In the 1980s, Penelope Spheeris made two moody features about youth angst and alienation.

The first, Suburbia (aka The Wild Side), is a drama about angry kids who cut their hair (in lieu of growing it long) and live in abandoned rat-infested crash pads. The film concerns the clash between a group of punkers and their enraged neighbors. Some humor is submerged within a conventional morality tale about punkers who are saddled with a murder they didn't commit.

The film tries to make a statement while wallowing in random violence and maudlin sentiment. Framed by the death of two children, Suburbia is a heavy-handed, purposefully repellent film about how America destroys its youth. Spheeris sympathizes with the rejected childen, putting the blame for their mischief on society.