Sunday, March 29, 2009

Film Review: SWITCHBLADE SISTERS (1975, Jack Hill)

Stars: 5 of 5.
Running Time: 91 minutes.
Notable Cast or Crew: Director Jack Hill, auteur of COFFY, FOXY BROWN, SPIDER BABY, THE BIG DOLL HOUSE, and scads more of brilliant flicks, Robbie Lee, Joanne Nail, Monica Gayle.
Tag-lines: " They'd Rather Kill Their Man Than Lose Him."
Best one-liners: "Get your hands off me, you fat pig dyke!"

"I lost my eye for this gang!" SWITCHBLADE SISTERS is insanely awesome, it's awesomely insane, it's off its meds, it's off the chain, and, ya know what, it's swinging that chain in your face and then punchin' you in the mouth. And then it's laughing about it. It's OTHELLO meets TEENAGE GANG DEBS meets ROCK 'N ROLL HIGH SCHOOL at the drive-in. But wait, it really is OTHELLO. The girl with the eye-patch is Iago! Lace is Othello! That guy Dominic is Desdemona?! Yes! That's amazing.

It's so over-the-top, one might mistake it as manufactured by Italians, a Spaghetti girl-gang film, if you will. Well, Jack Hill's layin' it out, and lettin' those Italians know they're not the only ones that can do operatic genre films well.

But then we got dopes askin' questions like, "If the gangs are powerful enough to make the school principal kowtow to their every whim, why do they even still go to school?" Or "Why is the opposing gang about as fearsome as the school newspaper staff?- wait, I think they ARE they school newspaper staff!" Well, this movie takes your dumb questions like that, tells ya to 'Cool it,' 'beat it,' and 'shove it,' punches you in the guts, slices your face, and screams 'Can ya dig it, chippy?!'

I believe Chekhov put it best: 'If in the first act you present a pile of empty cardboard boxes in the girl-gang hideout, in the last act, someone must be karate-kicked through said pile of boxes.' Here, let me give you girls five stars.
LinkWait, put those blades away. No, I wasn't tryin' to start nothin', honest!

-Sean Gill
And SWITCHBLADE SISTERS warrants special mention as one of my all-time favorites and one the key influences on my forthcoming play, Go-Go Killers!


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