Inspired in part by Sydney nurse Anita Cobby, who was gang raped, tortured and murdered by five men who kidnapped her as she waited for a bus to take her home late one night, The Boys takes the viewer into the world of a violent and dysfunctional family controlled by the intelligent, malevolent, violent, and manipulative eldest son.
After being released from a twelve-month prison sentence, Brett Sprague returns to his mother's suburban Sydney home and the tension within the family rises almost immediately. His mother tries to keep the peace, only to see her three sons turn on her new boyfriend. The narrative climaxes when after eighteen hours of drinking and fighting, the boys go out and cruise the streets, looking for trouble. It is then that they see a girl waiting for a bus on her own.[Source: Australian Screen]
'Lauded by many as one of the most powerful Australian films made in the past 20 years, Rowan Woods' stunning debut feature The Boys touched off a storm of media controversy upon its release in 1998.
'The film evoked vivid memories of the 1986 rape and murder of a young Sydney woman named Anita Cobby. Although Woods' film was fictional, The Boys remains inextricably connected to its real-life counterpart in the minds of many viewers.
'But that connection is only part of the story behind the making of The Boys. In this thoughtful and thought-provoking essay, Andrew Frost contextualises the major thematic concerns of the film into the broader context of social anxieties about violence, crime and morality.
'Frost chronicles his own personal journey with the film and its makers from art school to the underground Super 8 filmmaking scene of Sydney in the mid-1980s, from the early short films of director Woods to the multiple award-winning The Boys. Frost discovers new aspects of The Boys even today and wonders if its stinging moral message has been heard among the clamour of everyday suburban life.' (From the publisher's website.)