Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Tim Curry & Trini Alverado in Times Square (1980)

Obscurity factor: 5

I was at a friends house a few weeks ago, watching Blank City a new documentary about the No Wave movement in film in the late 70's and early 80's in New York's east village neighborhood. It was a gritty, dangerous time to live in New York and that area was one of the worst parts of the city. Also called the Cinema of Transgression, No Wave had its roots in punk and the films that came out of the movement were dark, edgy and had a nothing-to-lose quality to them. They reminded me of this film.
It's about two misfit girls (Trini Alverado and Robin Johnson) who find each other in a hospital, run away and become media darlings by bucking the establishment. They call themselves the Sleez Sisters and go around dumping television sets off of roofs and performing punk music. They're championed by disc jockey Johnny LaGuardia (Tim Curry) who promotes their activities and builds up their cult image. Times Square, in all it's dirty, neglected glory is the setting for their greatest success - an outlaw concert from the roof of a building.

This is one of those films that has a robust cult following. It's particularly resonant in the gay community because of the lesbian overtones in the girl's relationship. It's rarely, if ever screened on TV now, and the 2000 DVD release is no longer in production, leading to prices for it on Amazon rocketing above $100. It's not currently to be found on either. There are some random scenes available on YouTube, but the entire film hasn't been uploaded. The trailer is above, uploaded by TrailerFood. The poster above is available from

Obscurity factor: 5 (Cult classic, extremely hard to find now, largely unknown outside of its cult audience)


  1. Oh, I have a VHS of "Times Square" and have found them for $2.00 in thrift shops or discount stores -- to this day. And I have a machine that will transfer these old VHS to DVD. Not that it would be top quality, nevertheless, cheaper than $100.00

  2. Yes, indeed. You should dub it off to DVD and sell it on You could make some money!

  3. The full movie is now viewable on Youtube. Search under Times Square (1980) and you'll find it.