You never know what's going to arrive from Netflix. Thinking Punk Rock was a cheesy exploitation quickie that would offer a glimpse into the New York punk mindset ca. 1977, I put it in the queue.
Turns out this Punk Rock is a porn-noir that also uses footage from another Punk Rock (no info on the director of the latter epic).
This mangy little flick has a slightly better than threadbare plot involving an ex-cop turned private eye who is trying to find a runaway teen and discover who murdered his partner. For once, there is not too much plot getting in the way of the story, and the sex scenes are such that too much plot getting in the way of them is no big deal either.
The extended music footage is the real bargain here. Some of the absolute worst rock and roll ever committed is on tap from The Fast, The Squirrels and a leather and bondage group trying hard to be a combination of James Chance and the Contortions and "Venus In Furs."
And failing, quite spectacularly.
We're talking gnarly 1970s sex scenes. Unconvincing stabbings. Atrocious outer borough accents. The Squirrels, looking like Exiles From Ziggy Stardust Street. Pay phones. Allegedly hard-boiled voice-over narration, sounding like a over-medicated person reading Charles Bukowski through a straw. Utterly worthless. One half coil.
Punk Rock is a two-fer with Pleasure Palace, a heart-warming tale of how two entrepreneurs, fleeing the corruption of the big city, buy a brothel from a guy in Connecticut.
They can't believe how cheap they're getting the business, but they find out a few sex scenes later. The Mob wants in.
We're talking gnarly 1970s sex scenes. Unconvincing shootings. Atrocious outer borough accents. Pat Benatar lookalike hookers. Large American cars. Sheriff with robin's egg blue cowboy hat. Completely without redeeming virtue of any kind. One coil (extra half coil for no Squirrel music).
This DVD is the only thing from the auteur available from Netflix, who apparently believe that such titles as Tied, Tickled and Trampled, Down in Dorothy's Dungeon and The Painful World of Moose Malloy would not be popular.
Also worth noting is that Mr. Stevens used a variety of pseudonyms, or noms de smarm: Herman Braille, Edna St. George, Steven Guano and Studs Looper are the standouts.