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SHERDOG MOVIE CLUB: WEEK 118: Over the Edge and Convoy

Discussion in 'Mayberry Lounge' started by europe1, Aug 8, 2018.

  1. europe1

    europe1 It´s a nice peninsula to Asia

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    NOTE to NON-MEMBERS: Interested in joining the SHERDOG MOVIE CLUB? Shoot me a PM for more info!

    Here's a quick list of all movies watched by the SMC. Or if you prefer, here's a more detailed examination.

    80% of the discussion will be arguments about which film is on the A-roll and which is on the B-roll.

    [​IMG]-and-[​IMG]

    Our Directors

    [​IMG]-and-[​IMG]
    Sam Peckinpah - and - Jonathan Kaplan
    Convoy

    Directed by: Sam Peckinpah

    Premise: Truckers form a mile long "convoy" in support of a trucker's vendetta with an abusive sheriff...Based on the country song of same title by C.W. McCall.



    Over the Edge

    Directed by: Jonathan Kaplan

    Premise: A group of bored teenagers rebel against authority in the community of New Granada after the death of one of their own.



    Trivia (Convoy)
    * Director Sam Peckinpah allowed actor and long-time associate James Coburn to work on the movie as a second-unit director to get his DGA card, and rumor has it that Coburn actually directed some scenes when Peckinpah was "unwell."

    * The duck on the hood of Rubber Duck's (Kris Kristofferson) Mack truck was later used in Quentin Tarantino's Death Proof (2007) as the hood ornament on Stuntman Mike's (Kurt Russell) hotrod. It was created by John Billings, for which he received a thanks credit from Tarantino.

    * Steve McQueen was originally approached to play the Rubber Duck, but turned it down.

    * A majority of the "Jesus freaks" on the micro bus are played by members of Kris Kristofferson's touring band from the 1970s.

    * Sam Peckinpah was using heavy amounts of cocaine, quaaludes and vitamin shots that left him both irritable and irrational. At one point he called his nephew David E. Peckinpah, from the set, ranting that Steve McQueen and the Executive Car Leasing Co. were conspiring to kill him.​

    Trivia (Over the Edge)
    * Was one of the main inspirations for Nirvana's 'Smells Like Teen Spirit' music video.

    * Matt Dillon didn't actually want or expect to be cast in the movie. He went to the audition just so he could skip school.

    * Originally completed in 1979, the movie was first shown in late 1979, but was not released wide in the USA until two years later. At the time, the studio thought the movie was too controversial and feared that it would spark attacks after several violent incidents had occurred at various showings during screenings of number of 1979 gang movies such as The Warriors (1979), The Wanderers (1979) and Boulevard Nights (1979).

    * Tip and his mother are played by Eric Lalich and Irene Lalich, who are mother and son in real life.

    * Matt Dillon did not want to miss out on the fun at the end of the movie when the kids revolted, so he is allowed to appear briefly in the riot scene.​

    Members: @europe1 @MusterX @Scott Parker 27 @the muntjac @Cubo de Sangre @sickc0d3r @chickenluver @FrontNakedChoke @AndersonsFoot @Tufts @Coolthulu @Yotsuya @jei @LHWBelt @PommyBen @Deus Ex Machina @ArtemV @Bullitt68
     
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2018
  2. Cubo de Sangre

    Cubo de Sangre President of the War Room Double Yellow Card

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    Well, at least you had the right order in the title. :)
     
  3. moreorless87

    moreorless87 Out To Lunch

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    Convoy was I believe the first R-rated film I ever saw(came out when I was less than a month old as well), watched it many times on VHS in the mid 80's but haven't seen it for probably 25+ years now.
     
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  4. europe1

    europe1 It´s a nice peninsula to Asia

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    I had pretty much to opposite reaction to these two films. Over the Edge I started out hating but then got turned around the longer it went on, while I was initially pinballing with the Convoy but lost interest the longer it went on.

    Just spit-balling my thoughts on this one. Don't expect anything coherent.

    Over the Edge

    Over the Edge is one of those movies about the snowball effect, and in this film, the snowball really has rolled so far and grown so large that there is no stopping it even when the film begins. That's overwhelmingly what I like most about this movie. It's not like the uprising is orchestrated or anything. It's just a situation spiraling out of control, bad decisions piling up one after the other until there is no turning back. For example: The sheriff is an inept asshole -- but he isn't some evil villain who wants to kill anyone, only doing so when an unloaded gun is pointed at him. And it's not like Carl wanted to see the Sheriff dead, it was just some other kids acting on their own.

    So a bunch of inept parents with no idea how to raise kids congregate in one newbuilt city. They're economically secure but really have no idea about how to deal with young teens. Their idea of stopping the selling of drugs? Close the youth center! That'll stop those kids from peddling! So they've raised a generation of little hellions.

    That really arrives at this movies biggest flaw: the kids. It's just so fucking laughable that these whitebread youngsters are supposed to come off as uber-hardened criminals. Them talking jive is just so silly. But really, I think that was supposed to be the entire selling-point of the film, seeing young, mostly clean-cut looking suburbanites acting "bad". I mentioned this back when we watched Tuff Turf (week 85), why is it in American movies that when they want to show hardened, street-smart "badass-kids" they still show them living prim and proper in sumptuous homes? The contrast just makes everything so tacky and garish. It takes the tooth away from everything. But again, seeing a bunch of middle-class kid acting bad was probably the entire selling-point, I guess. I suppose some people find that shocking.

    I ended up thinking alot about this film a lot while watching it:
    [​IMG]


    And even more about the ending of Beware: Children at Play (hey Cubo why didn't you make this one part of the Double-Feauture?:D


    I was highly surprised when the Sheriff actually seemed genuinely invested in Carl's betterment right before he died, telling him he needed some serious re-tinking. Considering how angry and humiliated he had been, it seemed certain that he would just like to have snuffed the kid right when he found him.

    The movie has some incongruous, silly moments. Like when the gun goes off and everyone thinks that Carl got shot in the barn, but then he dashes up and frightens them. I don't care how hardened you are. No 15-years old is that blase when he thinks that he has just been shot. Or how easily all the cars are exploding in the ending. It's like they hit a windshield and then the entire vehicle goes up in an inferno of hellfire.

    As mentioned, despite its weak start I was ensnared by this film the longer it went on. No doubt this is due to the skills of Master-Filmmaker Jonathan Kaplan, proud graduate of the Roger Corman school of filmmaking (being invited there by none other than Martin Scorcese). There he made classics like The Slams and Night Shift Nurses, so when I saw his name on IMDB I was no longer surprised how well the film turned out.


    Convoy

    Man... this movie just isn't funny. It's like a more serious version of Smokey and the Bandit, but even more disinteresting.

    At first I was into all of this salty, plebian atmosphere. But it just didn't do anything interesting. Just a bunch of jive talk over the radio. Thought I think that trucker-talk was a big part of the selling-point of this moment, just as the kids acting bad was in Over the Edge.

    And why the hell is Halle Berry in this movie? Wasn't she like 15 when this movie was made? Also, what was that about the waitress whom Kristofersson cavorted with before he ran off with Halle? It was like they had a forlorn moment, where she realized that he would be eloping with Berry from now on, because she's the sort of gorgeous city-slicker that she can't mesure up to. It was like they were planting some moment or conflict that was just abandoned as soon as it was over.

    Why was Rocky's brother-in-law ferrying around pigs? What happened to the pigs? Did they go and live on the same planet as the robot from Rocky 4?

    Funniest Moment: Right after Boss Hoggs has crashed his commandeered car, this other officer pulls over next to him and says: "My name is Bob Broker sir, and I hate truckers". Just the straight-on, no-frilzz way he said it made me laugh.

    Sam Peckinpah could be a pretty mercenary director at times. His love for the slow-mo is on display at least. Supposedly James Cogburn directed a lot of the film since Sam was drunk and coked out of his mind. The funniest Peckinpah story I ever heard was that while shooting one picture he would -- before shooting had begun -- sit in his director's chair every morning with sunglasses on for hours, facing the scene they were about to film. If producers or crew came and asked someone what he was doing, they were instructed to reply that Sam was visualizing the movie before they began filming, rendering everything in his mind before working on it like a great artist. In actuality, Sam was just so hung-over that he needed several hours each day to work it out of his system. :D

    Man, this is easily my least favorite Peckinpha film ever. I... I don't even like Ernst Borgnine in it. He's just a limp Jack Glesason impersonation. That just breaks my heart to say. I saw a Borgnine movie and I didn't even like him in it. I didn't think that was possible. And it happened in a Peckinpha film! I think I'm going to cry.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2018
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  5. Cubo de Sangre

    Cubo de Sangre President of the War Room Double Yellow Card

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    Don't look now, but your foreigner is showing. I grew up in that time and place. Kids were absolutely doing drugs, sneaking around behind their parents' backs, mouthing off to authority, and vandalizing shit. Not sure what you think is so hardened.


    Yeah, that was pretty silly. Sometimes you let shit go for cinematic effect.


    Her and The Rock are who I envision for the remake.


    Sorry you didn't enjoy it. Long hauls across state lines and dickhead cops are a thing here. The culture is a bit more than funny jargon. Although it's certainly changed since then with concerns over sleep and crystal meth use.

    Surprised you didn't comment on how the snowball effect drove this story as well. It went from getting shaken down by a pig, to a fight with some pigs trying to oppress, to full-blown mainstream media coverage and national guard deployment.
     
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  6. europe1

    europe1 It´s a nice peninsula to Asia

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    One of them thought he had been shot and 2 seconds later capitalized on it so to make a joke! Even kids in war-zones shit their pants when they think that they've been mortally wounded.

    So an entire community of primarily upper-middle-class, well-off kids were dropping acid before attending school and dope-peddling? It's not just that a some are doing it, literally everyone in this movie are so inundated with drugs by age 15 that they aren't even a tad nervous while blabbering about it on an open street. Again, these guys aren't even connected to gangs or anything (like, you know, they usually are), just rich white kids that are really into drugs. I'm just saying, I had people selling ganja at my school too (biggest waste of meat I've ever encountered) they weren't like these kids at all. Those guys were pretty seriously fucked up people. These kids? Hahahah!

    What I'm trying to communicate: Unless a teen says the words "my cousin is going to cut you up!" then the verisimilitude is just missing.

    EDIT: I mean, I guess places like these "do exist". But really, it makes them seem more pathetic than anything considering their mostly affluent circumstances.

    Too bad the movie didn't emphasize or uplift that.

    Yeah but in Over the Edge the snowball effect was more natural and organic. There were multiple actors acting independently, a lot of the driving force was just mistakes or rash decisions (like shooting the kid), or just bad luck compounding. A contextual escalation, basically. Like how snowball effects usually function. In Convoy however, it was more than Sheriff Borgnine was just a big, corrupt asshole who pushed the truckers so hard that they eventually fought back. The conflict is more villain-driven than context-driven, if you get what I'm saying.

    But of course, the GOAT movie about the snowball-effect is...

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2018
  7. Cubo de Sangre

    Cubo de Sangre President of the War Room Double Yellow Card

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    I'm with you in that Carl's reaction would seem pretty unusual. I'm not with you in thinking it has any real significance. At most it shows that youthful belief that death is something that happens to other people.


    It wasn't the entire community (in fact Richie was highly critical of drug use) and they weren't all upper-middle-class. They showed the lower-income tenement some of the kids lived in more than once. Even then, no clue where you get the idea that only poor kids party.


    You might be overlooking the fact that Duck was dicking Lyle's wife.
     
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  8. MusterX

    MusterX Titanium Belt

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    Over the Edge seemed like a lot of normal shit kids used to do. Not all of it obviously but things have really changed over the years. My kids can't even imagine what kind of shit I did growing up. We used to fill plastic bags with creamed corn and throw them over a wall into traffic and listen for which ones hit and which ones didn't and occasionally the screeching of locked tires. Getting stoned with your friends at age 14 or 15, not unusual. The first time I met a Cuban named Jose he was with my friend Randy and within 10 minutes we were behind a 7-11 taking the license plate off the car and then running out carrying cases of beer.

    In fact, I did so much shit growing up if I were to tell you some of it you would think I was trolling. We used to crack open coke machines and steal all the quarters and this was back when the local newspaper still had machines and you could throw those in the trunk and break them open somewhere else. Later on I had a friend that worked at a Red Coleman's liquor store and he would let us in the back at night and we would take bottles of liquor, cartons of cigarettes, whatever we could carry. Once the store did inventory and was $15,000 short we couldn't rob that place anymore.

    Anyway, did a lot of shit and it just seemed normal to us. The first time I was taken into custody by the police was when I was 13 and it was for carrying a small knife the same way Matt Dillon was in Over the Edge. I once got arrested at the Dept. of Motor Vehicles trying to get my drivers license renewed but I had a warrant out for my arrest and the bitch waited until it was time to pay, took my $20 and said she was going to get change and she came back with a State Trooper who arrested me. Bitch kept my $20.

    When the boys are in school and one of them says he took speed but he thinks it was actually acid, they were looking at slides of an artist named Hieronymous Bosch. The slide was the right panel of this painting.

    [​IMG]

    Bosch is well known for his paintings having to do with good and evil and religious themes. Particularly striking were his depictions of hell. I guess this was the films subtle wink and nod toward the paths that the boys were walking.

    I loved the music in this film, the cigarette smoking kids, the house parties, etc. I wouldn't want to live like that now....

    [​IMG]

    This film was dark and it took and it progressively took turns for the worst. Maybe I Iiked it because it was as dark as my childhood lol. One thing I liked about the way the film was made is that some films will take an incident, like a shooting, and place it at the beginning of the film then build the film around that incident but in the case of Over the Edge, we build to the point when the incident occurs which is not until over half way through the movie when Richie is shot by the police.

    Rebellion against authority is the obvious take away here but its done in a completely different way than say Dog Day Afternoon where Pacino gets crowds of people who support him instead of the police. This is more like kids vs. adults in a Lord of the Flies showdown. Instead of black lives matter this was more like kids lives matter for the late 1970's.
     
  9. europe1

    europe1 It´s a nice peninsula to Asia

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    I did miss that. When did it occur? (I googled the script but can't find it) I was even watching with subtitles to so to not miss anything in the jargon.

    But, that doesn't really change the basic structure of the two films, that Over the Edge is more of an escalation while Convoy is more of a set-up.

    I did say "primarily".

    There were some moments related to that with Richi that I did like. Like how his mom laughed off their arrest. Seems more in-tune to reality with moments like that.

    Matt Dillion's character? When did he say that? You mean when he turned down the ganja when they were with those two girls in that semi-finished building? I took that more as him being more interested in the gun. He didn't seem to have a problem with all his friends puffing the magic dragon.

    Yeah, but rich kids acting street is more pathetic than anything.
     
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  10. Cubo de Sangre

    Cubo de Sangre President of the War Room Double Yellow Card

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    Good catch. I knew it was Bosch but didn't think much beyond how trippy it'd be if you were trippin'. :D
     
  11. europe1

    europe1 It´s a nice peninsula to Asia

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    Garden of Earthly Delights.

    I used to have the topmost part of hell as my screensaver.

    Considering how they just focused on the unworldliness of the Hell-part, I think they utilized it more to comment on the acid he was taking rather than make some moral message.
     
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  12. Cubo de Sangre

    Cubo de Sangre President of the War Room Double Yellow Card

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    The waitress giving Duck his "birthday present" is Lyle's wife. It's subtle but there. When she pulls to top off the diner stool that Lyle's cuffed to he says something about "We'll talk about this later.".

    So Lyle's hatred builds from there to the point he's just fucking with him by shaking him down with threats of a ticket. Then when there's pushback with the brawl Lyle starts losing his shit even more. But see it how you want. It's not identical, but in my mind it's similar (and thematically a great pairing with Over The Edge).


    Probably for the poorer kids like himself there's some element of enabling like his mom displayed. The richer kids like Carl get yelled at and become distant from their parents, as we saw with the physical confrontation between him and his dad.


    He ripped on the girl multiple times for being a pothead who couldn't hold a conversation. Pretty sure he made a crack about Claude's acid use, but can't say for certain.


    Welcome to America, bro. :cool:
     
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  13. europe1

    europe1 It´s a nice peninsula to Asia

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    That does seem like a Peckinpah detail. Like with the infidelities in Straw Dogs or The Getaway. But isn't there anything more behind that than merely that instance? He could just have known here considering he's a policeman who works in the area.

    Yeah but that seems more like animosity towards them in particular than against drugs as a whole. He certainly didn't have a problem with Carl doing it.
     
  14. Cubo de Sangre

    Cubo de Sangre President of the War Room Double Yellow Card

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    Maybe a scene got cut that made it more clear. Maybe Sam wanted to keep it vague.

    https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0077369/trivia

    I found Richie to be clearly disapproving of drugs, but not the kinda guy whose gonna lose a friendship over it. You always approve of everything your friends did?
     
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  15. the muntjac

    the muntjac Black Belt

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    I only watched Over the Edge, and I might get to Convoy tomorrow.

    This was a coming of age tale, I suppose. The departure of innocent childhood is brought upon by sex, drugs, and rock ‘n roll. The teenage years is a time when the youth start dabbling in more mature ventures, while still being too young and immature to understand the weight of their actions, especially when they’re criminal.

    Honestly, this movie came off as a big propaganda scare piece to me. “Hey, parents. Do you want to keep your kids away from criminal mischief? Then build them a bowling alley. There’s no way they’ll migrate their deviancy there. We’re sure of it. Or else your children will become devils.”

    I got the message of the movie that if you don’t listen to and be involved in your children’s lives, then they’ll become drug-addicted criminals that wreck the town, but this message wasn’t handled with much grace. Carl’s father goes from chastising Carl in every scene together, then to lecturing the townspeople for their treatment towards the kids. This character showed no gradual growth. He basically flipped a switch, and that was that. For a film taking a stand about mistreatment from authority, it really offers no solutions. The destructive rebellion from the kids was rash, which I feel the film was making this point because Carl and others are held accountable for their actions by being shipped off to juvi. However, the blame is pointed towards the parents and adults because of their negligence. The problem is that besides a few sweeping remarks during the town meeting about the parents failing the kids, there were no actual practical suggestions presented to avoid things coming to a head the way they did. The ending came about so inevitable. Like I said, the movie came off as if it was just trying to scare folks.

    The idea of so many middle-class, surburbanite kids carrying out a vast destructive revolt was funny to me, and it was further comedic when cars blew up if they were sneezed on.

    With all negative thoughts on the movie aside, I did enjoy the moments of the kids’ day-to-day, them getting into mischief, their banter, and basically just seeing them interact naively in more adult situations. They got babies’ brains, but old men’s/women’s hearts. Don’t always know what they’re talking about. Feels like they’re living in the middle of doubt. They’re confused everyday, just don’t know what to say. (Alice Cooper)

    And speaking of music, the soundtrack was pretty good. There’s just something about laying classic rock music over 70s/80s imagery that gives me a feeling of contentment.

    Over the Edge is a solid “okay” movie.
     
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  16. MusterX

    MusterX Titanium Belt

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    <{Joewithit}>

    I think you are wrong this time. Many times you are spot on but I have a hard time believing that a tale about kids who are smoking, drinking, doing drugs, and shooting guns just randomly selected a Bosch painting when he is known for religious themes of good and evil and hell. If you are directing a film you can't just do that without people drawing meaning from it. Same with the selection of music. Carl was listening to Surrender by Cheap Trick. Am I to believe the lyric, "Mommy's alright, Daddy's alright, they just seem a litter weird" is not indicative of a generational divide between the adults and kids in this movie?

     
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  17. Cubo de Sangre

    Cubo de Sangre President of the War Room Double Yellow Card

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    Why does it need to? Maybe there aren't any. Sometimes people just observe shit.


    That song is absolutely important to the story lyrically. Totally agree that the painting has deeper meaning too.
     
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  18. the muntjac

    the muntjac Black Belt

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    I grew up in a podunk American town myself where there wasn't much to do, and even with the bowling alley, rec-center, skating rink, playgrounds, etc., kids just migrated their bad behavior to those places as well. Booze, drugs, fights, vandalism, theft, you name it. The consensus feeling from the adults was merely, "Kids are just being dumb." There were many towns in the adjacent counties that were just like mine. I'm not saying all towns are the same across the nation, but the one depicted in Over the Edge isn't one I'm gonna buy where kids like Carl and his friends are the types to lock up their parents as they blow up their cars. Do some drugs, break into somewhere and steal stuff, and even sneak off with a gun and shoot it, sure. But nothing as drastic as hold their own parents in false imprisonment collectively while they destroy everything in sight. And never would the middle-class kids team up with the poor kids to do anything, let alone destroy a school together. More commonly, these factions of kids were always at odds at each other, and just looking for reasons to pick a fight.

    This is true, and perhaps this film doesn't warrant such a scrutinized eye. But it's just a little weird that it seems that a vast number of kids in town (almost felt like the whole town) were going down the proverbial wrong path. It would have been more believable if the revolting kids were more fringe rather than seeming like the collective whole of the town. Instead of having dozens at the end tearing shit up, perhaps only 5-10 kids would have made this not feel like such a panic propaganda film.
     
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  19. Cubo de Sangre

    Cubo de Sangre President of the War Room Double Yellow Card

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    @europe1, in regards to the snowballing of events I forgot to mention that in Convoy the truckers weren't all there for the same reason. Remember the scene with the news crew truck driving alongside the convoy and conducting interviews? Duck says he doesn't know why they're all there. There's talk of the double-nickel being what they're protesting. In 1974 the feds stuck there noses into speed limits.

    https://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/nixon-signs-national-speed-limit-into-law

    Easy to imagine how truckers wouldn't want speed limits lowered. Makes drives longer and would fuck with their pay (provided they're getting compensated via the load or time spent).
     
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  20. Cubo de Sangre

    Cubo de Sangre President of the War Room Double Yellow Card

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    Would be surprised if that ever happened anywhere in America. Never once occured to me to hold that to the standard of believability. That's what makes it fun. Because as a frustrated kid that'd be an awesome thing to do. This ain't a documentary. :D


    In junior high I never ran credit checks on my friend's parents. If you say that's how you chose up friends I'll take your word for it. At my school at least there was a range of poor to upper-middle class. Next you'll be telling me us white kids didn't hang out with the Mexican kids either (even though I did). :cool: By your thinking though you should find it least believable that Carl would be hanging out at the rec center. Rich kids would have better shit to do like play a sport or learn an instrument. :D


    I didn't see what the population was. Looking at the size of the school it's fair to say more than a couple dozen kids are in the town. And most of 'em weren't really causing harm. As for the ending, sorry you didn't like it. All I can say is I've no reason to believe mob mentality doesn't exist in kids. I'm pretty sure it does. And as a reminder, the only gun was Spano with the shotgun and he was clearly the most troubled kid. I got the impression he lived out there unsupervised where he was riding his motorcycle around. Most of that was just vandalism, and kids are the exact demographic you'd expect to vandalize.
     

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