TIMES SQUARE -- At 14 area theaters.
With "Times Square," producer Robert Stigwood makes another cinematic bombardment on rock, and the fallout nearly demolishes New York City as well.
You remember Stigwood, the Rupert Murdoch of pop culture who gave us "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" and "Moment by Moment," and who'd commission a soundtrack album for his own funeral if he could but find a way. This time, he gives us a punk's-eye view of New York as experienced by two teenagers on the lam from a psychiatric ward.
Nicky Marotta (played with hysterical machismo by Robin Johnson) meets Pamela Pearl (a more sedate Trini Alvarado) at a hospital where they await a battery of tests. We know what Nicky's problem is: She bashed up a sports car in response to a request toturn down her amplifier. Pamela's trouble is more elusive; all we ever discover is that she shakes a lot and carries a torch for deejay Johnny LaGuardia (Tim Curry).
After making a getaway in an ambulance, the girls hole up in an abandoned warehouse, try their hand at mugging and three-card monte and communicate their dissatisfaction with society through the auspices of LaGuardia. Eventually, Pamela becomes a club dancer and Nicky is hired to screech with a rock group called the Blondells, but not before we see interminable close-ups of the lips and pyorrheal gums of Curry, which qualities help make him a cult hero in "The Rocky Horror Picture Show."
Before Nicky returns to her life as punk at large and Pamela to the tolerant arms of her father, they become quite famous in adolescent Gotham. They set a fashion of wearing garbage bags for blouses; they drop television sets from the roofs of high buildings; they record two hit tunes as the Sleez Sisters.
There's a lot of great rock music playing in the background while all this goes on, though it has no connection to the movie other than to make up a two-record soundtrack LP. The only really bad sounds occur when Nicky sings "I'm a Damn Dog." Truth in lyrics does not a rock tune make.
The press material for "Times Square" explains that the producers are trying to focus "on today's alienated teenagers, the adolescents who never expect to live to be 21." With more films like this one, that could be a self-fulfilling prophecy.