It’s been a big weekend for Keanu fans. John Wick 4 just came out and folks are having a lot of fun with it. Since I saw John Wick earlier this week I decided to dig into my physical media inbox and find a Keanu flick new to me. What I found was Brotherhood of Justice (1986) on DVD. I’m pretty sure this is one of my cheap eBay finds, but could have been a thrift store.
This made for TV movie starts off feeling like an after school special, but quickly escalates. The rich white boys of the football team attending a troubled school hear one of their principal’s speeches as a call to action and decide to form a vigilante group dedicated to cleaning things up.
What starts as immature hijinks turns to real violence as members of the brotherhood are emboldened by their classmates reactions to them as heroes. Things spiral out of control as they threaten to target boys with earrings, Mexicans, and finally act on personal grievances.
It’s evidently based on real events in Texas according to a 1986 article in the Los Angeles Times. An excerpt:
Armed with 30 guns, including a .357 Magnum, an HK-91 assault rifle and a homemade rocket launcher, the legion broke into lockers, firebombed a car, beat up homosexuals, painted swastikas and neo-Nazi slogans on school walls, hurled Molotov cocktails at a suspected vandal’s house and repeatedly taunted neighborhood blacks with crude racial epithets.
The TV movie is more about boys getting out of control, but the reality is a lot more sinister. And oddly enough it doesn’t seem far-fetched for something that might happen today. Texas, a place I hope to never return to.
What was cool though was seeing the fresh faces of many well known actors: a young pre Point Break preppy Keanu Reeves, a pre Full House feathered hair Lori Loughlin, and a pre Lost Boys teenage Kiefer Sutherland. Even a young Billy Zane is present. The member of the cast most surprising to me though was Charles Martinet - the famed voice of Super Mario!