Archive for the 'Grindhouse' Category

May

Comments Off on Video Store Memories: Video Unlimited

Almost every B-movie and horror movie fan out there has a story of how they were introduced to movies–like a cool uncle who let them watch “Porky’s” where they saw their very first set of boobies. For me, I became hooked on B-movies and horror movies after my first visit to Video Unlimited, a video store near where I lived. As a young boy many a weekend and summer were spent watching videos that I rented from both stores; they had two locations. I was very fortunate to have a really cool Mom who would let me watch any kind of movie, regardless of the genre (except porn). Hey, even the coolest Moms have to draw the line somewhere. My Mom became even cooler when I found out she was a big horror movie buff. On her days off from managing the drive-in (Rosen’s), she would usually be watching horror movies with me. Now how many kids can honestly say their Mom likes horror movies?

So, let me get back to my Video Unlimited memories. The one thing that always amazed me about both stores was that even though they weren’t very big, the staff magically found a way to somehow store and showcase thousands of titles. I always wondered if they had access to some kind of interdimensional portal with a limitless supply of videos. Video Unlimited’s selection was a lot like Video Vault in that whatever movie you were looking for, they usually had it or something similar to it.

Videos

And while I’m on the subject of selection, I have to mention the size of the movie rental catalog that was sitting on the front counter of the Laplata location. This thing was HUGE. Think a of a triple-decker club sandwich that is made of phone books, without the ham, lettuce, tomato, bacon, and mayonnaise. To me this catalog was my B-movie bible. I’m pretty sure that whenever I went near it the book was enshrined in a golden light and I heard celestial music coming from up above. Seriously, this catalog contained so many movies from every possible genre and sub-genre that if I live several lifetimes like the Highlander, Duncan MacLeod, I still wouldn’t see all of the movies listed in it. And when I had watched all of the current releases, or I just wanted to focus on a particular genre, this became my go-to book. The selection of the so-called “big boys” of movie rental back then and today–Blockbuster and Hollywood Video–could never compare to the impressive selection of the small Mom-and-Pop video stores. Try calling Blockbuster to find out if they carry “Wood Chipper Massacre”, and the people working there won’t have a clue as to what you’re talking about.

When I moved out of the area I began going exclusively to Video Unlimited’s Waldorf location, their second store. After about a year of renting several movies on a weekly basis and talking about movies with the staff, I was asked for my imput on what B-movies and horror movies the should carry at the store. So I began making movie recommendations based on previews I had seen, articles that I read in ‘Fangoria’ (when ‘Fangoria’ was still a horror magazine), and movie screeners that I had viewed. Yes, I was given movie screeners to watch, which was one of the coolest things to me. In case you don’t know, a movie screener is an advance copy of a movie that is shown to critics and distributors. I saw a lot of screeners, but the one that comes to mind was for the movie “Seed People.” It’s basically Full Moon Entertainment’s version of “Invasion of the Body Snatchers.” I remember it being an enjoyable little movie, when Full Moon actually made movies worth watching, unlike the Z-grade trash that Charles Band pimps today for a quick buck. Now if helping to select movies and viewing advance copies wasn’t awesome enough, another perk of being a loyal customer was that I had my pick of all the cool posters they had from movies, like “Silent Night, Deadly Night”, “The Fly” (Cronenberg’s version), and “Friday the 13th Part 7: The New Blood.” In addition, I also got nifty movie promos like trading cards from another Full Moon release, “Subspecies”, which I still have packed in a box somewhere today. This was way before eBay. Back then nobody really thought of this stuff as being collectible or having any real value. To the owners all it was doing at the time was taking up valuable space that could be used to store copies of movies. Now I’m sure that they probably wished they had kept a lot of these posters after seeing how popular and valuable they’ve become over the years.

Soon I got a job at Rosen’s Drive-in, and I didn’t just didn’t have as much time as I used to to watch movies, but I would still visit Video Unlimited at least once a week to say “hi” and to see if there were any new releases that caught my eye. Sure, I saw plenty of movies while working the projection booth at Rosen’s, but I could never get my fill of movies. Similar to Kirstie Alley’s relationship with food. Have you seen her lately? Yikes! She looks like she swallowed a water buffalo.

Movies

Anyway, when I started a professional haunted house attraction a short time later, I found myself with even less time. Things were so crazy that everything quickly became a blur. And before I knew it, one week, two weeks had passed by in a flash, so I decided to stop by my favorite video store to see how things were going. Well, as soon as I walked across the parking lot towards the front door I had a sinking feeling–something wasn’t right. And my feeling was confirmed when I stepped inside and saw the shelves with only a few movies scattered on each of them. All around me there was a feeding frenzy similar to Piranhas attacking a helpless swimmer at a lake resort. People were quickly grabbing and buying VHS cassettes and everything else in the store, except for the floor tiles. I didn’t ask many questions even though I was shocked and upset, because whatever I was feeling was probably nothing compared to what everybody who worked there was going through. This was their business, their livelihood. From what I was told later on the video store had been struggling for a few months. And things only got worse when their rent was raised and Blockbuster (the Walmart of video stores, which isn’t a compliment) moved into town about 300 or so feet away. The competition was simply too strong and they just couldn’t survive any longer.

To this day I don’t understand why someone didn’t tell me what was happening sooner. Maybe I could have done something to help. Though in all honesty, it probably wouldn’t have made much of a difference anyway, because the profit-driven, soulless, corporate video rental chains like Blockbuster and Hollywood Video were gaining momentum in the video rental market, and it was only a matter of time before the small Mom-and-Pop video stores like Video Unlimited would soon disappear. However, the Laplata store was able to say in business for several more years until sadly, in 2002, it was destroyed by a devastating tornado that hit the strip mall where it was located. Last I had heard the owner decided not to rebuild the business.

I hadn’t been to the Laplata location in many years, but hearing the bad news was still a real bummer. It was like loosing contact with a close friend, and then years later finding out that they had passed away. For most of my childhood these two stores had been a very important part of my life. I know it’s just a couple of video stores to most people, but the movies that I was exposed to made me, Drive-in Dan, the B-movie fan that I am today. The movies that I rented from these stores led to other interests that have carried over into adulthood, like my passion for special effects makeup after seeing Tom Savini’s masterful work in films such as “Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter”, “Dawn of the Dead”, and “The Burning.” Watching films such as “Halloween” and Dario Argento’s “Phenomena”exposed me to the unique musical styles of John Carpenter and the Italian Prog Rock band, Goblin, which I still enjoy to this day. After seeing “The Road Warrior” I was inspired to make vehicles and various contraptions using parts from miscellaneous model kits, and today I continue to create things from found objects.

I will always have fond memories of the two Video Unlimited stores. I’m glad that I grew up in the 80’s and was able to be a part of something truly awesome. Hopefully, other B-movie fans out there had their own Video Unlimited while growing up.

Mar

Comments Off on The Last Rewind: A Tribute to Video Vault



It seems like every day I hear or read about a company either filing for bankruptcy or closing its doors for good. And to be honest, most of the time I really don’t care, as many of the businesses are just “mass appeal” stores that have been run into the ground by greedy corporations who have long since lost touch with their target market. Well, yesterday I learned about one business closing, a cult video store named “Video Vault” that really hit close to home for all of us here at Lost Highway. Unfortunately, a lot of factors such as limited parking, high rent, moving to a new location, a crappy economy, and the digital download age are to blame for its demise. It really makes me wish that Video Vault could come back from the dead like Jason Voorhees does in those “Friday the 13th” movies, and slaughter the competition. But unfortunately that won’t happen. In our world, this kind of loss is the equivalent of finding out that one of our favorite actors and/or directors has just passed way.

So let me tell you a little bit about Video Vault. This little gem of an independent video store was started by movie aficionado John McCabe in the mid 80’s, when video stores were about as popular as drive-in movie theaters were back in the day. Seeing an independent niche market video store like Video Vault today (2010) in a major metropolitan area would be about as rare as seeing actual music videos playing on MTV. Anyway, it didn’t take long for Mr. McCabe to make a name for himself by specializing in rare, hard-to-find films that he proudly claimed were the worst in town. Now you’re probably scratching your head at the part about having the worst movies in town. But trust me, that claim is very accurate considering he carried bottom of the barrel films like “Plan 9 From Outer Space.” If I had to describe Video Vault to someone who had never heard about the store, I would say that they are the cinematic version of The Museum Of Bad Art (MOBA), and I mean that as the highest compliment. Bad movies were their area of expertise, their little niche in the cutthroat movie rental business. The films that many forgot, or couldn’t care less about, John McCabe cheered and celebrated, along with the legions of loyal patrons. For 25 years Video Vault continued to stay in business against all odds, even though video formats changed from VHS to DVD, the independent video retail market began to go the way of the dinosaurs, and the once eclectic tastes of movie renters unfortunately became more and more mainstream–in other words, watered down–and mind-numbingly generic. And even though I haven’t been to Video Vault for several years now (because I moved out of the area), I still remember my first visit there.

I recall being very impressed, yet at the same time a bit overwhelmed by their large selection of VHS videos that covered a variety of different genres and sub-genres. Their previous location (the one that I’m familiar with) had several rooms filled from wall to wall with thousands upon thousands of videos. It was like I had just gained full access to someone’s prized and personal movie collection. You could’ve easily spent the whole day there going through all of the b-movie gems that they had to offer. And did I mention that the staff was always friendly, very knowledgeable, and ready to offer up their movie recommendations if you were having trouble choosing a movie to rent? The whole atmosphere was just so refreshing and pleasant. Whenever a customer walked through the door they were greeted like an old friend, whether it was their first time stopping by, or if they were one of the “regulars.” To me that personal touch really made an impression, and that’s probably one of the many reasons why they were in business for so many years. And if you couldn’t find a particular film in the mountain of movie titles, chances are owner John McCabe would have been able to track it down for you. Try getting that level of customer dedication and service at Blockbuster, or any other generic corporate movie rental chain.

It’s a real shame that this b-movie Mecca has to close. I just really hope that Video Vault will live on in some form after April 2010, so that the current and new generation of cult film buffs will still be able to meet, talk alternative cinema, and help each other find the next “it’s so bad, it’s good” movie experience. Please be sure to express your support to the wonderful folks over at Video Vault by clicking here and saying hi, or wishing them well in their future endeavors.

Mar

posted by admin | March 1, 2010 | B-movie Reviews, B-movies, Contest, Grindhouse, Review by Barry Goodall

Comments Off on Prepare to Get Bitch Slapped.

Lost Highway was helping field some questions at this past weekends live DVD release uStream party for the cast and crew of “Bitch Slap.” In case you missed it, Erin confessed her love for Lost Highway, a mime juggled chainsaws, and then America and Julia got into a vicious cat fight over a gin and tonic. Ok well maybe that’s a bit exaggerated but the cast and crew answered some great questions posed by Q&A master Maria through the Twittersphere and I think everyone had a great time being a part of it. You can see some photos from the event here.

Their fame is now your gain as Lost Highway got the just released uncut DVD and an autographed poster from the starlets to give away to a lucky reader. Simply follow us on twitter and send us your best b-movie survival tip @losthighway and you’re automatically in the running! A twitter user with the best original b-movie tip will be chosen on Saturday March 5th and be sure to check out our list of b-movie survival tips so you can come up with something new. Yeah it’s a challenge I know.

So after reading our review below, go pick yourself up a copy of “Bitch Slap” at your local store today (ask for it by name and see the interesting looks you get.) Oh and be sure to check out the exclusive promo for “Behind Bitch Slap: Buidling a Better B-movie” at the bottom of this review. Thanks to the cast/crew and a big thank you to Kristal Bailey for Letting Lost Highway get Bitch Slapped. It’s still stings but we liked it that way.

Bitch Slap

Ah the bachelor party. That rite of passage for every man who is about to enter the holy bonds and shackles of matrimony. Sure there’s always the next day stories of  couches being set on fire, waking up with a goat drinking beer out of the toilet and of course more strippers that a convention of paint removers. But unless there was some photographic evidence these guys probably didn’t even remember the night before so they most likely were that… just that stories. After all what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas…well maybe except for the syphilis. But with every bachelor party you’re gonna need the perfect bachelor movie. A testerone fueled politically incorrect scantly clad women filled movie of cool. Something that if you wife caught you watching she wouldn’t stop slapping you.

bitch slapSo move over “Roadhouse” “Bitch Slap” is the new perfect bachelor night tradition and all without waking up with a hangover or your wallet stolen. What would be considered a loving throwback to the yesterday of exploitation and grindhouse, this modern day film knows how to play it up campy-style with a sort of wink and nod to it’s audience. When it comes to the 3B’s of B-movieness, “Bitch Slap” pulls out all the punches with a lot of emphasis on the big “B” of Breasts. Wether they’re in slow motion, zoomed in, bloody, cover in dirt, hosed down it’s a definite boobcam of babeliciousness. Throw in some explosions, big guns, and samurai swords and you got yourself a guys perfect wishlist of b-movie gold.

The story revolves around 3 gorgeous girl out cruisin’ in the desert who look as though they’ve just escaped from a Victoria Secrets photo shoot. They’re on a quest to dig up a loot full of diamonds from a has been gangster whom they’ve stuffed in the trunk. Hel (Erin Cummings) is the cool as ice red headed undercover agent who seems to be the lady in charge. Trixie (Julia Voth) is a “angelic” stripper whose crotch glows like a disco ball when she’s doing the nightly grind and Camero (America Olivio) is your resident psycho- pill poppin’ criminal who at any moment might stab you with a rusty screw driver for looking at her cock eyed. Sorta like my ex-girlfriend only a bit more reserved.

Through a series of flashbacks the true identities of the girls and their intentions are revealed just as punk rockers with turrets, and naughty japanese school girls with bladed yo-yos show up for the trailer park party. A lot of time is spent digging and there’s slow mo’ glamour shooting while 3 girls gyrate and shimmy for the camera. My only response to that can be…. “Hell yeah!” and “more please!” Things are not all fun though as a growing mistrust over a secret love triangle is revealed… but hey that’s nothing that another slow mo water fight or trailer romp won’t smooth over. There’s also some plot points involving ancient demon samauri swords, killer viruses stored in lunchboxes and didn’t I see Kevin Sorbo with a bazooka? But hey you gotta rest your eyes sometime from all that cleavage fatigue.

Also keep an eye out for one of the best girl drag down brawls ever to be filmed with Zoe Belle masterly handling choreography of sweet punches, groin kicks, and hair pulling. Girls get kicked, punched, bitten, dragged and body slammed more times than a TV wrestling match so let the feminists flame mail commence.

I think all this film needs is a guest cameo of Xena the warrior princess as a nun…oh wait it’s got that too.

Sure “Bitch Slap” may play a bit like a dear Penthouse letter written by Russ Meyers and mixed in a blender with some Will E. Cyote cartoons but that’s just the perfect recipe for mindless b-movie fun. Rick Jacobson, the director never tries to pretend to make anything different and for that you’ve got to admire the guy.

Retroman Steve says check it out, and be sure to bring some extra dollar bills. There’s no cover charge but it’s got a 2 drink minimum.

roadside attractions

  • Multiple breast shots
  • 2 crotch kills with 1 groin peel out.
  • 1 death by yo-yo
  • Stripper rodeo riding
  • Cleavage cam
  • Water fights
  • Slow mo digging
  • Multiple babe brawls
  • Kevin Sorbo-ing
  • Glowing strippers
  • Turret tantrums
  • Big guns
  • Xena Warrior Nun
  • Vegas gun show spectacular
  • Trailer shagging
  • Exploding car
totals

7

blood
BLOOD

plenty of cat fight scratches

3

beast
BEASTS

Kevin Sorbo

9

blood
BREASTS

isn’t that the point of this movie?

9.4 OVERALL
dripper

“It’s kooterlicious”

Sep

Comments Off on Death Race 2000 (revisited)

Deathrace 2000

So last week I got a call at 4 in the morning “Steve this is Drive-in Dan. Do you know what day it is?” I still could barely understand the concept that I was using a phone.  “It’s Tuesday and this dream really sucks.” I said groggily.  “Yeah but It’s a very important Tuesday! Today marks the 3 year anniversary of Lost Highway! Can you believe it?” to which I responded “Who is this? and how many pixie sticks you been sniffin?”  “I’ve cut back to 43 but that’s besides the point. We need to do a contest and give away something cool!” I thought about it for a while. “hello?” he said after a long moment of silence. “I think I got some pop-tarts and a extra tire gauge still in the wrapper. I’ll give them to you if you go away now and let me sleep you strange voice in my head.” “Don’t worry I’ll come up with it…you just sit back and watch the awesome. Gotta go…got to get the reels ready for tonights drive-in… oh and build a walk in shower. Bye!” At that point I believe my snoring drowned out the dialtone.

3 years old…wow that’s like 30 in Internet years. That makes the site so old that I just might go ahead retire now and collect some of that sweet social security the government’s been promising me. Good days are ahead my friends. Yes I’ll now be able to drive with my blinker on all the time and blurt out inappropriate things at parties. People will just be like “oh he’s an old blogger.” and nod their head in sympathy. You young kids with all your Twitterings and Facebookies…I remember when all we had were websites and email and we liked it that way

There are other benefits to being an old blogger. I can get get a handicap parking permit for the strip clubs and senior discounts at any of the local golden shovel buffets. Finally I’ll be able to get my money’s worth without having to be over 300 pounds. “Sorry No room for dessert I just got done eating 3 pounds of ham.” Yes it’ll be a cornacopia of geriatrics and gluttony. I suspect many senior citizens actually live there and just cycle back through the lines.

So I might just stay there or maybe there’s a nice retirement center that specializes in old b-movie bloggers? A place where people like me that can rattle off movie quotes for any occasion. Where movie nights consist of beasts, breasts, and blood. Where board games meet hardcore drinking. Where shuffle board and vodka end in someone breaking a hip. Where Walker fights break over Lipitor deals gone bad and senile gangs start turf wars. “Yeah you see Warriors that’s what you get when ya mess with the Orphans!”

Yes it’ll be a special day when Retroman hits the retirement scene so until then here’s to 30 more years of Lost Highway sheninigans and to future Lost Movie nights at the Shadey Twin Pines Senior Center. I hope to see ya there. Now get the hell of my lawn!

Speaking of senior citizen discounts, in Death Race 2000 old people are the top point getters for hit and runs in the Transcontinental Road Race. Surprisingly even more points than teenagers?! This must be the FUTURE! America is run by a fascists emperor calling himself the president and France has ruined the world …like we all knew it would. The only entertainment for the masses without American Idol re-runs is a race across country pitting 5 cars against each other and any people stupid enough to be jay walking. Consider it an evolution of NASCAR but now the drivers can take out the fans in the Walmart parking lot for big bonus points. David “I know kung-fu” Carradine and Sylvester “I don’t say Adriane anymore” Stallone star in this tale of competitive vehicular homocide. Mr. Caradine fresh from TV decided the best career move was to dress up in a S&M outfit and drive a lizard car. Surprisingly it worked for him. He plays the legendary frankenstein race car driver whose body has been rumored to be reconstructed from used Maytag dryer parts and duct tape allowing him not only shift the car at lightening speed but to dry his own cloths while wearing them. So big Frank and his bombshell beauty copilot Anne (Simone Griffeth) race across country against free-wheelin nazis and blood thirsty cowboys in cars with steer horns for the coveted winners circle. 1st place gets you a hand shake with the president but no commercial endorsements. that’s a whole lotta of chaffing and talcum powder for sitting in a race car that long. Little do people realize Frank has other intentions that don’t involve ads for viagra and plans to blow up the president with a makeshift “Hand” gernade himself. Meanwhile a group of revolutionaries dressed in blue jumpsuits hang around watching TV and plot to destroy the race and replaced Frankenstein with a more pudgy decoy. They learn It’s hard to fake anorexia and Frankenstein foils their plans numerous times while avoiding all their other Willy coyote trappings.*

deathrace 200The racers eventually take a pit stop at their 70’s local civic center and get all nekkid and massaged by big sides of Beef with fake tans. So many boobies! Stallone who plays Machine Gun Joe has a deep hatred of Frankenstein whom he thinks has been stealing the races and taking all his glory. Maybe if Joe stopped gunning down his fans or running over his pit crew he might be a bit more liked. At one point he gets in a scuffle with bean pole carradine when he’s found trying to choke Ann. Big Frank easily kicks Joe’s butt with his patent slow-mo kung-fu but I personally fault Joe’s pink tie. Guys in pink tennis sweaters wrapped around their necks also get beaten regularly. It’s really an epidemic.

deathrace 200Frankenstein later takes out a good dozen or so nurses and doctors at a local drive-thru hospital purposely missing those big scoring old folks parked on the street. He also takes a quick detour to run over the head of his fan club and then peels out on the pope to rack up some major pointage. Yes this is our hero ladies and gentlemen. He runs over medical personal, clergy, and his favorite fans. Later he drugs Annie with some tainted Gatoraide just in time to get dive bombed by a prop plane whose aiming skills is on par with a Glaucomic Barney Fiffe . Racers start getting offed left and right mostly through their own stupidity and it all culminates to  a showdown with the evil Mr. president. Asta la veto baby.

Roger Corman produced this film and actually though this movie would be a disaster when he first read the concept thinking it would be “just too dark and vile.” Luckily the director Paul Bartel convinced him otherwise and knew to take it in a more satirical direction. The result was pure b-movie gold. It’s one of my all time favorite b-movies as well as my first review I did for Lost Highway. So grab your leather jumpsuit and talcum powder and check out “Death Race 2000.”

– Multiple hit and runs
– 3 car explosions with crash and burn
– 6 breasts
– 1 “hand” gernade
– 1 explodo-toddler
– Black leather chaffing
– Homicidal bowling
– Bull fighting
– Exploding head fu
– Fly fishing fu

9.7 out of 10

“Myra, some people might think you’re cute, but I happen to think you’re a very large baked potato.” Wow…a big slam on potatoes everywhere. I’m sure they got letters from people in Idaho.

*ACME in no way endorses this movie or the use of their products and patent ideas for road runner capture.

Check out the trailer for Death Race 2000

May

Comments Off on Switchblade Sisters

switchblade sisters

“On my planet this shirt attracts the females of my species.”

I’m not what you call a proficient grocery shopper. I don’t stock up on coupons or scan through the Sunday paper looking for the latest deals on canned tuna and toasted Wheat Thins. I only know it’s time to shop when I can no longer make a full meal from the refrigerator’s remaining survivors.. usually some condiments, a jar of olives, and a box of baking soda. So putting on a coat over my PJ’s I’d head out for that late night grocery run.

Late nights food runs you’d often find the store empty of customers so it was difficult to even find a checkout lady to wave me over to her conveyor belt. This time I was forced to confront the newest shopping breakthrough that was the new self checkout machine. Hey I’m a man of the world, a technology connoisseur, I could surely conquer this fancy slot machine wanna-be. First the Cheetos bag wouldn’t scan and when it did, It told me I bought 25 bags worth forever bestowing me the title “the crazy Cheetos guy.” Then placing the items in the bag a condescending computer voice would keep telling me to “Please place the item in the bag”… “Oh you mean the item that’s already in the bag?” The computer didn’t seem to understand any sense of irony. My arms had grown weak from the numerous failed attempts at scanning some cantaloupe and the Fonzi method of banging the machine on the side didn’t seem to help any so eventually a technician had to show me where to put my crinkled dollar bills. Who would have thought groceries need IT support.

I thought technology was supposed to make things easier. When was it decided that “easier” was just do it yourself? Self-serve gas station, ATM banking, and self scanning checkout lines, these are advances in modern convenience? No I want someone else to do this for me because I’m American and laziness is my God given constitutional right. if you’re not going to give me a real person to do the job then at least give me a robot. This 2009 after all, I should have my own jetpack and hover car by now. I shouldn’t be standing in my PJ’s swipping cans of lima beans while a lady in a purple mu mu waits behind me with her big box of glazed chick peas. Next time I will just go when a friendly cashier lady is available that will gladly talk with me about the weather as she scans my groceries while perfectly bagging things so my bread isn’t crushed by the 2 gallon mayonnaise jar and bag of ice (Hey I like potato salad and it was hot that night.)

Do you have tickets to the gun showSpeaking of ladies that excel at their jobs. Switchblade sisters introduces us to a gang of street-wise ladies called the Dagger Debs who’ve made a career at beating up elevator passengers and picking fights at the local Dairy Queen. The Debs are led by Lace, a high-strung snappy dresser who works out her dialog through clenched teeth like she’s got a case of lock jaw. She and her gal pals beat up a helpless landlord, go jay walking,  and then take a break at the ice cream shop. Here they run into a cute blondie named Maggie who is hogging one of their favorite seats. Maggie’s your sorta typical girl next door…if your typical girl is packin’ heat and has inner rage issues. Little do they know she’s the kind of girl that will cut you deep for even looking at her Oreo Blizzard the wrong way so she slices one of the gang members across the face with a knife. The police suddenly show up like a swat team before it can turn really ugly. Apparently a doughnut shop was very close by.

The Debs all end up in a juvenile detention center where some big burly lady wardens try to make the night moves on the new girls but end up getting the snot beat out of them instead. Maggie is finally freed from juvi-jail but has an even worse time on the outside when she’s raped by Lace’s boyfriend Dom. Dom is the leader of another powerful gang called the Silver daggers, a ruthless gang of thugs who resemble the cast from Welcome Back Kotter and enjoy playing billiards between felonies. Lace trusts Maggie and invites her to join the Debs not knowing that her and Dom just did the nasty at her apartment the night before. The resident cyclops “Patch” happily points out that Maggie has to be initiated first before becoming a true Deb and then starts whining about how she “lost her eye for this gang.” But really, how can you take a pirate seriously?

The New Chevy VoltThey send her on a mission to recover a toy prop necklace from a rival gang leader who goes by the unfortunate name of crabs. Great way to impress the ladies when you’re named after a venereal disease. Crab runs a fake community center where they give out narcotics under the disguise as vitamin pills so that he can buy even more hideous shirts for his wardrobe. Maggie stops by at their headquarters and  pretends to be attracted to Mr. Crabs which is probably the most impressive acting you’ll see in the whole film. In the middle of her seduction act she bites him on his Shootzle Deetzle, grabs the necklace and breaks through a office wall like the Koolaid man. Maggie returns to the Debs triumphant with her newly won trophy. Now there’s no questioning Maggie’s loyalty  with her ability to steal novelty prop jewelry.

Later on the Debs and the Daggers are vengefully ambushed by the Crab gang at the local rollerskating rink.  Lace gets punched in the baby maker whose oven was already preheated with Dom’s unborn kid and Dom gets a shotgun blast to the belly by the big Red Lobster himself. Maggie and Lace have to leave him to bleed to death in the center rink while Donna Summers music still blares on… a truly horrifying fate for anyone.

Maggie and Lace decide they want to avenge Dom’s death so they enlist some black power lady militants who drive pimped out armored Cadillacs and get their kicks making white hippies in disco shirts run and scream like little girls. I think that’s something anyone can really enjoy though. But not everything is as it seems there’s plot twists a plenty as jealously and secrets are threatening to destroy the gang. Who set up whom, who had an affair with who…who is loyal to whom. And when should the word whom actually be used in a sentence? It all ends up in a good old dance of death with switchblade divas giving us a great Shakespearean twist to this little exploitation romp.

Tarantino released this as his second film in his Rolling Thunder film series so be sure to check out his intro and outro on the DVD extras. His movie clerk geekiness clearly shows as he talks in great detail about the film and why they changed the name from The Jezebels to Switchblade Sisters. You can tell he was just up late one night at the videostore wired up on Jujubes and diet Coke while watching it. Also Keep an eye out for Don Stark who plays Hook. Yes it’s the same Don Stark that played Bob Picnciotti in that 70’s show and by gosh he still had the same hair and side burns. A great cheesy exploitation film, Retroman says check it out and be sure to be packin some heat.

– Multiple gang shootings
– 1 neck stabbing
– Medallion-fu
– Wacka-chicka-wacka fu
– Welcome Back Kotter doppelgangers
– Dairy Queen Dagger Queens
– Face plunging
– Swirly-fu
– Vita-van vandals
– Cadi-tanks
– Bellybutton ashtrays

Rated 8.9 out of 10

Check out the trailer for Switchblade Sisters

About the Highway

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