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Switchblade Sisters Review

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Lace, the leader of the title pack, meets a rival in Maggie, who catches the attention of Lace's dangerous lover. But when Dominic is offed as a result of a gang war, the pair have to pull together to avenge his death.

★★★★★

Since his days behind the Video Archives counter, Quentin Tarantino has been an admirer of the Jack Hill oeuvre. In the store he screened bootleg copies of Hill's 1975 opus Switchblade Sisters to his more discerning customers. By lending his name to this re-release, he is now doing the same thing, only on a larger scale. It's an appropriate move by Hollywood's coolest reader of Elmore Leonard prose.

Hill, following his success with blaxploitation favourites Coffy and Foxy Brown, lent his talent for trash-flash comedy action to this tale of chicks with flicks (knives that is). Lace (Lee) is the leader of the sisters, ruling a crew that comprises such characters as Patch (Gale) and Donut (Bruce). Lace is the main squeeze of tough guy Dominic (Asher Brauner) the main man in the Silver Daggers street gang. But the romantic staus quo is changed when newcomer Maggie (Nail) makes the scene and is soon turning big Dom's head. However, tensions between the Daggers and a rival gang, led by someone called Crabs (don't you just love these names?) leads to Dominic being offed down the local roller rink (it was the 70s remember). This leaves new girl Maggie - in an early and impressive display of Girl Power - to rally the girls, kick out the ineffectual guys, and overcome her problems with Lace.

Proto-feminist statement or simple variation on the gang movie genre? More the latter to be honest, despite some nice touches by veteran Hill and a general campy approach that does its best to cover over the cracks in the rather limited performances. Like most things that fall over into the ever expanding trap of 70s revivalism, it's kitsch and it's fun but in a rather restricted way.

Like most things that fall over into the ever expanding trap of 70s revivalism, it's kitsch and it's fun but in a rather restricted way.

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