''Slacker'' is a cult film. It was meant to play special theaters and in this instance, it is. It is showing at the Charles.
The film, written, produced and directed by Richard Linklater, is a "chain" comedy in which the cameras introduce us to one character, who, in turn, meets another, who, in turn, becomes the focal character.
For a time, the film just bores, then as we get used to the format, it begins to entertain. This enchantment lasts for a time, then the movie begins to bore again, primarily because the characters are boring.
''Slacker'' doesn't mean to glorify its subjects. It is telling us, by its very title, that these are largely useless people, characters who spend most of their time avoiding any kind of responsibility as they live off the land and others.
Many are, in the word of the street, "crazies." One man tells strangers not to follow him when no one is, another persuades a friend to dump a typewriter in the river in a show of protest, and another is an authority on the Kennedy assassination theories.
When an older man says, ''We have our share of crazies in this town,'' you can believe him.
''Slacker'' will play through next Thursday at the Charles. It's a little like spending 97 minutes on 42nd Street when 20 minutes are enough.
''Slacker'' ** Assorted street people in Cincinnati.
CAST: Richard Linklater, Rudy Basquez, Jean Caffeine
DIRECTOR: Richard Linklater
RUNNING TIME: 97 minutes