Switchblade Sisters

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Switchblade Sisters

Switchblade Sisters is the second release from Quentin Tarantino's Rolling Thunder distribution company, and it's easy to see what attracted him to this campy 1975 girl-gang melodrama. The leather-jacketed Silver Daggers fight for turf against a group of socially progressive hippies who get kids hooked on heroin on the side. When the Silver Daggers' leader gets gunned down, their women kick out the ineffectual men; hook up with a gang of militant, black, Communist women; and become the Jezebels. But is there a traitor in their midst? It's even sillier than it sounds, but director Jack Hill—who's best known for his cult horror classic Spider Baby and his work with Pam Grier on Coffy and Foxy Brown—has a feel for this sort of material. The casual sadism, rapes and homophobia would make this distasteful if the movie let you take it seriously for one second. But with characters named Java, Lace, Patch and Donut (played by Lenny Bruce's daughter), not to mention those clothes, it can't be taken seriously. It can, however, be savored as the sort of low-budget, excessive, over-the-top entertainment that simply doesn't appear anymore.