Savage Sisters (1974)

‘Savage Sisters’ comes from the same period as the Jack Hill led Filipino “chicks in chains” flicks of the early 70s ( see ‘The Big Doll House’ and ‘The Big Bird Cage’ for the best of the genre). Hill wasn’t involved in this one mind you, the director is Eddie Romero, also responsible for the classic ‘Black Mama, White Mama’, who also appears in a supporting role as Captain Morales. The three aforementioned movies all co-starred blaxploitation icon Pam Grier. Grier isn’t along for the ride in ‘Savage Sisters’, the Grier role is taken by Gloria Hendry (‘Live And Let Die’, ‘Black Belt Jones’), and while the prison side of things isn’t as important as the others in the series, fans of them will really dig this one. As always, while filmed in the Philippines, the movie is set in some unnamed Banana Republic. General Balthasar (Leopoldo Salcedo) plans on smuggling one million dollars US out of the country. A group of local revolutionaries plan on stealing the money and form an uneasy alliance with some bandits, led by the wily Malavael (the legendary Sid Haig, a regular in these kinds of movies), and his bumbling sidekick One-Eye (Vic Diaz, another familiar face). Malavael not surprisingly double crosses the revolutionaries and makes of with the cash. Meanwhile Jo Turner (Cheri Caffaro) and Mai Ling (Rosanna Ortiz), each with varying commitment to the Revolution, are captured before they can rendezvous with their comrades, who include Turner’s lover. While in prison they are interrogated by tough hooker turned cop Lynn Jackson (Hendry). She is later convinced by the shady W.P. Billingsley (John Ashley, who also co-produced) to break the two women out of prison and help them track down Malavael, with the secret intention of getting hold of the cool million for themselves. However, Billingsley’s plan of betrayal may not go exactly as planned as Jackson begins to bond with her “savage sisters” on the jungle journey. Newcomers to these kinds of movies may not enjoy this as those more familiar with their style and approach, but I enjoyed ‘Savage Sisters’ a great deal, and think it deserves to be much better known than it currently is. A tough and cool movie with plenty of fun and thrills.