Monday, April 27, 2015

SWITCHBLADE SISTERS (1975)

A gang of 30-year-old high schoolers is split (for some reason) along sexual orientation.  The males are called "the Silver Daggers" and the females "the Dagger Debs".  Despite the two names they are actually one group and even have a rival enemy gang that's lead by a dude named Crabs.  As the film opens, a new girl, named Maggie, shows up on the Dagger turf.  She's initiated into the gang but soon causes a lovers quarrel between the gang leader Dominic and his main squeeze Lace.  Maggie isn't interested in Dominic, but after he does a little romantic raping she ends up liking him. (What the fuck is up with movies and this whole "Now that you've forced your boner into me, I suddenly realize that 'I love you!'" phenomenon???  I've seen this situation in a number of movies over the years.  If this was somehow true then Oz would have been the most romantic show on television!)

Anyway, the Daggers have all kinds of internal and external problems, including a shootout at a roller rink, a drive-by, a power struggle, a kidnapping, a gang-rape, a girl wants a double cheeseburger with some french fries and a coleslaw and doesn't get it.  That sounds eventful but yet somehow this film never once fully grabbed my attention.  Right off the bat you can tell that the production values are low and even worse: all of the "exploitation" aspects are done off camera or half-assed.  The violence is below TV level, there's only a few lightning quick (and poorly shot) moments of nudity, no sex shown, the female jail scene was beyond weak, the black power gang was wimpy, the rollerskating was boring, only a couple of references to drugs and the knife fights were laughable.  I've seen more brutal knife kills on Battlefield.

Yet, somehow, SWITCHBLADE SISTERS seems to be highly regarded and well-liked.  I didn't dislike the film, I just found it to be nowhere as entertaining as I had hoped it would be. I did get a couple of good unintentional giggles out of it.  Director/writer Jack Hill is capable of making an entertaining movie (I really enjoyed PIT STOP) but SS just wasn't my cup of tea.  Who knows, maybe you'll like it better.