Monday, 17 January 2011
Edge of Honor
EDGE OF HONOR (1991)
Directed by: Michael Spence
Screenplay: David O'Malley, Mark W. Rosenbaun & Michael Spence
Starring: Corey Feldman, Meredith Baxter, Scott Reeves, Ken Jenkins, Don Swayze and Christopher Neame
Awesome little action gem that pits a group of teenagers against some gun-running scumbags out in the wilderness. A sort of youthful Southern Comfort, Edge of Honor is no kids movie as the action is often brutally staged as Corey Feldman and his buddies go Rambo on the redneck bastards who are hunting them. Feldman is one of a group of boy scouts out camping in a seemingly endless forest. They stumble upon a hidden stash of weapons belonging to some nasty gunrunner types. The boys take and hide the weapons, intending to turn them over to the police which non-surprisingly upsets the gunrunners. Soon they are being hunted down and must use their resources if they intend to survive and get out of the forest alive.
Taut, straight-to-point and action packed, Edge of Honor is a neat little flick that deserves more recognition. Despite the main characters being teenagers this is no watered downed adventure flick. People die horribly (check out the bloody shootout slaying of a bunch of gunrunners that opens the film) including children and the young protagonists (who range from about 10 years old to late teens) are often put in dangerous situations as the scuzzball bad guys show no mercy in trying to slay them. This being a late 80s early 90s flick means the teenagers aren't as annoying or as vapid as the teenagers who often clog up the films of today, they are not overly styled but a little scruffy, they aren't all know it alls and most importantly, they have personality meaning we actually care if they live or die. The bad guys are just as good with Don Swayze doing his redneck thing but actually being quite menacing, Ken Jenkins (known nowadays mainly for Scrubs) is great as the greasy ring leader and even Christopher Neame proves entertaining despite looking like he as walked in from another movie complete with all black garb, facial scare, shades and a groovy knife that flicks out from his wrist.
The film makes great use of its location where the makers stage some impressive action. Punchy and bloody shootouts, some impressive explosions and a great finale where the scouts craft First Blood style booby traps make for great action entertainment. Despite being made 20 years ago, Edge of Honor is miles better than recent fighting-bad-guys-in-the-woods films such as Hunt to Kill and features some quality action scenes. It's The Goonies with bite and makes me wish I was still a kid back in the 80s/90s when films like this were all the rage. Cool.