Before the 90s brought us movies like True Romance, Natural Born Killers, and SFW, the 1985 film The Boys Next Door featured a couple on a journey of chaos and murder. Only this couple was two guys!
Riddled with homophobia (and racism), The Boys Next Door is not actually about two anti-gay teens; it’s about one self-loathing gay dude who takes his repressed feelings out on every guy he can’t have and every woman who looks at the guy he wants. And there’s no one prettier to play the part than Maxwell Caulfield. He looks even better in this film than he did in Grease 2 and his performance is great. And Charlie Sheen as his sidekick is…that dude from Two and a Half Men just a lot younger….
Right after graduation, these two high school teens take a road trip that quickly escalates into a trail of crime and eventually murder. Charlie is really just out for a thrill ride, but Maxwell is messed in the head.
Even for its time, The Boys Next Door isn’t so subtle in its exploration of homosexuality. The first signs are Maxwell’s disgust with an effeminate speaking dude in class who wants to be a modern dancer. Then Maxwell considers joining the military (because that will make a real man out of him). Then he tells Charlie there’s “stuff” inside him that makes him really angry (that would be the juice he’s saving up for Charlie’s corn hole). And when a chick calls Maxwell a queer, he shows her a thing or two by making her take a ride on his big…car.
Yet Maxwell and Charlie end up in a gay bar! Maxwell goes berserk when some other dude touches him, so a nice chap they befriend takes them to his place. It doesn’t end well for this poor gay dude. At this point, Charlie tells Maxwell he doesn’t want to sound like a fag, but Maxwell is his best friend and he’s worried. He should be, because Maxwell proceeds to rip a chick right off his dick and kill her!
While The Boys Next Door is violent, it’s tame compared to modern movies. Much like films that would come after it, each kill scene comes complete with a heavy metal or punk rock song. Talk about being ahead of its time! The awesome soundtrack includes tracks by Iggy Pop, The Cramps, power pop band Code Blue, and Great White.
That’s just part of what makes The Boys of Summer 80s awesome. Aside from Maxwell, Charlie, and the song list, there’s a small appearance by Moon Unit Zappa. But more importantly, there’s a fricking Grease 2 reunion! Well, sort of. T-Bird Goose plays one of the detectives trying to track down the boys, but right up until the shocking ending, Michael Carrington and Goose never cross paths.