Review: 'Switchblade Sisters' a Lovingly Restored '70s Grindhouse Treat

by Ken Tasho

EDGE Media Network Contributor

Monday May 3, 2021

Review: 'Switchblade Sisters' a Lovingly Restored '70s Grindhouse Treat

Arrow Video keeps churning out the long-lost Grindhouse titles from the 1970s' low-budget drive-in circuit. With this new Blu-ray edition, they offer up yet another tribute to a Jack Hill film.

The famed director loves showing tough but vulnerable women, and the new Blu-ray of "Switchblade Sisters" is one such example. Maybe he didn't set out to purposely make bold statements about women, but Hill knows how to entertain an audience.

When a tough young gang of girls, led by the sneering Lace (Robbie Lee), runs into newcomer Maggie (Joanna Nail), the group's cohesion is threatened. The gang, otherwise known as The Dagger Debs, gets thrown into disarray, and jealousies abound. Factions occur, paranoia sets in, and Lace's on-again off-again boyfriend gets murdered. The Sisters band together to avenge the death of Lace's boyfriend, one who was part of the all-male Silver Daggers gang.

Unlike "The Swinging Cheerleaders" and many of the endless Grindhouse flicks of the 70's, "Switchblade Sisters" doesn't seem too gratuitous or exploitative. There's definitely violence, and there are a couple of hinted-at rape scenes. But the emphasis seems to be on the celebration of women and the sometimes out-of-control situations that change the dynamics of female friendships.

Apparently, the works of Shakespeare are used in "Switchblade Sisters," especially with regards to the themes of jealousy.

Arrow Video once again does a fantastic job restoring a movie over forty years old using a new restoration process. A brand-new documentary examines the entire making-of process in filming "Switchblade Sisters." There's also a vintage interview segment that reunites its two stars, Robbie Lee and Joanna Nail, in 2007.

"Switchblade Sisters" is out on Blu-ray from Arrow Video on May 4, 2021.

Ken Tasho is a Corporate Drone by day and Edge Contributor by night. He has a love for all things '80's and resides in the Wayland Square area of Providence, RI...but would much rather be sharing an apartment in NYC with '80's rock goddesses Pat Benatar and Deborah Harry.