Monday, January 10, 2022
THE CROSS AND THE SWITCHBLADE (1970)
It might be due to the brain injury I got from an especially evil goat kicking me in my handsome brain six hundred threescore-and-six times when I was a baby lying in a manger, but I thought TCATS (meow) was a good film. It’s obviously low-budget and the acting isn't that great and the story is goddamn ridiculous, but as far as entertainment goes...THE CROSS AND THE SWITCHBLADE fucking delivers! Steady pace, passable acting, vintage cars, interesting old clothing...including some random dancing dude wearing a shirt with a giant swastika on it, a fair amount of drug use, police showing up within seconds of fights breaking out, enjoyably funky music, completely un-PC as fuck ethnic slurs, zonked out hippies, some dude getting tossed into an open grave, hilarious dialogue ("...you say you want me to love them honkys? Yeah, man, I'm gonna love 'em. I'm gonna love 'em with a sharp blade!"), multiple references to prostitution, cool old NYC locations.
In the right state of mind, THE CROSS AND THE SWITCHBLADE is a blast. I loved how arrogant Boone's character was and how pathetic the gangbangers were. I think I was rolling my eyes and smiling the entire movie. The only real disappointment I had was the big salvation scene at the end just wasn't epic or cheesy enough. I was really hoping for an orgy of sinners having complete mental breakdowns while screaming "Why? Why? Why?" with a waterfall of tears flowing down their cheeks, but sadly, Boone's big sermon was weak and the resulting salvations were unconvincing.
Poorly written snarky commentary aside, THE CROSS AND THE SWITCHBLADE is a solid 6 out of 10. The racist language is offensive, but other than that it's harmless enough and an important historical look at when Christian Cinema moved away from Biblical epics like THE TEN COMMANDMENTS or BEN-HUR and more into films carrying the express purpose of communicating a Christian message.
I'd totally be down to watch it again.
Posted by Dymon Enlow