Saturday, February 27, 2010


Tuff Turf Movie Review

WARNING: This movie is not horror, or even science fiction. I just felt like reviewing it--hey, it's my site. I can do that if I want to!

I remember that as a kid this 1984 film was one of my favorite movies. That said, I had not seen the movie for at least 20 years, so when I saw that Netflix had it, I had to put it in my queue. Morgan (James Spader of Less Than Zero) saves a man from a mugging. The next day, his first day at a new school, he sees that the thugs he saved the man from attend his school, and they are out for revenge. Morgan falls for the lead thug’s girlfriend Frankie (Kim Richards, Hello Larry, Black Snake Moan), only adding to the tension. I was afraid this would be like so many other films I watch for the first time in a long time: better in memory than actuality. While not quite the classic I remembered it being, I still enjoyed it quite a bit. The cast is pretty strong in this movie. Spader has been one of the most underrated actors in Hollywood for a very long time and he does a fine job here (though I always prefer him as a villain). A very young Robert Downey Jr. has a supporting role as Jimmy, a drummer in a rock band and Morgan’s only friend. Richards and Olivia Barash bring the 80’s hotness as the tough girls who fall for Morgan and Jimmy. At least two scenes could have been cut from this film, but their inclusion are an 80’s staple (a couple dance scenes that add nothing to the movie) so I guess on those grounds they can be forgiven. Also worth notice is the soundtrack, which, other than Jack Mack songs, is pretty solid, especially the Jim Carroll band stuff (and Carroll himself appears in the film as the lead singer of Jimmy’s band). You will also notice a couple of scenes that would be ripped off very closely mimicked in movies that came out in the years following this. This is not a great movie by any stretch (the directing and editing really makes you wonder at times), but I love it for what it is and recommend it, especially for any Spader or Downey fans.

On A Scale Of One To Ten: 7

Tuff Turf Movie Trailer


  1. Thanks for the very good review of this B-movie that at times is so bad it is good, and at other times it is really good. Spader and Downey are definitely the reason to watch this they were both so young and so obviously talented. I am so glad that Downey has finally gotten his due, and can only hope that Spader at some point will loose the "most underrated" moniker and be recognized for being the fine and gifted actor he is.

  2. Thank you for your comment! I'm glad you enjoyed my review. I am hoping to have more of these rare 80's gems on here in the future.