MOVIE REVIEW: TIMES SQUARE-1980
Filmed entirely on the streets of a pre-Disney owned Times Square, Pammy Pearl(Trini Alvarado) is a sheltered, depressed rich girl who's young widowed father is famous politician. Nikki Marotta (Robin Johnson) is a troubled, orphaned runaway living on the streets on New York. Nikki also happens to be a budding punk rock singer/guitarist. They meet for the first time in a psychiatric hospital, Nikki being placed there by the state...Pammy being placed there by her father. Nikki encourages Pammy to put her fears aside and escape from the hospital with her to live on the streets in the Big Apple. In the meantime, Pammy has been sending her poetry/cries for help to local radio DJ Johnny LaGuardia (Rocky Horror Picture Show's Tim Curry) who reads her letters over the air. Pammy's aka "Zombie Girl" letters instantly become a beacon of light for the misunderstood youth of NYC and this makes her sort of an underground star. Nikki teaches Pammy how to survive on the streets. They take up refuge in an abandoned building. The girls make a living by conning, begging, and Pammy dancing totally clothed in a strip club (yeah right huh) owned by Roberto (the late great Miguel Pinero). Pammy's distraught dad enlists the help of social workers and doctors to help him in the search for his missing daughter. The plot thickens when Pammy and Nikki, now going by the name of "The Sleaze Sisters", bombard the radio station and demand that their song be played live on air. This move turns the girls into a modern-day version of Bonnie and Clyde and kids all over NYC begin to act and dress exactly like them. They further solidify their "bad-girl" image by stealing TV sets and hurling them off tall buildings. At this point Pammy is missing her dad and would like to go home but is afraid of leaving the on the surface stronger Nikki alone. Pammy quickly finds out how unpredictable Nikki can be and she finally heads home. She returns to Times Square to find Nikki with her dad's blessing (smart move Dad). Pammy and Nikki then stage an outdoor concert in the heart of Times Square with the help of Johnny LaGuardia. Pammy does not perform because she knows Nikki is the real star and being a rock star was not her actual aspiration. The fans of The Sleaze Sisters venture out in droves wearing black garbage bags and black eye makeup in a show of solidarity to their sheros.
Great time capsule of a grittier NYC before the big cleanup to turn the city into the family friendly place it is known as today. Both young actors did a great job of the sometimes ridiculous plot of the film. Robin Johnson was awesome and so sexy as the boyish Nikki Marotta. I'm sure the original concept of the film was the two girls were lovers but no lesbian scenes were in the film (BOOO!!). It is alluded to but never played out. Poor editing jobs also plague the film. In the beginning of the film both characters had longer hair, towards the end of the film both girl's hair was much shorter. I'm sure those scenes were left on the cutting room floor (no pun intended). Another notable fact was the cameo by the late great co-creator of the Nuyorican Poets Cafe, Miguel Pinero. But I must emphasize the genius of the soundtrack for this film. I was so blown away by the music for this film. Heavy hitters such as Roxy Music, The Ramones, Suzi Quattro, The Pretenders, The Talking Heads, Joe Jackson....WOW! This soundtrack totally kicks ass but was never re-released on cd (Fatwa!). It can be found on vinyl, but who in the Sam hell still has a record player? They should really consider a remaster of the soundtrack. Poor editing and no re-release of the soundtrack aside, I totally enjoyed this film!
VERDICT: 3 Soul Claps
Labels: Movie Reviews