Kids (1995) from Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy; Greg Wroblewski) and Tuna

This is another in the line of those shaky hand-held camera, cinema verite films about urban street life. It attempts to create the feel of a documentary. Some critics said this frank slice-of-life film was the ultimate summary of the anomie of 1990's urban youth.
The essence of the film is brutally, sensationally honest dialogue. Teenaged boys talk about sex and their girlfriends. Then the filmmaker looks at the simultaneous discussion being held by the teenaged girls that they sleep with. The lack of understanding between them generates some humor, and pointedly demonstrates all the time that they have spent having sex without ever talking to one another.

It's an amoral world, dominated by Telly, who looks and talks like the ultimate geek-boy, but whose completely amoral and relentless pursuit of virgins gives his life its only source of amusement. And he doesn't care about the girls afterward, or about any other non-virgins. He's ready to move on to the next virgin. This is his immortality. All these girls will remember him because he was the first.


There are a few shots of the tops of guys butts, but no major nudity.

At the end of the movie Chloe Sevigny is seen without her underpants, but in light so dark that nothing is visible without major light adjustments.

And this sexual practice relieves him of the obligation to use a hated condom. After all, what could be safer sex than sleeping only with virgins.

The innocent in this world is Jennie (Chloe Sevigny in her screen debut - 21 years old but playing five years younger). Jennie only had sex once - with Telly, of course. She accompanies her friend to a clinic for an HIV test. The camera switches from her interview and physical to her friends. Jennie tells of her nearly complete inexperience. Her friend is seen casually reeling off her list of experiences, including unprotected anal sex with multiple strangers. Cut to the results. The high-risk friend is OK. Jennie is HIV-positive.

Obviously she thinks she contracted it from Telly, but there is no explanation of how Telly contracted HIV. Obviously there must have been a flaw in his virgins-only strategy.

The rest of the movie is spent watching Jennie search the streets of New York for Telly, for reasons the filmmaker doesn't share with us. To warn him? To cuss him out? To warn the latest girl/victim? We don't know. She finally finds him too late, asleep at a party in the arms of another deflowered maiden.

Jennie is exhausted from her long search, so she wanders into the living room to sleep on the couch, where Telly's drugged-up friend finds her, and screws her senseless while she's 95% asleep.

End of film.

I appear to be in the minority on this one, but I was bored stiff. I guess I'm too jaded to be shocked by the sensationalism that fascinated some people, and I found absolutely nothing in the experiences of the characters that I didn't already know, so what was there to hold my interest? I agree it was honest, but so what? Ralph Nader is honest, and I don't want to watch him for two hours. D or worse.

DVD info from Amazon.

Bare bones. No features at all, except the trailer and chapter selection.

Tuna's comments in yellow:

Kids (1995) is one of those films I really wish I hadn't watched. As a matter of fact, I wish it hadn't been made. Not only is the subject thoroughly depressing and disgusting, but the cinema verite style looks its worst throughout, the actors al talk at once (maybe that isn't so bad considering the garbage they are spewing), and I think this is my first F of the year.

Leo Fitzpatrick is a New York inner-city high school punk. When he is not too busy smoking dope, getting drunk, beating people up, shop lifting and stealing from his mother, his real thing is deflowering 13 year old virgins. When he takes their virginity, he leaves something in its place -- AIDS. None of his friends are any better, and all of the girls are so starved for what they think is affection that they are easy prey.

The Critics Vote ...

  • General consensus: Better than three stars. Ebert 3.5/4, Berardinelli 3.5/4, Apollo 70/100. Critics loved the sense of honesty and immediacy. All the actors were virtual unknowns, which added to the impression of reality.


The People Vote ...

  • With their votes ... IMDB summary: IMDb voters score it 6.3 out of 10, Apollo voters score it 79/100. It was most popular with IMDB voters under 18 of both sexes, but scored pretty well with male audiences in all age groups.
  • With their dollars ... It did OK. Not a megahit, but it was profitable. Made for a budget of $1.5 million, it grossed $7 million domestically, and another $7 million internationally.

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