Switchblade Sisters Reviews
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.)
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.
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 fight scenes are decent, and all the girls are very beautiful. Acting is decent with the exception of a few.
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.
(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