The year was 1988, hormones were raging in my household due to the fact that my sisters were 16 and 14 respectively, and I was a horrifyingly mature 10-year-old. This was, as you can imagine, a very Young Guns-friendly recipe, so we watched the hot young men on horses a lot. Like... A LOT. Occasionally, on our way out of the house, we'd say: "Gentlemen, let's ride." (I'm not even joking.) So, without further ado? Gentlemen! Let's ride!
1. Lou Diamond Phillips is a Filipino-American. In La Bamba, Lou Diamond Phillips played Hispanic-American singer, Richie Valens. InYoung Guns, Lou Diamond Phillips plays a half Native, half Mexican-American named (oh, Jesus) Chavez y Chavez.
Lou Diamond Philips, everyone! If you're light brown, he can play you!
2. I forgot the guy that (possibly, maybe, probably) raped Corey Haim was in this. I feel unfiltered rage every time his face is on screen. Which is a shame, because in 1988, he was probably my favorite thing in this.
Yeah. Let that sink in. What an absolute piece of shit Charlie Sheen turned out to be.
3. John Tunstall (Terence Stamp, in what I'm sure was one of his most prestigious roles #sarcasm) and Doc (Keifer Sutherland) get Billy (Emilio Estevez) out of a spot of bother downtown, and take him back to Tunstall's Random Ass Home For Boys [TM]. Tunstall describes the young men that live on his farm thusly: "They are the dregs. The flotsam and jetsam of frontier society, if you will."
Pretty sure John Tunstall is a sexual predator.
4. The young men refer to themselves as "regulators" because they "regulate any stealing of [Tunstall's] property."
"Mr. Tunstall's got a soft-spot for runaways," Charlie (Casey Siemaszko) tells Billy. Oh, I bet he fuckin' does...
5. Tunstall chastises this group of young men (who all look at least 24) at the dinner table, refers to them as "boys" all the time, and forces them to take it in turns reading aloud after dinner. (Not a euphemism.)
6. Murphy (Jack Palance) and his men show up, accusing the regulators of theft and talking a bunch about "beef contracts."
Wait. There are too many hats and chaps... Is "beef contract" a euphemism? I can't even tell.
7. Burning Man people would love all these fucking saddle bags. Let 'em loose in the wardrobe department and they'd be like:
8. "He ain't all there, is he?" Dirty Steve (Dermot Mulroney) says about Billy, for the second time in 10 minutes. "He's there enough to be dancing with a pretty girl," Charlie says, "while we're sitting around here pulling on our tallywackers." TALLYWACKERS! Someone needs to bring that back immediately! Preferably as a collective noun though, e.g."Look at that tallywacker of douchebags!"
See? Totally works.
9. Doc approaches Murphy and asks if he might dance with Yen Sun (Alice Carter) -- the Geisha lady accessory Murphy has allowed to stand next to him. Murphy says yes on her behalf because Asian women do not speak and are totally content with that whole thing. See?
10. Billy and Pat Garrett meet at the dance. There is no reason for their introduction and no conversation takes place. Couldn't you have thought of a better way to work this in, Young Guns?
11. Yen says Murphy is her guardian. Doc's friend Alex informs him that actually, Yen was taken from a laundry joint after her mother ruined one of Murphy's shirts. "He took the celestial woman's daughter as payment," Alex says. "She's house entertainment, as I understand it." All Asian women are sex workers or laundry attendants.
(I'm not even gonna get into that "celestial woman" comment...)
12. The fake punch sounds in this movie are a real treat:
13. Tunstall gets murdered by Murphy and co on the way home from the party, because the gang are off chasing pheasants. ("Boys will be boys," he says. Ew.) Then the "boys" all get deputized because the Sheriff is too lovie-dovie with Murphy to bother seeking justice for Tunstall.
14. Billy kills a dude named Henry Hill, even though he was only supposed to arrest him. Chavez calls Billy a "chivato" which he does repeatedly for the rest of the movie. According to Google, "Chivato" means rat or traitor. With that in mind, most of the times Chavez says this word, it makes zero sense in the context of them being "PALS." But it sounds Mexican-y, so cool. UGH.
15. Doc sees Yen in the street and approaches her, all sweet, talking about being a poet and offering her flowers. When she keeps walking, he gets really mad, screams "STOP!" really loudly and tells her to take a message to Murphy that "regulators are going to clean house... They can't own us the way they own a little China girl -- for the price of a shirt."
You're a fuckin' asshole, Doc. Let it be noted that, in modern day America, Doc would be all of the Nice Guys in this excellent SNL skit:
16. Regulators kill a bunch of people, Doc looks sad, the newspapers talk about it, blah, blah, blah. The gang can't figure out a safe direction to travel in, SO THEN THIS HAPPENS:
I know in the grand scheme of things, this scene is very, very far from being the worst thing white people have done to Native Americans, but Jesus... it's... not good. It's definitely, definitely not good.
17. Everyone is tripping. Most of them do something funny ("Did you see the size of that chicken?!" is literally the best line in Dermot Mulroney's entire career.) Not Doc though. Doc talks about flowers and butterflies in a slowed down, deep version of Keifer Sutherland's voice. (The end result, it turns out, is basically Donald Sutherland's voice. Huh.) Either way, Doc is fucking insufferable.
19. Chavez wants to go West to start a family because he is the last of his tribe. So Billy declares that Chavez doesn't "understand the meaning of the word pals. See, you've got yourself three or four good pals, you've got yourself a tribe... You walk away from us, you break our sacred hoop."
This is why everyone hates white people.
20. Meanwhile, Doc has ridden back to town to pick up bandages for his shot hand. While there, he decides instead to break into Yen's bedroom, shove his leather-gloved hand over her mouth and scare the shit out of her. Because: romance. Amiright, ladies?
21. Doc asks Yen if she wants to go with him and she responds by saying: "In China, girls are not necessary." (They're not really in this movie either, sweetheart -- you're apparently the only one in town, for starters.) "When we have floods, fathers let the girl babies wash by. My benefactor has made me necessary."
Asian women are grateful to be subjugated, everyone.
22. "I keep the flowers that you offered me inside my head," Yen tells Doc, "inside my heart. Often you come in and ask me to dance, and I say 'Yes'." Do you, darlin'? Cause I watched that scene about 30 minutes ago and you didn't get to talk at all.
23. Doc touches Yen's face (leather glove is STILL on). Yen: "No! I am unclean! It's not for a young man." (Fucking WHAT??) Doc: "Yen, I used to ride with the Dirty Underwear Gang out of Liberty, Missoura..." The dialogue between these two is so unintentionally hilarious, I just choked on a pita chip.
24. Anything involving stunt horses falling over upsets me a great deal.
25. Billy kills the Sheriff, so the regulators become actual proper fugitives from the law, as well as being on the run from Murphy's men. PLOT.
26. The gang meets up with Alex and his wife. (Remember them? One is a man with dialogue; the other is a woman with a shawl.) Doc asks Alex "I wonder if you remember that China doll? At the dance?" CHINA DOLL because: Asian women are not human women. Fuck you, Doc. Fuck you in the eye.
And, while we're at it, fuck you too, David Bowie.
27. This thing is soundtracked like the plane scenes from Top Gun. Thank Christ they got Jon Bon Jovi involved for Young Guns II. "Blaze of Glory" was a winner. ("I'm a devil on the run! A six gun lover! A candle in the wind! Yeah!")
28. The gang gets to the edge of Mexico, Charlie places a coat on a (silent, of course) woman's shoulders and literally two seconds later, someone shouts: "Charlie's getting married!" Seriously? SERIOUSLY?! If you give a woman your coat when she's cold, you own her forever.
29. Pat Garrett shows up and tells Billy that Alex and his shawl model are in danger and the regulators need to help them get to the border. They do this (including Charlie, who leaves his wife of 5 minutes with the immortal words: "It ain't easy having pals." NO, CHARLIE.) When they get to his house, turns out Alex wants nothing to do with it -- "I'm sick. I can't go to Old Mexico." (They say "OLD Mexico" because they're in NEW Mexico. Get it? Imagine how annoying Breaking Bad would be if they did this type of thing...)
30. Alex's house is quickly surrounded on all sides with people who want to kill them all. "I think the word you got was a trick to get us all in the same place," Alex says. No shit, Sherlock! Much shooting ensues, yadda, yadda, yadda.
31. Sad harmonica music starts so everyone is obviously about to die.
32. Murphy arrives and Yen makes a run for it INTO THE HOUSE THAT EVERYONE IS SHOOTING INTO. Sacrificing your life for a man you've met twice is totes noble.
Also, the people that wrote this script don't know how women behave. At all. Under any circumstances.
33. The troops set the house on fire, so Alex's wife starts GATHERING LETTERS. That thing I said at the end of 32.
34. "Yen. Go," says Doc, facing a certain fiery death.
"No. This is it. I'll stay," says Yen.
That thing I said at the end of 32.
35. The boys go out fighting. At one point, this involves Emilio Estevez popping out of a trunk, like a sexy lady in a giant birthday cake. But shootier.
36. Alex, Charlie and Dirty Steve die by an unnecessary amount of bullets.
Billy successfully kills Murphy, which is surprisingly satisfying.
37. Final character summaries are thus: Chavez "moved to California where he took work on a fruit ranch." Because: Mexican.
Doc "left the West for the East, taking with him a celestial bride, her mother and 14 brothers and sisters." (CELESTIAL.)
Billy the Kid "continued to ride, never leaving New Mexico. He was caught in Fort Sumner by the Sheriff Pat Garrett and killed."
Only not according to Young Guns II that came out two years after this.