(Arrow/VOD/Blu-Ray) ‘Girl gang’ exploitation films are a big blind spot for me, one I’ve been trying to rectify for a while now. While I dearly love the SWITCHBLADE SISTERS podcast (RIP), I knew absolutely nothing about the film going in apart from the fact that Tarantino featured it in his short-lived Rolling Thunder VHS series. I assumed it was a bit of an insensitive gender swap on male gang films of the early 60s, and, boy, was I wrong, because this film is gonzo.
While it does have several unfortunate exploitation hallmarks — easy nudity and a rape scene — ultimately director Jack Hill (SPIDER-BABY, FOXY BROWN) does these girls right by portraying them as hardened, take-no-shit folks, literally constantly circled by the patriarchy, willing to wage a fucking war when the time comes, and oh yeah, they rain holy hell down in the third act.
This is a film that’d be celebrated for its vibrant anger if it were made today. So many thinkpieces would be penned about how Lace talks through her teeth!
Arrow recently released a pristine Blu-Ray, which I highly recommend. However, while I love the cover art, I can’t help but point out that the rendition of Patch has her eyepatch on the wrong eye and it’s irked me ever since I noticed the discrepancy, even though it has to be intentional but I can’t imagine why. That said, Arrow thoughtfully included the original artwork as a reversible cover!
Original trailer (NSFW):