Philadelphia Inquirer, The (PA) - January 30, 1984

Author: Rick Lyman, Inquirer Movie Critic

It's being sold as one of a new breed of urban thrillers , motorcycle vigilantes with a new-wave twist.

But Young Warriors is a stranger mutt than that - a loony revenge drama about Malibu frat boys taking armed forays into L.A.'s barrio to dispense a little justice and wreak a little vengeance.

A troupe of undistinguished and indistinguishable blond surf boys is supported by a cast of weary has-beens, and the whole mess is dedicated, so help me, to director King Vidor, "for his encouragement." It's like dedicating Smokey and the Bandit III to the memory of Ernst Lubitsch.

The movie starts with our four sandy-haired frat brothers tormenting a new crop of pledges at a rush party. We bear witness to several good-natured pranks - including one involving shaving cream, a block of ice and an olive that I don't think I'll ever be able to forget - and all seems to be going quite well.

But meanwhile, the teeny-bopper sister of one of the frat boys is driving home from her first formal dance. Her boyfriend's a nice sort of lug, also blond. Out of the darkness, comes an evil-looking van with a death skull painted on the side.

Before you can say Death Wish, the boyfriend is dead, the car is aflame and the girl is being stripped and abused. She stays alive long enough for her brother, Kevin, to come see her in the hospital. I'll get those guys, he vows. I'll make them pay.

Kevin's father, Ernest Borgnine, is a homicide detective. Let the cops handle it, he says. His mother, Lynda Day George, says listen to your father. His father's partner, Richard Roundtree, says listen to your mother. But Kevin just can't be restrained. Justice must be done.

Pretty soon he has got his frat brothers armed to the teeth. This is explained by having one of them, a rich doctor's son, give a lot of money to another one, an ROTC student, to bribe an Army supply sergeant. Yeah, sure.

They get in Kevin's snazzy Jeep and come down out of their safe Malibu
hills into the nether regions of the barrio. The reason they know where to look for the black van is that they've gone back to the scene of the crime and found a matchbook that the police overlooked. Sure. Whatever you say.

Kevin, meanwhile, is getting wackier by the minute. He starts to like blowing people away. And he won't even stop when one of his frat brothers gets his throat slit by the bad guys.

His girlfriend, Lucy (Anne Lockhart), puts on her negligee and shimmies around, begging Kevin to calm down and put his bitterness behind him. But he just can't. He's too worked up. Am I going crazy, he asks?

Meanwhile, everybody hanging out in the barrio turns out to be just as healthy-looking as the frat boys, maybe slightly scruffier. Most of them are blond, too. What is this, a Swedish barrio?

This is one of those movies where a dozen or so corporations have paid the producers to get their products on screen, including Coors, Schlitz and Jack

At the climactic shoot-out at a barrio cantina there's a Jack Daniels sign about two-stories tall and two or three neon Coors lights. Kevin sprays the place with enough bullets to arm a Central American death squad for a month. People go flying through the air, windows smash, bottles shatter. But none of those beer or liquor signs falls down or go out.

These guys may not know how to make a movie, but they sure know where their bread is buttered.


Produced by Victoria Paige Meyerink, directed by Lawrence D. Foldes, written by Lawrence D. Foldes and Russell W. Colgin, music by Rob Walsh, and distributed by Cannon Releasing; running time, 1 hour, 37 mins. *

Kevin - James Van Patten

Lt. Carrigan - Ernest Borgnine

Lucy - Anne Lockhart

Sgt. Austin - Richard Roundtree

Prof. Hoover - Dick Shawn

Beverly - Lynda Day George

Parents' guide: R (violence, nudity, obscenity)


Philadelphia Daily News (PA) - February 1, 1984

Author: JOE BALTAKE, Daily News Movie Reviewer

"Young Warriors." A drama starring James Van Patten, Anne Lockhart, Ernest
Borgnine, Richard Roundtree and Lynda Day George. Directed by Lawrence D. Foldes from an original script by Foldes and Russell W. Colgin. Photographed by Mac Ahlberg. Edited by Ted Nicolaou. Music by Rob Walsh. Running Time: 103 minutes. A Cannon Films release. In area theaters.

"Mortuary." A thriller starring Mary McDonough, Christopher George and Lynda Day George. Directed by Howard Avedis from an original screenplay by Avedis and Marlene Schmidt. Photographed by Gary Graver. Edited by Stanford C. Allen. Music by John Cavacas. Running Time: 91 minutes. An Artists Releasing Corp. release. In area theaters.

This week's bottom-of-the-barrel movie entries - sleazoid flicks guaranteed to revolt any civilized moviegoer - cannibalize everything from "Death Wish" to "Pyscho." And for better or worse, they also provide us with a sort of mini Lynda Day George Film Festival.

In "Young Warriors," a young woman is gang-raped and murdered by a bunch of roughnecks. Her brother (James Van Patten) enlists the help of his fraternity buddies to hunt down the street scum.

While they're at it, they decide to root out other killers and, if possible, interrupt other street crimes in progress. Kevin - that's the boy's name - does all of this without the permission of his police-officer father (Ernest Borgnine) or his mother (Lynda Day George) who insists that skull- crashing is the job of the police.

Before long, Kevin and his chums are dressed in military camouflage uniforms and carrying weapons of all sorts as they stumble onto crimes and whip the daylights out of the subhumans committing them.

"Young Warriors" is a half-hearted, simple-minded tribute to vigilantism, telling us that violent sex and brutality are not nice, while wallowing in both. You'll need to empty out your brain cells to make any sense out of this kind of misguided logic.

In "Mortuary," a clone of Norman Bates - named Paul Andrews (and played by Bill Paxton) - is terrorizing Small Town, U.S.A. with the embalming fluid
from his mortician-father's lab (workshop?). This unbalanced kid gets a kick out of extracting life juices from people while they're still warm.

Naturally, he comes from a bad home. His daddy (the late Christopher George in one of his last film roles) is heavily into black midnight chants, satanism and things that go bump in the night.

Like other films of this ilk ("Halloween," etc.), "Mortuary" finds true weirdness at the heart of Midwest normalcy. Its "suspense" revolves around Paxton's sick obsession with a sweet girl-next-door type (Mary McDonough of ''The Waltons") and around her deadly involvement with the father-son mortician team. Lynda Day plays the girl's mother, who may or may not be in on the weirdness.

**SINGLEG* Parental Guide: Both are rated R for language and violence.

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