Switchblade Sisters - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Switchblade Sisters Reviews

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October 10, 2015
Switchblade Sisters is a conglomeration of every B movie trope from the 70s. The cops and authority figures are all corrupt. The actresses all talk with the same cadence trying to sound tough. There are 3 gun battles that would make national news if they went on. There are even the Black female revolutionaries with their red books and guns. It was fun, stupid, and over the top. Keep special attention to the wardrobe. The story takes place over 3 weeks and they all wear the same outfits all the time.
April 24, 2015
"You can beat us, chain us, lock us up. But we're gonna be back, understand? And when we do, cop, you better keep your ass off our turf, or we'll BLOW IT OFF! Ya dig? We're Jezebels, cop - remember that name. We'll be back!" Switchblade Sister Maggie (Joanne Nail) screams at a policeman. She is covered in blood, the survivor of a knife fight in which the other participant wasn't so lucky. She is perhaps too hysterical to realize that she's most likely going to die in prison - but it makes for a hell of a closing statement, and this film is all about statements, for crying out loud.
This rabid speech falls at the end of "Switchblade Sisters", coming in the wake of gang wars, rapes, roller rink shoot-outs, and gory revenge. For a sleazy Throwback Thursday, it's a deliciously laughable nightmare of low-budget tackiness; for an exploitation flick, it's a slow day. Certainly, it's an awful movie - all exploitation movies are awful, in fluctuating colors and shades, to be fair - but I can't say that "Switchblade Sisters" is in the same category of delectable trash like "Danger: Diabolik" or "Coffy". It's just plain bad (though not in the ways most movies are).
It follows Maggie, the new bad girl in town who joins the Dagger Debs after a violent meeting. The bond between Maggie and her cohorts grows tight in a snap, post-arrests and all, but things get messy rather quickly. The leader of the pack's (Robbie Lee) boyfriend (Asher Brauner) rapes Maggie, causing tension, and a rival group viciously attacks the Debs and their male duplicants seemingly out of nowhere. But who cares about plot here?
"Switchblade Sisters" is a gut-busting assortment of atrocious writing, poor acting, and dreadful directing; but all those things are charms rather than obstacles. There's something stinkingly entertaining found in the one-liners ("Freeze, greaseball!"), the way the majority of the actresses like to speak through their gritted, yellowed teeth, how Jack Hill injects tacky life into even the most putrid of scenes. These aren't the reasons why "Switchblade Sisters" is a bad movie; it's bad because of its all too commonplace unseemliness.
It touches on issues like gang rape and murder and sexism and miscarriage, but the tendency to only prick each item as a sort of prelude to the eventual bloody retribution is disconcerting. I'm not saying that bringing up these controversies is an unheard of thing; I'm saying that in a film as campy as "Switchblade Sisters", topics so heavy can destroy a lovably shabby aesthetic. Most of the film is spent wounding itself - there is a simply godawful scene in which a traitor is tortured with a daringly placed cigarette - but it has its moments, even if the bad ones aren't so forgivable.
The attractiveness of "Switchblade Sisters" is, ironically enough, purely accidental. It means to be badass, but the film is better when it's attempting to be serious and ends up going down the shitter. It's hard not to laugh at the actors, all of whom are so horrible it's as though they're trying to memorize their lines as they're reciting them, and it's difficult not to make fun of the "inadvertent" instances of nudity (the irresistible prison fight with the butch warden contains some ridiculous boob flashes that are more hilarious than titillating). "Switchblade Sisters" is pretty bad, but at least it's fun bad. The exploitation boom in the 1970s remains to be one of the best (and worst) eras in cinema; this film isn't a good example of one, but there's no denying how iconic it is in its vortex. (Funny, though, how the title of the film is never actually said in the film.)
½ March 19, 2015
Not too bad with a surprising amount of action near the end, but it's a fairly generic exploitation movie.
January 29, 2015
An absolute masterpiece. Entertaining from start to finish. The scene in the roller disco is the greatest moment in the history of cinema.
September 27, 2014
It's cheesy, it's over-the-top but somehow not fun.
August 17, 2014
Great Exploitation movie. Dialogue is brilliant, two lead characters are well casted and the action scenes bring suspense. The story was pretty well written, with a gang of girls and their relationship that is rare to see on film. A must see Jack Hill movie.
January 19, 2014
My Favorite Action Film Is 1988's Die Hard.
June 18, 2013
It's true that Switchblade Sisters is one of the better exploitation movies from the era, but I don't agree that it's all good fun. There are things in this movie that made me cringe, such as the lead actress. It's like they hired the most annoying little girl they could find for the part. The rest of the cast is more of the same. I'm not sure why I took such a dislike to the film, but it's probably to do with that. The dialogue is often grating as well. The film picks up in the second half when things really heat up, and the film ends very well. I liked the movie overall despite my dislike for things about it, I suppose, but not enough to warrant recommending it to anybody. I'm sure that exploitation fans will probably get more out of it than I did.
April 15, 2013
Add this one to the list of Jack Hill classics. It's a story of Shakespearean proportions, and entertaining from the dope opening credit sequence to the unforgettable closing dialogue.
When you meet the gang in this picture, (initially dubbed the Debs,) you think they're about do some Robin Hood type stuff. But, when they rob a sleazy landlord, they don't return the money he just took from a tenant in great need. They buy cheeseburgers. This is the way of the Sisters.
With the exception of a couple duds, (one chick actually looks into the camera lens when exiting a scene,) the cast is bad-ass. Shooting must have gone somewhat in sequence. Robbie Lee, who plays the leader of the Debs, starts off a little shaky, and ends up giving a teeth-gnashing performance that is memorable and endearing.
Spectacular bit-players too. Watch for "Mom," who takes a plunger to the face, and Mr. Clutch, whose classroom is run by the Debs.
There's a rape scene in this thing that one might call...controversial. But the movie has heart, the likes of which rarely beats in the crap that rolls out of Hollywood.
Look, it's got a homemade tank in it. See it.
January 22, 2013
another one of Jack Hill's classic femmes that kick ass flicks... and like most of them, this one is exceptionally good fun. Don't be surprised when you find yourself actually caring about some of the characters!
January 21, 2013
Exploitation cinema at its very best.#
½ September 1, 2012
if yuo close your eyes on bad acting , it's actually a lot of fun. a tru B movie
½ June 18, 2012
I discovered this exploitation film on the THIS channel. The acting was so substandard that perhaps if I watch it a few more times I can have some good MST3K-esque riffs prepared.
June 17, 2012
Pretty cool movie very occult ^.^
½ May 4, 2012
Jack Hill has a great talent of making strong women in the 70s even when he is exploiting them. Switchblade Sisters is probably one of the best girl gang movies out there & I love it every time I watch it. Very happy that Tarantino gave this movie a 2nd life some 20 years after it's initial release. To be quite truthful Jack Hill should be more revered in the annals of film making right behind Roger Corman. Even though many consider Drive-In flix fodder more then anything else Hill almost always breaks that mold w/ strong characters & sharp writing but always staying true to the genre. These girls are badass w/out being stereotypical. Violence can be empowering if taken w/ the right subtext
April 18, 2012
If Quentin Tarantino says it's good, I definitley want to see that movie.
March 22, 2012
Y'know what? This is actually pretty fuckin' good. I mean: make no mistake, it is what it is, okay? Just look at the poster. But for what it is, this thing pretty much does everything right. It's got switchblades and fights and boobs and rollerskates. Comedy and drama. Love and loss. A chick with an eye patch. I mean, seriously.
½ December 20, 2011
I can't say its a good movie...But I also have to recommend it. it's a lot of fun, even though it has dismal acting/directing/writing. I enjoyed watching it immensely.
November 9, 2011
This really didn't do much for me. I admire Jack Hill's attempt at making a more meaningful film than just a T& A exploitation flik. However, I just didn't think its Shakespearean themes meshed well with the hammy dialogue and absurd street life scenarios. Also, I really don't like Robbie Lee. She talks between her teeth. Ugh!
Super Reviewer
November 8, 2011
Your typical 70s exploitation film about an all-girl gang who goes to war with not only a rival gang, but themselves as well.

The Good:
The fight scenes are decent, and all the girls are very beautiful. Acting is decent with the exception of a few.

The Bad:
As you can expect from a 70s exploitation flick, the story is boring and most of the characters are forgettable. Robbie Lee, I can't say she is a bad actor, but she has a very different kind of acting style that you either love or hate.

Acting: 6/10
Story: 5/10
Originality: 5/10
Soundtrack: 6/10
Characters: 8/10
Overall: 6.5/10

(The following is my Review for the fappers 18+):
There was no nudity except for a quick boob shot, but all the girls are very beautiful, especially the two main girls, Lace (Robbie Lee) and Maggie (Joanne Nail). I thought Lace was super pretty, especially her face and eyes. Maggie is your classic blonde girl from the 70s. There are some nice cat-fight scenes and a semi-rape scene with good moaning but not much skin.

Fap Rating: 7/10
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