The Film (5/5)
I'm not even sure I can give an objective review to Switchblade Sisters anymore, the fact is the cinema of Jack Hill is so deeply ingrained in my mind that it is hard to view his films as anything as pure cinematic awesomeness. I have been watching his films for close to 20 years, and have seen all but one (Sorceress), and each of them I have found something to enjoy in. Even my recent first time viewing of the Swinging Cheerleaders, a film I thought just based on the subject matter would bore me to tears, I ended up loving. Switchblade Sisters, however, is a whole other story. It is one of the first films by Hill I had seen(alongside Spider Baby and Foxy Brown), and has long been one of my favorites.
The story for Switchblade Sisters isn't exactly straight forward, but it is pretty simple. Basically, a new girl in town Maggie finds herself popular with a girl gang the "Dagger Debs". She also finds herself in the attention of Dominic the leader of an all male gang the "Silver Daggers", however this gets her the wrong sort of attention from from the Dagger Debs leader Lace who is dating Dominic, or was. Another member of the Debs decides to use this issue to create tension between the two women, and possibly make herself leader of the gang.
Hill was one of a number of director's to come out of the Corman school. As such he seems to have taken from his time working under the director a sense of making quick, cheap, and fun cinema, but also using the cinema as a platform for allowing one's own political and social subtext to come out. This film like his prior few (Coffy, Foxy Brown, The The Big Doll House, Swinging Cheerleaders), has a deeply feminist message strewn throughout it's running time.
Like most of Hill's films from the period Switchblade Sisters has an anything goes atmosphere. It is breezy and fun, and over before the viewer has had time to think about it. The performances in the film are pretty over the top, but in the best, most fun way possible. And the actions scenes are handled by Hill in a way that makes them seem much more epic than a budget of his scale would typically allow.
Subkultur Entertainment does a spectacular job bringing Switchblade Sisters to Blu-ray. The film is presented in a 1:85:1 1080p AVC encoded transfer. The transfer has excellent detail, a nicely reproduced color palette, and an organic grain structure. There is some speckling and minor damage, but nothing too much to complain about.
The audio is presented in English and German DTS-HD mono tracks, both tracks are quite decent with audio coming through crisp and clean.
Subkultur Entertainment have put together a spectacular extras package for their Blu-ray release of Switchblade sisters. There are 2 commentary tracks one with Jack Hill and Quentin Tarantino in English with optional German subs. The second with German film historians Marcus Stiglegger and Kai Naumann this is in German. There are also on camera interviews, documentary making ofs, galleries, trailers, and a booklet of liner notes (in German), and much more.
One of Jack Hill's finest films finally gets the Blu-ray release it deserves. Switchblade Sisters is an absolute blast of exploitation excitement, and deserves to be seen on this newly restored Blu-ray edition. The A/V looks and sounds great, and it comes with a great slate of extras. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.