Blu-ray Review: Switchblade Sisters (1975)

June 5, 2021

Written by DanXIII

Daniel XIII; the result of an arcane ritual involving a King Diamond album, a box of Count Chocula, and a copy of Swank magazine, is a screenwriter, director, producer, actor, artist, and reviewer of fright flicks…Who hates ya baby?

Transfer student Maggie (Joanne Nail) finds herself at a high school ruled by the Silver Daggers, and their female counterparts, the Dagger Debs. Luckily for her, she’s no slouch with deadly weapons, and she soon finds herself in the good graces of the Deb’s leader, Lace (Big Bad Mama‘s Robbie Lee), and after the whole gaggle of them are sprung from Juvey, Maggie begins hanging with the Debs full time.
Things go just swell until the leader of the Daggers, Dominic (Asher Brauner) starts having the hot n’ hornies for Mags. This goes over like a fart in church with Patch (Monica Gayle), the one-eyed second-in-command, and she begins lighting a fire under Lace’s ass to get Maggie out of the picture.
With all of this in-fighting going on, how will the Daggers and Debs have time to put the kibosh on the machinations of Crabs (Chase Newhart), a socially conscious young man… that just so happens to get down on their luck kids addicted to drugs for his own ill-gotten gains… who is well on his way to muscling in on the Daggers turf, when he and his cronies get transferred to the gang’s high school as well?
What can I say about Jack Hill’s Switchblade Sisters that can do it justice? If you took a ’50s juvenile delinquent flick, mixed n’ matched elements of the blaxploitation and women-in-prison genres, and maybe chuck in a car armored up into tank fuckin’ status and a roller rink set massacre… you’d wager you’d have a cinematic barf plop on your hands, but under the capable auspices of Hill’s guidance this flick becomes one of the best gosh-fuckin’-damned exploitation flicks ever committed to celluloid.  Plus you have a young Bob Pinciotti struttin’ around looking like goddamned ’80s era Glenn Danzig…
Along with all that, you have a great cast full of kick-ass ladies with the above mentioned with Nail, Lee, and Gayle (admittedly her serpentine performance as the near-Shakespearean… think Othello‘s Iago character of ‘Patch’ was my personal fav) making for a terrific trio that are amazingly watchable and believable, even though they exist in a deliriously fever-dream universe of near cartoon proportions.
Adding to the overall experience, our putrid pals at Arrow Video (along with MVD Entertainment) have included a host of extra features on this disc sure to… stick a shiv in your interest bone… what the fuck am I even typing?!!
Anyway, bonus features… this mother fucker has ’em!
Included are: a fantastic audio commentary courtesy of cult historians/critics Samm Deighan & Kat Ellinger that is the usual blend of friendly conversation and anecdotes, along with a comprehensive look at the film’s themes and lasting impact, an archival documentary looking back at the film’s production, an archival piece featuring Hill and filmmaker Elijah Drenner revisiting the locations of Switchblade Sisters, a duo of archival interview segments (one featuring Hill and Nail, the other with Hill, Nail, and Lee), a collection of trailers from across Hill’s oeuvre (including two for the feature at hand), and a host of image galleries (featuring artwork that reveals that Switchblade Sisters was marketed as a sequel to 1979’s The Warriors because… yabba dabba fuck yeah!)
Bottom line: if you’ve never seen Switchblade Sisters you’ve been missing out on one hell of an exploitation goldmine, and if you have seen it, it’s high time your ass watches it again, ya dig?!!

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