Switchblade Sisters (1975)

In the 70s, when women’s lib became as much a part of civil rights as race issues, many films portrayed women as being just as vicious as men. I think that this factor often resulted from male studio heads and producers, who were threatened by women’s increasing demands for equality in society. As a result, many films with female characters, were portrayed as being even more dangerous than the most violent of males. The Jezebels is a film, that’s a perfect example of this ‘woman as more deadly than the male’ mentality.

The film revolves around a group of teen girls, who form a gang called the Jezebels. They all come from dysfunctional families, and live in a crumbling, tenement apartment building. The girls dress in funky, rough-looking leather jackets and torn jeans. They all carry switch-blade knives, and know how to use them.

Their boyfriends have their own gang, and they all hang together with the Jezebels, in an abandoned warehouse. These tough kids are all in constant, bloody battles with rival gangs, the police, and even each other. When a drug kingpin threatens their survival, the huge battle that results, severely tests the loyalties of the Jezebels to each other, and to their boyfriends.

There’s no shortage of car chases, shootings, knifings, and general all-around mayhem in this movie. All of this overwhelms the film, and gives it a tacky, melodramatic quality. The performances of virtually all the actors, are fraught with hammy overacting. It’s only a mildly entertaining movie, at best.