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The Boys Next Door (1985)

Commentaries on this disc:

Commentary 1: Director Penelope Spheeris and actor Maxwell Caulfield Rating:9.0/10 (1 vote) [graph]Login to vote or review
Reviewed by frankasu03 on February 3rd, 2016:Find all reviews by frankasu03
Director Spheeris is as charming as ever, and her male co-lead Caulfield infuses this commentary with a nice mix of self-awareness and anecdotes concerning the making of 'Boys.' The commentary is recorded well over 15 years since "The Boys Next Door" was made. This distance really helps contrast the attitudes of the '80s exploitation era with the political correctness of the current time. Penelope proffers some very interesting comments about the nature of the violence in her film. She almost seems thankful that her career course would deviate towards more comedic fare, and wonders if violent images, set to popular music, contribute to the atrocities that seem to pervade mordern society. Not to suggest this track is "too heavy." Stories abound throughout the track, like Nicolas Cages' regret for having passed up the role of "Roy," to Maxwell's inspirational homage to James Dean, and his own research into the motivations of serial killers. A nice mention is made of the writers, who would go on to write and direct some very iconic episodes of "The X-files." No surprise then the stark, yet humorous, tone that 'Boys' displays. Caulfield is a charismatic presence, and heaps loads of praise upon his director. Spheeris alludes to her days working for Corman, and how her producer on this film, Sandy Howard, would emphasize the more salacious elements of sex and violence to make a more commercial product. She often points out her friends who populate the background of the film, and you can tell she is in her element filming on "Hollywood Boulevard." Many stories relate to one Charlie Sheen, and his father's reluctance to see his son in such a controversial role. That the star of "Badlands" and "Apocalypse Now" would object to a very similar path for Charlie is doubly fascinating and ironic (Martin Sheen apparently walked out of the screening room, while Charlie would co-star in his own operatic Vietnam vehicle). It's very humbling to hear Penelope look back at her career course, filled with many "cult" projects that struggled to find a wide release. Ironic that it would be in the world of comedy and family fare she would become so (commercially) successful. She really proved with this film she had the skill to make more action pictures. Her recollections, along with the dialogue with Maxwell Caulfield, make for an engaging commentary. 8.5/10