Tuff Turf (1985)

Fritz Kiersch directs James Spader, Robert Downey Jnr. and Kim Richards in this teen gang movie where a preppy rebel moves to a tough neighbourhood where the kids are felony level threatening.

Rebel Without a Cause remade with an MTV aesthetic and a severe ADHD level of distraction. Swings schizophrenically from sweetly poppy to violently razor edged. There are musical dance numbers and hardcore street crimes within a scene change of each other, Beverly Hills Cop inspired visits to country clubs and lethal warehouse rumble finales. It is fair to say you wouldn’t be surprised if Señorita Cocaine didn’t get her own Executive Producer credit. Little Robert Downey Jnr is definitely dripping in narcotics sweat and twitching like a junkie in a stand out best friend role… And yet somehow it all joyfully coalesces into a blast of Saturday night entertainment. Like The Lost Boys or Labyrinth you can approach it as a cheesy cult item but that doesn’t really hide the fact that Spader is captivatingly awesome in this early lead role; all aloof but sincere. Genuinely surprised this doesn’t have a larger rep among hipster retro heads and fans of movies where taxi driver sad dad’s turn out to be able take three street punks on bare knuckled. Awesome New Wave soundtrack too!


Check out my wife Natalie’s Point Horror blog https://cornsyrup.co.uk

We also do a podcast together called The Worst Movies We Own. It is available on Spotify or here https://letterboxd.com/bobbycarroll/list/the-worst-movies-we-own-podcast-ranking-and/

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