still, even lacking in this one area, the film is still a very potent brew to behold.

Make no mistake, this is not a "feel good" or party film. It is a shocking, and sometimes twisted, look into how society can mold a teenager into a raging killer and how easily the that rage can be let loose on an unprepared society. And the fact these two characters are attractive looking, as well, only deepens the scary similarities of our current times. Despite that, however, it is certainly a very worthwhile film and is deserving of much more attention. If you are looking for a film that isn't just out to entertain you, but also make you think, this is one movie you need to seek out! But be warned... prepare to be unnerved by much of what you will see. I doubt many will walk away from this film totally unaffected, nor should they.
August 4, 2009
Charlie Sheen should forever be referred to as "Emilio Estevez's brother"; in spite of the subject matter and Spheeris' blatant homophobia, I found this forgotten movie to be very intriguing. Lots of psychological intensity and misdirected rage, almost cathartic.
January 27, 2009
Young. Handsome. Desirable. Deadly.
It's not just a motion picture...It's a warning.
It's in the look. It's in the touch. It's in the eyes. It's the latest style...IN MADNESS.
Day by day, they're changing the face of America...and they're barely old enough to vote.

They're trapped...They don't fit in...What happens when there's no way out?

The anger. The destructiveness. The urge to kill in cold blood. They weren't born with it...
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