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Suburbia (1983)

Cast: Bill Coyne, Bill Coyne, Chris Pederson, more...
Director: Penelope Spheeris, Penelope Spheeris
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Studio: New Concorde
Genre: Drama, Coming of Age
Running Time: 95 min.
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This title is currently out of print.

Following up her critically acclaimed documentary The Decline of Western Civilization, Penelope Spheeris made this gritty drama her first feature-film outing. Bill Coyne stars as Evan Johnson, an angst-ridden kid living in L.A., who bands together with a group of other young societal rejects and immerses himself in the mid-'80s punk rock scene. Most of the cast was comprised of actual teenagers off the streets of Los Angeles. Among them is Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist Flea. Suburbia is also known as The Wild Side and Rebel Streets, and should not be confused with the 1996 Richard Linklater film of the same name. ~ Matthew Tobey, All Movie Guide

Special Features:

  • Director's Commentary
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • Cast Biographies

GreenCine Member Reviews

"Punksploitation"? by wweaver November 19, 2004 - 7:48 PM PST
3 out of 5 members found this review helpful
As a youngin' getting into Punk in the early 1980's, when I first saw a review of this movie and the accompanying still photo of a mohican-sporting child riding a big wheel (in Time magazine if memory serves - maybe that should have been a red flag, but I was young and I digress...) I thought "this I gotta see"! My punk leaning friends in the mid-80's told me "Suburbia is awesome! You've got to see it."

Fast forward nearly 20 years. Upon discovering GreenCine and spotting this movie whilst looking for films from my decades-long mental "must see" list, towards the top of the queue "Suburbia" went.

In a word, ouch. In more words: Stilted dialogue. Wooden "acting", if you can call it that. Gratuitous female nudity (I had forgotten what that was). The crane shot at the end. Good Lord, what a train wreck.

On the positive side, Penelope Spheeris went on to do some decent stuff, so good for her, eh? (And maybe she started doing good stuff, if only "Decline 1" would get re-released - been waiting for that one too, or so I think...). Flea was in it. A couple of people from "Another State of Mind" appeared as well.

Maybe if I had seen this film in the '80's, I would still have fond memories of it. Today though, I'd have to rank it a close 2nd to the "Punk Rock" episode of Quincy, M.E. in terms of cheese.

GreenCine Member Rating

(Average 6.53)
79 Votes
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