Bad/Awesome Flixxx Review: Tuff Turf (1985)

"Mm-hmm. So did that girl he brought home for Easter last year. Remember? She was so stoned, all she could do was look at the peas and say, 'Wow, they're so green!'" - Page Hiller

"Oh yeah, if I ever catch you near Frankie again, I'll take you out so fast, you won't even have time to spit." - Nick

"How many bullets are left in this gun, Nick? Enough for Morgan? For my father? For everybody else who doesn't fit in your turf?" - Frankie

This flick was suggested a while back by my friend Robyn. I had heard of it but had never seen it. Boy was I missing out. These type of 80s high school revenge flicks are always up my alley. Starring James Spader, Robert Downey Jr., Kim Richards, and with a musical performance by Jim Carroll Band (with Robert Downey playing drums no less!!) I present to you TUFF TURF!!! 

So this flick is basically about Morgan Hiller (Spader). He's just moved to a southern California town from Connecticut where his father has lost his job. In Connecticut the Hiller's were well to do, but since the cut, things are different. No more private school for Morgan who's been in and out of trouble all of his 17 years much like any rich folks I've ever known growing up. Especially ones who live in the shadow of older siblings. This seems to be part of the drama that makes Morgan the obstinate and stubborn teenager that he seems to be. When our story begins Morgan is riding his bike around his new town. Cut to Frankie (Kim Richards) flirting with some dude and asking him for some money. This schmo probably thought he was gonna get laid as he pulls out a money clip fat with cash, but in reality he's about to get robbed by Frankie's punk boyfriend Nick and his boys. And that's what would have happened if Morgan hadn't ridden by and pulled some fast moves on them rescuing homeboy's loot. And pissing off the gang. 
The next day is the first day of Morgan's senior year in public school. He gets hassled by the school cops for riding his bike. He goes to the office to register after being clocked in the parking lot by Nick and his gang who hang out and wait for him (all day?) to whoop his ass after school. Robert D. Jr plays Jimmy, a dude who hears about Nick's proposed ambush and hits up his friend "Feather" for her "blade". After already getting chewed out by the principal, Morgan receives the switchblade from Jimmy who sits behind him in class for protection. "YOU GOT- THE SWITCHBLADE". (That's a Legend of Zelda joke folks. Ill be here all week.) Jimmy then invites Morgan to come see his band that night. Apparently he plays drums for The Jim Carroll Band. I love that song "People Who Died". It says my name in it. Anyway, in the parking lot Nick is riding around on Morgan's bike with Frankie on the handlebars. Morgan goes to get it, but is almost hit by a badass '68 Camaro which totally runs over his bike totally crushing it. BUMMER. 
He walks his bike home, gets yelled at by his mom (that bike cost $500) and then he bails to see the Jim Carroll Band. On the way there he steals a convertible Porsche because he lives on the edge. He hangs with the band, talks briefly with Jim Carroll who gives him guitar tips, and then proceeds to mack on Frankie because again- he likes to play with fire. He grabs her and forces her to dance with him. The gang arrives and beats his ass and takes the keys to what they assume is his Porsche and then joyride it around town only to be stopped and thrown in jail for grand theft auto. Then Jimmy steals the 68 Camaro and tricks Morgan into thinking he's the goons. They joyride it while Nick is jail and even trick Frankie and her friend. They cruise Beverly Hills and sneak into a bougie country club party, eat a ton of killer food and then when the band takes a break, Morgan jumps on the piano and sings Frankie a jam. They get kicked out and Frankie starts to fall for Morgan and takes him dancing. Nick hears about this bullshit and tells his boys to get Morgan. They beat the shit out of him with padlocks in the locker room, but undeterred Morgan sneaks in Frankie's window the next night asking her to have dinner with his folks the next night. He has to bail quick though because Nick busts into her room after telling Frankie's father that they're getting married (unbeknownst to Frankie). 
Morgan is pissed about this supposed "engagement" but Frankie assures him she'll still come to dinner. She does and then bails because she feels like scum compared to them and is embarrassed when Mrs. Hiller asks her about her mother who is dead. Meanwhile the whole dinner is being spied on by Nick and the boys. Nick and the boys cruise around getting drunk and pick up Frankie. They see a cabbie and tell Frankie to ask the driver for money by trading a watch. She sees the cabbie is Morgan's dad, and says she won't do it. Nick says fuck it and they get ready to beat his ass. Frankie tries to warn him, and the old man holds up pretty good until Nick pulls a gun and shoots him! WHOA! GONE TOO FAR DUDE! Frankie totally feels like a piece of crap now and when Morgan comes to see his dad at the hospital she's goes back home with him and bangs him. The next day Nick comes to Frankie's dad's liquor store and beats her and her dad up and makes her call Morgan and invite him to a fight at the warehouse. Morgan goes at them all guns blazing with a goddamn fireman's axe and some Doberman pinchers. I could tell you the end, but if you dig the story so far, you should just go ahead and watch this one. Enjoy! 

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Gerald Abernethy