Punk Rock (1977)

Somehow, some way, Carter Stevens’ Punk Rock is on Tubi, pornography without pornography, yet still appearing with sleaze and heart and story intact. Also known as Teenage Runaways, Stevens saw the success of Saturday Night Fever, knew punk was hot and went out and shot new scenes that replaced the penetration to get an R-rated version — the one I watched — in theaters.

With a soundtrack by Elda & The Stillettos, The Fast, The Spicy Bits and The Squirrels, this proves a lie to the VCA 90s era of porn that seemed hopelessly years behind the times. At this point, adult wasn’t reflecting the world, it was somehow a few moments ahead of the rest of the country.

Jimmy Dillinger (Wade Nichols) just saved a girl named Jenny (Susaye London) from a cult that turns their girls into prostitutes. He gets set up for a murder he didn’t commit, the crooks come back and get his girl. The cops — like inspector Joe Giovanni, played by a pre-jungle bound Robert Kerman — aren’t on his side either. But hey — he’s going to come out on top. And probably come on top, too.

Beyond the joy of finding this on a Fox-owned streaming site, Punk Rock gives you plenty of footage of Max’s Kansas City, lots of great pinball machines — really, the movie is filled with them — and footage of St. Mark’s when punk really was a real thing. There’s also a great soundtrack by The Squirrels, The Fast, The Spicy Bits and Elda & The Stillettos, who actually have a major role to play in the story.

Debbie Harry was originally in the Stilettos and Stevens wanted her for the film. Stevens told Cinedelphia Film Festival’s Andy Elijah how the movie was made, “I was living at the time with Honey Stevens, a hardcore punk who dragged me to every punk event in New York. I found the bands simply by sitting in Max’s. I picked three of the most different bands I could pick. I wanted a different look from each band. The Squirrels in their platform sneakers and school jackets, and then the Spicy Bits, a hardcore rock band, and then The Fast, the most well-known of the three.”

There’s also an awesome marquee for Coma and man, that made me happy.

Yes. You can really watch this on Tubi.

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