The Switchblade Sisters has an uneven story but I still found it to be entertaining and the lead actresses were pretty fun in their roles, Joanne Nail especially.
The Switchblade Sisters
Genre(s): Action, Suspense/Thriller
Studio| NR – 90 min. – $39.95 | April 20, 2021
Date Published: 04/19/2021 | Author: The Movieman
Arrow Films provided me with a free copy of the Blu-ray I reviewed in this Blog Post.
The opinions I share are my own.
THE MOVIE — 3/5
Plot Synopsis: Lace (ROBBIE LEE), the leader of inner city girl gang The Dagger Debs, meets her match when new girl Maggie (JOANNE NAIL) moves into the neighborhood, which leads from friendship to mistrust as Maggie slowly becomes the gang’s leader. Meanwhile, The Dagger Debs’ male counterparts The Silver Daggers have to contend with the arrival of the villainous Crabs (CHASE NEWHART), and his gang. But when the girls get back on the streets, a planned retaliation strike in tandem with The Silver Daggers backfires after an ambush, leaving Lace in the hospital and one of the Silver Daggers dead. Maggie assumes control of the Dagger Debs and teams up with Muff (MARLENE CLARK) and her gang of African-American militants from across town to declare all out war.
Quick Hit Review: Switchblade Sisters is another B-movie exploitation action-thriller from director Jack Hill who had previously helmed The Swinging Cheerleaders (which I found rather dull) and Foxy Brown (a half-decent 1970s blacksploitation flick). This one is a bit of an oddball film, some of which really doesn’t make a whole lot of sense, and in one instance, involving a sexual assault, that leads nowhere and in fact really never factored into the film other than to showcase how the Silver Daggers were incredibly abusive to their female counterparts (another scene has one of them plainly prostituting one of the women).
On the positive side of things, I thought the acting mostly all around, and certainly for the main players, wasn’t half bad, notably Robbie Lee and Joanne Nail had some genuine screen charisma, even when Lee does admittedly overdo it (but is in keeping with the film’s tone). In addition, there were some decent action scenes including a cute street shootout, I say cute because it is something I appreciate when it comes to these independently made features with the cheap production design and sloppy stunts.
The Switchblade Sisters, flaws and all, still was a relatively entertaining flick from the 1970s and I can see how it was so influential to the likes of Quentin Tarantino, and if you can track this down at a reasonable price, it’s worth checking out.
SPECIAL FEATURES – 3¾/5
This release comes with a reversible sleeve revealing the film’s original poster artwork. Inside is a nice booklet with essays and still images.
Audio Commentary — Historians/Critics Samm Deighan and Kat Ellinger who break down specific scenes as well as an overarching viewpoint of the production.
We’re the Jezebels (39:19) — This is a making-of featurette with interviews by Director Jack Hill, Producer John Prizer, Stars Joanne Nail, Asher Brauner and Chase Newhart, amongst others.
Gangland: The Locations of Switchblade Sisters (6:54) — Shot in 2012, Director Jack Hill and filmmaker Elijah Drenner revisit the shooting locations for the movie. I really enjoy these location featurettes (like Horror’s Hallowed Grounds).
Jack Hill and Joanne Nail at the Grindhouse Film Festival (9:24) — Filmed in 2007, this is an interview with Hill and Nail at the festival that had a screening for Switchblade Sisters.
Interview with Jack Hill, Robbie Lee, and Joanne Nail (7:48) — Another archival feature, this one the trio discuss working on the film. Not sure when this was filmed, probably somewhere in the 1990s and using a camcorder.
Theatrical Trailers for Switchblade Sisters, The Jezebels, Spider Baby, Pit Stop, Coffy, Foxy Brown and The Swinging Cheerleaders.
Last up are Still Galleries for Behind the Scenes, Promo Stills, Lobby Cards, Posters and Home Video.
VIDEO – 4½/5
|Arrow Films releases The Switchblade Sisters onto Blu-ray presented with a 1.85 widescreen aspect ratio and a 1080p high-definition which was restored from the best available archival elements by director Jack Hill (the HD master was supplied by Subkultur Entertainment). While not pristine, no real surprise considering the presumably micro-budget, I still found the picture to be look pretty damn good: detail is sharp and very well defined throughout, colors appear to be well balanced and outside of maybe a couple specs, seemed to be clean. The transfer also looked stabilized, no jittering or shakiness.
AUDIO – 4¼/5
|The disc comes with an adequate PCM Mono track which outputted clean dialogue levels and some average depth, but for a singular channel wasn’t half bad. There were no noticeable pops, hissing or other flaws that I could detect or noticed.
OVERALL – 3½/5
Overall, The Switchblade Sisters has an uneven story but I still found it to be entertaining and the lead actresses were pretty fun in their roles, Joanne Nail especially. The Blu-ray release by Arrow Films has good video and audio transfers and a solid selection of bonus features.
Check out some more 1080p screen caps by going to page 2. Please note, these do contain spoilers.