Once upon a time, Hollywood was good at co-opting and selling youth culture. When rock ‘n’ roll and biker gangs came along in the 1950s, the studios came up with generational totems like “Blackboard Jungle” and “The Wild Ones.” Beatlemania spawned “A Hard Days Night” and “Yellow Submarine,” while the hippies flocked to films like “The Graduate” and “Easy Rider.” Disco fueled “Saturday Night Fever” and hip-hop “Boyz n the Hood.”
Yet “Green Room,” the new survival-horror film about a touring punk band besieged by neo-Nazi skinheads, is notable for being the only commercially successful film to be specifically set in the punk subculture, despite coming some three decades after the heyday of hardcore. While the rock ‘n’ roll Hall of Fame is loaded with punk bands (The Clash, the Ramones, et al.) and the retro music docs are too numerous to count, punk left barely a ripple on the big screen.