Switchblade Sisters is the 1975 exploitation film. Maggie move to a town run by the Silver Daggers and the Dagger Debs. She joins them just in time for the Crabs to muscle in on their turf. After one of the Debs is raped, they try to get revenge, only to get their leader, Dominic, killed. It turns out Lace turned traitor after he rejected her when she told him she’s pregnant. Maggie reforms the group as the Jezebels. Can they successfully get their revenge?
While it’s a typical exploitation film, it’s not as lurid as some of the others, like The Big Bird Cage. In fact, they’re able to subvert the women-in-prison genre by overpowering the lesbian prison warden. The story’s interesting as the group starts out as an adjunct to the Silver Daggers, but they get their own identity. Some viewers may see this as a darker form of feminism, as a group of young women decide that they don’t want to be only girlfriends of gang members. But other than that, the film is a normal teenage gang film. The action is pretty good and most of the fights are serious and not played for cheap titillation. Lace is a good antagonist, as she has a believable motive for going after Maggie and is willing to plan it without anybody finding out. Some viewers may not like this film because not only is there a graphic rape and violence, it glamourizes gangs. This is understandable, as Lace’s first plan leads to innocent people who had nothing to do with the gang war, getting killed. Not surprisingly, it has a downer ending, but the Jezebels refuse to give in to despair, defiantly saying that they’ll be back. Honolulu exploitation film fans should watch this movie.
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