DVD Review: Savage Sisters (1974) PDF Print E-mail
Written by The Projectionist   
Wednesday, 01 February 2012 21:37

Click to View Larger... Click to View Larger...Savage Sisters is another one of the fine exploitation cheapies made down in the Philippines in the 70s. Produced strictly for the grindhouses and drive-ins of the era, it has all the elements expected of films of this genre, save one. While violence, action, explosions and bad acting all came over on the boat intact, one element is missing... Nudity.

The storyline of "Savage Sisters" is as follows:
"A corrupt General plans on smuggling one million US dollars out of the Banana Republic he dominates. Local revolutionaries plan on stealing the cash but are thwarted when a bandit leader they are working with double crosses them. A tough cop and her boyfriend help two of the female revolutionaries escape from prison hoping that they will lead them to the cash, which they plan on keeping for themselves."

That's all there is. I'm pretty sure that's all the shooting script said too, as parts of the movie looks like they were made up as they went along.


Click to View Larger... Click to View Larger...SAVAGE SISTERS - Directed by Eddie Romero; screenplay by H. Franco Moon and Harry Corner; director of cinematography, Justo Paulino; film editor, Isagani V. Pastor; music composed and conducted by Bax; produced by John Ashley and Mr. Romero; released by American International Running time: 89 minutes. (Rated R)
Lynn Jackson . . . . . Gloria Hendry
Jo Turner . . . . . Cheri Caffaro
Mei Ling . . . . . Rosanna Ortiz
W. P. Billingsley . . . . . John Ashley

The DVD reviewed here seems to be one step above a DVD-R. As a matter of fact, the print used for the DVD was apparently taken from the cable network "FLIX" as right after the end credits, there is an ad for "Pumping Iron", with Arnold Schwarzenegger "coming up next on FLIX".

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The AIP Mark of Excellence. If you see this at the beginning of a movie, be afraid, be VERY afraid.

Two of the stars in the film were well known (at the time) queens of the 70's sexploitation and blaxploitation genres.

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Will somebody tell me how the fuck someone can be a "Special Guest Star" in a movie?

Cheri Caffaro was well known to white audiences as hard-assed and soft breasted "Ginger" in a trio of sexploitation masterpieces released during the early 70s.

Gloria Hendry was known to blaxploitation audiences for her roles in numerous popular black oriented films of the decade.

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Three Angels in Search of a Charlie

There were two posters used to advertise the movie. The general layout of the poster showed all 3 women in fighting poses. One, with Cheri Caffaro in the center position was used for predominantly white theaters, while the other poster had Gloria Hendry in the center position, to appeal to black audiences.

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Get a good look at Cheri's Chi-Chi's, because this is about as good as it gets in this movie...

Methods such as these were common during the grindhouse years. Today's narrowcasting cable channels had nothing on the exploitation peddlers during the 70s.

The lack of nudity in the film is surprising for the type of movie and the era when it was made. It was almost expected of a movie of this type to have multiple nude scenes and an occasional non-consnsual or uncomfortable sex scene or two. While the uncomfortable part made it, the nudity was left behind. It doesn't seem to be a victim of a heavy handed editors knife, as the actresses go out of their way to hide their charms behind handy objects, or hand and arm bras. Nothing wrong with that, (he said dissapointedly), but it is unusual for a film like this. There is a lot of side-boob action in the flick, but I'm betting they went through a shitload of double-sided tape during filming.

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Even when unconcious, the arm bra stays in place.

 One interesting tidbit is the background of the actor who plays the con man, W.P. Billingsley, John Ashley was known to American filmgoers as the co-star of multiple "Beach Blanket" movies. He played Frankie Avalon's best buddy in quite a few "beach movies".

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"Sorry pal, there's no "Big Kahuna" here. You must have the wrong number."

 When the acting roles dried up stateside, Ashley went to the Philipines and starred in and produced countless movies of the same type as "Sisters". He didn't seem top regret it either. In an interview, Ashley stated, "This is a terrible thing to admit, but maybe the key to my success with exploitation films is that I always LIKED those movies, and I never had any real reason to turn them down. I just enjoyed doing them."

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It's good to see Natalie got work after "The Facts of Life" was cancelled...

Later in his career, Ashley would return to the U.S. and produce popular television series, such as "The A-Team". (Ashley's voice can be heard as the narrator of the 1983-1986 episodes of the series.)

Another face that shows up in this gem should be well know to b-movie lovers. It's the ever popular and lovely Sid Haig.

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"Wait! Let me out of the truck! I still see some scenery over there that I haven't chewed!"

Sid Haig is one of those actors everyone has seen in a movie or television show at one time or the other, but probably couldn't name on a bet. Sid has been acting since the early 60s and is still around, acting mostly in cult and straight to video films. Modern lovers of low-brow cinema may recognize him as "Captain Spaulding" the killer clown from Rob Zombie's "House of 1000 Corpses", and the followup "The Devil's Rejects". Sid was a huge part of the 70s exploitation scene, appearing in seemingly every grindhouse flick made during the decade.

While nudity is sadly absent, sexual sadism still hung in there. One scene has the guards of the prison Caffaro is taken to threatening her with a good time, by using some type of studded attachment to a power drill.

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Black & Decker, exclusive sex toy supplier for the 1974 Ruling Junta

All in all, the movie isn't horrible. The print sucks, and the sound is horrible, but both those issues just bting back memories of watching these at the local grindhouse or drive-in theater. Byt the time these films got to the local venues they were just about worn out, and were in many case missing entire scenes.

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Bad Kitty! Bad!

I'm not going to supply a link to buy this DVD, I just can't bring myself to do it. You can find it at your local DVD store, (I found it at Half Price Books, a used bookstore chain.) If you find it, don't pay more than 3 or 4 bucks. I'm pretty sure this is not an authorized distribution of the film, as you just don't see the scene below follow the closing credits in an authorized production.

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"I close my eyes, and you put da steroids on da table, It's like we never did business!"


Last Updated on Wednesday, 01 February 2012 23:28

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