This post has been spurred by my recent awesome chance to watch a screening of 1979’s Over The Edge, directed by Jonathan Kaplan and written by Tim Hunter! It was screened at the Music Box by the Chicago Film Society
I am very grateful I got to see it! But let’s start at the beginning. I’m almost positive I heard about this movie in my tween years when I was obsessed with Nirvana and what not. I know I rented it off Netflix and copied it. I loved it when I saw it, soundtrack was killer, and I quickly showed it to a couple of my friends at the time. I think I was probably 15/16, definitely in High School. The film takes a look at some young kids growing up in a “planned community” with not much to do but drugs and alcohol and whatnot. I’m pretty sure I had seen Kids already or at a similar time and this was like holy shit, I almost feel normal. High School was mostly talking about music and drugs, and how to get them. The majority of it was talking about how we knew nothing at all but were looking for something. Planning the weekends and after school potential escapades that were usually just doing anything we could think of or going to movies and concerts when possible. I feel like an old man now, but many of those problems never left.
It was very cool to see Tim Hunter speak about the film. Apparently the film screened was his own personal 35mm print. Whoever owns the master have refused to make a modern digital transfer. I was also geeking out because this is the man that directed River’s Edge and the Saint of Fort Washington. I got a chance to meet him after the screening, and while I should have brought my copies of the Over The Edge Soundtrack for him to sign, I brought River’s Edge on Blu-ray. I asked him how a Wipers’ song(Let Me Know) ended up on the soundtrack. Loving the Wipers, I knew they were not a very commercial band in that sense(i.e. wouldn’t want a tv show or movie using their song). But he told me Enigma / Metal Blade Records gave him carte blanche to everything on their label. He listened to it all and settled on some great choices including Slayer,Agent Orange, and Burning Spear. I may have wrote this before but my mind wanted to believe it was Dennis Hopper’s insistence that led to the Wipers song. I also told him I liked The Saint of Fort Washington ever since I saw it as a kid. He asked if it still held up and I said yes it does! He then mentioned that film essentially ended his Hollywood career. Interesting how that also reunited him with Matt Dillon. I am very thankful for this opportunity.
Overall it was amazing to see Over The Edge on film, and I can’t believe I got to meet Tim Hunter himself. It was a good day.
P.S. I was watching the show Mrs.Fletcher currently on HBO and the other night the Wipers’ song Is This Real? played over the credits! It was super random and I can’t believe it. But now I know of two instances of Wipers’ music on TV and film.