Kids of the Black Hole

Suburbia

Penelope Spheeris, US, 1983, 35mm, 94 min.

Following her gritty exposé of the L.A. punk scene, The Decline of Western Civilization, Penelope Spheeris created a fictionalized account of young, wayward punk rockers. An abandoned house is home to “The Rejected” – runaways who have fled family abuse and a society that has no use for them. Ensconced in a life of drugs, thievery and punk rock, “The Rejected” kids embody the punk nihilism that served as a counterview to the affluent yuppie culture of 1980s America. Featuring a cast of non-actors, including Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist Flea, Suburbia is a disturbing portrait of reckless kids forging a community of cast-offs.

About Kids in the Black Hole
Teen rebellion has always been a favorite topic of movies, from James Dean in Rebel Without a Cause to the hippie delinquents in Riot on the Sunset Strip. By the late 1970s, with the counterculture baby-boomer generation moving comfortably into adulthood, a new crop of angry youngsters was taking the stage. Fueled by punk rock and heavy metal, these kids emerged from their subterranean, black light poster-covered bedrooms to cause real damage. With shaved heads, dyed hair, torn jeans and a penchant for spiked jewelry, these wayward youth succumbed to the paranoia and depression of Cold War-era America led by Ronald Reagan. The five films in this series offer a glimpse of every parent’s nightmare – pure anarchy with none of the sentimental charm of John Hughes or the hopefulness of John Cusack comedies. Watch your back because “a kid who tells on another kid is a dead kid.”