DVD Review: Switchblade Sisters (1975) PDF Print E-mail
Written by The Projectionist   
Monday, 25 July 2011 19:41

Switchblade_Sisters_Poster Switchblade_Sisters_PosterSwitchblade Sisters was a 1975 Chixploitation movie that didn't do well during its initial release. It went into the drive-ins and grindhouses for a week, sold some popcorn, and immediately went on the 2nd and 3rd feature circuit. One person who didn't overlook it was Quentin Tarantino. Tarantino is on record as saying Switchblade Sisters is one of his all time favorite movies. He grabbed the rights to the movie and re-released it to the theaters in limited distribution a few years back. He has also released it on DVD on his "Rolling Thunder Pictures" label. The DVD reviewed here is the "Rolling Thunder" release.

lace lace

The Switchblade Sisters revolves around "The Dagger Debs" an all-girl gang led with teeth baring intensity by "Lace" (Robbie Lee), the baddest meanest female gang leader since Black Canary was in charge of the Justice League. It's a good thing she's tough, because she dresses like a disco band reject, and when she bears her teeth she looks like an angry beaver, plus when she talks it's like being threatened by Rainbow Brite talking through clenched teeth.

Lace and her gang of distaff toughs create havoc wherever they go. The film is set in a definite ghetto atmosphere, but every gang member is white as Wonder Bread. Some "diversity" is added later in the movie when the Debs team up with an all black girl gang who run their gang according to the teaching of Chairman Mao. (I couldn't make this shit up if I tried.)

maggie maggieAfter rolling a bill collector, the "ladies" make their way over to the local burger stand where the boy gang allied with the Debs, (The Silver Daggers,) are waiting for them. There, they meet the new girl in the neighborhood, Maggie (Joanne Nail).

patch patchWhen a fight lands the group in jail for the night, Maggie rescue's Lace from a hassle, and Maggie becomes Lace's new BFF, but "Patch", (Monica Gayle,) begins planting seeds of doubt about the new chick to try and plant a wedge between Lace and Maggie. It's Othello remade for the 70s.

Dominic, the leader of The Silver Daggers, and Lace's luvah(!), likes what he sees, and later in the film imposes himself sexually on Maggie, she initially resists, then of course, succumbs to his considerable charms.

Maggie is assigned my Dominic to steal a medallion worn by the rival gangs leader, Crabs, who judging by his nifty duds, apparently either was a protege of Elton John, or recently graduated from circus college. Maggie seduces him, grabs the medallion, and runs like hell. Lace, with encouragement from Patch, begins to be suspicious of Maggie's motives. She tells Dominic that she's pregnant, hoping he'll be happy and marry her, he instead tells her to "take care of it".

the_circus_is_in_town the_circus_is_in_townThe movie climaxes in a out and out war between the gangs, ending in death for most of the rival gang members. Patch executes Crabs before he can blurt that it was her that was working behind the scenes to set Maggie and Lace up for the final fight scene between them.

The fight between Maggie and Lace ends in death, i won't say who's left standing, but I will say at least we don't have to listen to Rainbow Brite talk tough anymore.

The movie is fun to ridicule b ut that's part of the fun. If it was a masterpiece everyone loved it wouldn't be reviewed on this site. Thehe writing isn't bad, and the actors for the most part are talented. Sure, there are some overwrought readings from some of the cast, mostly Lace, but it just adds to the fun. I enjoyed the movie, it was a good use of an hour and a half. Don't watch it if you have something else you'd rather do, but it's a good time killer for a lazy weekend afternoon. Or, if you're unemployed, you've got plenty  of time on your hands, so watch it twice. Once as a straight viewing, and another with the commentary track turned on.

The commentary is by Quentin Tarantino and Jack Hill. Quentin is the proverbial fanboy on the track, bowing to one of his influences, Jack Hill. They both have some interesting comments and info about the film, it's worth watching with the commentary turned up.

The DVD doesn't have a huge amount of special features. It has a trailer for another Jack Hill film, and also includes a film Mr. Hill made while attending UCLA. It also has a Tarantino introduction to the film, and another clip that acts as a follow up.

Switchblade Sisters is worth a purchase, it can usually be picked up for 10 or so bucks, a cheap evenings entertainment.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 02 August 2011 18:27

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