- Directors: Christopher Cain
- Producers: Christopher Cain, Joe Roth
- Writers: John Fusco
- Genres: Action, Comedy, Crime, Thriller, Western
- Actors: Emilio Estevez, Kiefer Sutherland, Lou Diamond Phillips, Charlie Sheen, Dermot Mulroney, Casey Siemaszko, Jack Palance, Terence Stamp, Terry O Quinn
John Tunstall, an educated Englishman and cattle rancher in Lincoln County, New Mexico, hires wayward young gun men to live and work on his ranch. Tunstall’s ranch is in heavy competition with another well-connected rancher named Murphy and their men clash on a regular basis. Tunstall recruits Billy and tensions escalate into the murder of Tunstall. Billy (Estevez), Doc (Sutherland), Chavez (Phillips), Dick (Sheen), Dirty Steve (Mulroney), and Charlie (Siemaszko), consult their lawyer friend Alex who manages to get them deputized and given warrants for the arrest of Murphy’s murderous henchmen.
Billy quickly challenges Dick’s authority as leader of the group, vowing revenge to Murphy and the men responsible for killing Tunstall. The men call themselves “The Regulators” and begin to kill many of the men they are charged with arresting, most of them by Billy’s own hand. The men are stripped of their newly-found badges, which they find out about by reading a newspaper. That same paper also confuses Dick for Billy, showing a picture of Dick labeled “Billy the Kid”, a nickname to which Billy takes an immediate liking.
While the local authorities begin their hunt for Billy and the boys, The Regulators argue amongst each other whether to continue with their warrants or to go on the run. One of the men on their list of warrants tracks them down, barricades himself in an outhouse, and an intense shootout begins that ends up killing Dick. Billy appoints himself as the new leader of the group. The gang becomes famous and the U.S. Army are brought into the arena, charged with bringing them to justice under Murphy’s corrupt political influence.
The film was followed by its sequel, Young Guns II, in 1990.