This 1984 film written and directed by Penelope Spheeris, who also made The Decline of Western Civilization series, was required viewing with the crew I hung out with in college. It tells the story of a host of misfit punk rocker kids, cast out of society for various reasons, and squatting together in abandoned houses. There are three things in particular that make this film worth watching. First, the actors playing the punks are really punks. They aren't professional actors, and it shows. In fact, Flea of The Red Hot Chili Peppers has a prominient role in it. Second, Roger Corman co-produced it so that ought to give you an indication of the film's quality level. Third, it features live performances by the k-rad punk bands D.I. and The Vandals. T.S.O.L. are also featured, but as the Meatmen song goes, T.S.O.L. Are Sissies.

The plot is not this movie's strong point. Neither is the acting, but I digress. Our story begins with the young Evan Johnson getting kicked out of his suburban home by his wicked mother. He grabs his younger brother, Ethan, and they hit the bricks. Before long, they are picked up by Jack Diddly, a hella cool punk rocker driving a shit mobile. They roll around town, stealing stuff out of people's open garages. Eventually, the roll over to the squat where the Johnson meet the rest of the T.R. gang.

T.R.? It means The Rejected. The T.R. kids all squat in a bunch of abandoned, condemned houses over by the interstate. There's drinking, drugs, sex, junk food, head shaving, and vermin. And when evening comes, it's time to check out some bands. The first band they go see is D.I., and the song played is Richard Hung Himself. Later, The Vandals sing The Legend of Pat Brown, a song about some punk kid that runs over cops and stuff. There's fighting, drugging of unsuspecting patrons, and moshing as one would expect at an early 1980s punk show.

That's really the long and the short of the plot. It sort of meanders around showing little scenes of these kids' lives and hints at why they choose a life of squalor over the dark vision of suburbia presented. The dragging pace drives home the point that most of the time these kids are terribly bored. One wonders what the point is and when it will finally end. That is, up until the end of the movie when something terrible happens -- a suicide/overdose. And then something else terrible happens -- a murder. Then it kind of hits you how tragic and senseless the lives of these kids truly are.

Chris Pedersen as Jack Diddley
Bill Coyne as Evan Johnson
Jennifer Clay as Sheila
Timothy O'Brien as Skinner
Wade Walston as Joe Schmo
Flea as Razzle
Maggie Ehrig as Mattie
Grant Miner as Keef
Christina Beck as T'resa
Andrew Pece as Ethan Johnson
Donald V. Allen as Officer William Rennard
Lee Frederick as Jim Tripplett
Jeff Prettyman as Bob Skokes
Dorlinda Griffin as Mother In Car
Robert Griffin as Baby
Donna Lamana as Tina Johnson
Anna Schoeller as Anna
André Boutilier as Peg Leg
Nicky Beat as Club Owner
Steve Bidrowski as Spotlight Operator
Julie Winchester as Sandy Dawson
John McCormack as Head Bouncer
Robert Lund as Bouncer
Rip Murray as Bouncer
Paul Votara as Doorman
Gavin Courtney as Joe's Father
Robert A. Van Senus as Father's Friend
De Waldron as De
Frank Gargani as Man In Truck
Jon Battenberg as Officer Richard Bates
Bob Ozman as Man In Garage
Larry Wiley as Camper Buyer
Marlena Brause as Tripplett's Wife
Patsy Coyne as Neighbor
Trisha Malin as Housewife
Elizabeth Ramirez as Maid
Ray Lykins as Hippie In Car
Ed Mertens as Policeman
Ladd Hitchens as Policeman
Gil Christner as Store Manager
J. Dinan Myrtetus as Sheila's Father
Ilene Latter as Sheila's Mother
Suzann Schott as Stripper
Ratley as Ratley
Drew Bernstein as Other T.R. Kid
Sean Boren as Other T.R. Kid
Bobbie Brat as Other T.R. Kid
Ed Brown as Other T.R. Kid
Cynthia Coleman as Other T.R. Kid
Kathleen Culverwell as Other T.R. Kid
Matt Davis as Other T.R. Kid
Rebecca Dorn as Other T.R. Kid
Mike 'Geek' Glass as Other T.R. Kid
Penny Harris as Other T.R. Kid
Larry Kelsey as Other T.R. Kid
Mitch King as Other T.R. Kid
Terri Kottica as Other T.R. Kid
Maynard Leigh as Other T.R. Kid
Meri Resovich as Other T.R. Kid
Gary Rivas as Other T.R. Kid
Scott Rosenthal as Other T.R. Kid
Vixen Yvonne as Other T.R. Kid
Mike 'Rooster' Montea as Other T.R. Kid
Barbara Doyle as Citizens Against Crime - Woman
Don Goodman as Citizens Against Crime - Man
Ray Lawrence as Citizens Against Crime - Man With Shotgun
Ricky Jewett as Citizens Against Crime - Wife
Ron Hugo as Citizens Against Crime - Pastor Farrell
Jerry Madison as Citizens Against Crime - Mr. Dawson
Arvid Holmberg as Citizens Against Crime - Man
James Harrison as Citizens Against Crime - Man
Casey Royer as D.I. - Vocals
Tim Maag as D.I. - Guitar
Derek O'Brian as D.I. - Drums
Jack Grisham as T.S.O.L. - Vocals
Ron Emory as T.S.O.L. - Guitar
Mike Roche as T.S.O.L. - Bass
Todd Barnes as T.S.O.L. - Drums
Greg Kuehn as T.S.O.L. - Keyboards
Steve O as The Vandals - Vocals
Jan Ackerman as The Vandals - Guitar
Joe Escalante as The Vandals - Drums (as Joseph Escalante)
Steve Pfauter as The Vandals - Bass
Herschel F. Rubin as Man In Truck (as Gary Calhoun)

Produced by
Roger Corman
Bert L. Dragin

Internet Movie Database, of course