TUFF TURF (1985)

(Prime/hoopla/tubi/VOD) A quintessential mid-80s high school film where the teachers fear the students, but a new pupil has come to town to set them straight. TUFF TURF features a pre-PRETTY IN PINK James Spader as the new stranger at school, Kim Richards as the gang leader’s girlfriend who Spader has designs on, and a pre-LESS THAN ZERO Robert Downey Jr. as Spader’s over-eager new friend.

TUFF TURF is directed by Fritz Kiersch, best known for helming the first CHILDREN OF THE CORN, which may explain why the film is surprisingly violent, especially the elaborate final confrontation. While the combination of wooing, dance scenes, and vicious beatdowns does feel a bit jarring, it results in a rather winsome little film. It helps that the soundtrack features a healthy dose of The Jim Carroll Band.