Kids of the Black Hole

Times Square

Allan Moyle, US, 1980, 35mm, 110 min.

A drama from the era before the “Disneyfication” of New York City’s Times Square, when the neighborhood was an infamous red light district with sex and drugs lurking around every corner. When prominent city commissioner David Pearl vows to clean up Times Square, he irks the charismatic radio DJ Johnny LaGuardia (Tim Curry), who broadcasts from a studio that overlooks the titular neighborhood. Meanwhile David’s daughter is forced to enter a mental health facility for evaluation. She meets rebellious rocker Nicky, who ends up breaking her out of the hospital in a stolen ambulance. On the run and causing chaos, the girls become the Sleez Sisters, a punk band that catches the attention of LaGuardia. He eventually broadcasts their defiant anthem live on WJAD. With a soundtrack that features some of the key punk and new wave acts of the 1980s, Times Square is a girl power manifesto that prefigures the Riot Grrrl movement by almost a decade.

About Kids of 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.”