Blu-ray Review: THE BOYS NEXT DOOR

THE BOYS NEXT DOOR (aka Blind Rage and Death Takes a Holiday) was directed by Penelope Spheeris from a screenplay by Glen Morgan and James Wong and stars Maxwell Caulfield and Charlie SheenPatti D’ArbanvilleChristopher McDonald, Hank Garrett, Moon Unit Zappa, Kenneth Cortland and Don Draper. The movie features music by Iggy PopTex & The Horseheads and The Cramps

Maxwell Caulfield and Charlie Sheen star as high-school outcasts who head to Los Angeles for a spree of petty crime, senseless violence, and savage murder.

This 1985 psycho-thriller follows Roy Alston (Maxwell Caulfield) and Bo Richards (Charlie Sheen), two outcast teenagers who decide to leave their boring small town to blow it out after high school graduation. The two misfits don’t leave empy handed either because they kidnap a little dog and take it with them on their weekend getaway. Both of these rebellious boys have violent tendacies but there’s something really dark going on inside the mind of Roy. The signs that something is wrong with this young man are evident but his best friend is too young and dumb to notice it just yet.

What happens is, Roy and Bo hit the big city and decide to party it up and this is when they get reckless and start making some really bad decisions. Both of them are violent but Roy takes things way too far and ends up killing someone, and then another, and then another. The scary thing about Roy is that he has the makings of a serial killer because he shows no remorse for these murders and it really starts bothering Bo who didn’t want things to go this far. The two end up being chased around the city by the cops but before they get caught Bo finally confronts Roy about the monster he’s become.

The front of the packaging features the artwork you see at the top of the page and the back includes movie details, some images and specs. This Severin release comes in a black keepcase which helps it stand out from the others. The Blu-ray disc features some matching artwork. Inserting the disc, the menu screen was simple and easy to navigate. The Boys Next Door was scanned in 4K from the original negative. The picture and sound quality for this high-definition release were crisp and clear. I didn’t have any issues with the video and audio. Another great job by Severin Films!

Bottom line is, it had been a really long time since I’d watched The Boys Next Door and I’m talking way back to the good ol’ video store days when I was working at one. This is the kind of movie that you don’t forget after you watch it because of its controversial subject matter during the watch. The story deals with these two best friends but it goes so much deeper than that because one of the characters is actually a homosexual and he doesn’t know how to express his feelings to his running buddy who’s definitely a straight guy. The only way he knows how to deal with it is becoming extremely violent and ultimately murdering a number of people that actually serves as an unhinged outlet for him. Maxwell Caulfield and Charlie Sheen do a fantastic job with their characters and Penelope Spheeris captured the intense performances by the two actors that drive this vicious thriller that packs a brutal punch. Let’s don’t forget that the dynamic duo of Glen Morgan and James Wong delivered the screenplay for The Boys Next Door and look what all they’ve accomplished since then. Masterminds! I think Penelope Spheeris delivered a cult classic that was way ahead of its time and after revisiting this underrated gem I do believe that it’s my favorite movie by the filmmaking legend. Sorry Wayne’s World! The Boys Next Door is now available for the first time ever on Blu-ray.

Distributor: Severin Films

Run Time: 91 Minutes

Rated: R

Blu-ray Video: 1080p High-Definition Widescreen (1.85:1) Region Free

Blu-ray Audio: English DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 Mono

Subtitles: English

Special Features: The extras include some audio commentary, interviews, an alternate opening / extended scenes and the trailer.

  • Audio Commentary with Director Penelope Spheeris and Actor Maxwell Caulfield
  • Blind Rage: Interview with Stephen Thrower, Author of Nightmare USA (24:59)
  • Both Sides of the Law: Interview with Actors Maxwell Caulfield and Christopher McDonald (19:41)
  • Give Us Your Money: Interviews with Street Band Performers Texacala Jones and Tequila Mockingbird (05:48)
  • Caveman Day: Cinemaniacs Interview with Director Penelope Spheeris and Actor Maxwell Caulfield (20:47)
  • Tales from the End Zone: Interview with Actor Kenneth Cortland (12:18)
  • The Psychotronic Tourist – The Boys Next Door (13:39)
  • Alternate Opening Title Sequence & Extended Scenes (Silent) (00:40)
  • Trailer (02:26)

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