Let's take a step back for a second:
Imagine if this film were shot on 16mm and blown up to 35mm; if it had a 4:3 aspect ratio; if it had handheld camerawork. Imagine if this film had all of these elements and kept everything else the exact same, people would be losing their shit over it. The "gritty realism" would shine through - a proto-No Wave film.
Now, while none of that is there, it doesn't make a difference (for me) because the strength of storytelling is still there on the screen. The static camera (surely done for budgetary reasons) allows a calm before the storm once the brawls, a mishmash of images, collide across the screen.
And Diana Conti as Terry is close to the class of acting as vicious as Ann Savage in Detour.