4 May 2015 | Coventry
Who wants to play "hide the salami" now, huh?!?
Slightly more than a decade after she depicted the legendary possessed teenager Regan, who spun her head 360 degrees and vomited green pea soup in one of the horror genre's greatest historical classics, Linda Blair didn't star in elite and sophisticated movies like "The Exorcist" at all anymore! But that isn't necessarily bad news for the avid cult/exploitation fanatics, because lovely Linda grew out to become one most popular and desirable cult wenches on earth! The unwritten rule states: if you like horror, you love Linda Blair. Nah, just kidding, personally I love Linda because she's an unpretentious and not-at-all-prudish natural babe who stars in some of the silliest and trashiest, but simultaneously most entertaining B-movies of the eighties! After the unsurpassable "Chained Heat" – as far as I'm concerned still the Holy Grail of exploitation cinema – this "Savage Streets" is definitely her finest show piece. This vile and nasty hybrid between vigilante thriller and high-school punk gang literally oozes with unmistakable early 80s trademarks, like raw atmosphere, awful music and even worse clothing styles, misogynic violence, gratuitous nudity and loads of uncompromising violence! Set in less glamorous streets of Hollywood, Blair portrays Brenda, the leader of an all-girl high school gang. Brenda is tough and relentless about pretty much everything except for her vulnerable deaf-mute younger sister Heather, whom she protects and defends with her life. Her gang runs into conflict with The Scars, a violent male gang led by the dangerously disturbed Jake. While Brenda is cat-fighting in the shower and receiving morality speeches in the principal's office, the Scars rape her little sister Heather and kill her pregnant friend Francine. So what's a girl to do? She takes a long bath, dresses up in a tight leather outfit and goes out to extract her vengeance! I could probably write two entire pages filled with the flaws and illogicalities that feature in "Savage Streets", but where's the fun in that? Instead, I'll just shamelessly admit that the film provides non-stop trashy entertainment (well, except maybe during the long & unpleasant gang- rape) and glorious sleaze. The overload of nudity mostly comes from nameless extras; you know the type of girls that are extendedly filmed in the shower before the camera pans to the actual dressing room where the main actresses are having a conversation. But don't worry, as Linda goes topless as well, and so does the beautiful Rebecca Perle whose top is ripped off during a wrestling game in class! Blair and Perle have perhaps the nicest pairs of boobs of the entire decade. But in all honesty, "Savage Streets" also contains a handful of notably tense sequences and truly scary and badass male villains. Particularly Robert Dryer (as Jake) and Sal Landi (as Fargo) are terrifically menacing thugs. The climax is a fantastic – but sadly too short – piece of vigilante action that would even make Charles Bronson proud! The forever underrated John Vernon appears as school principal, but his role is fairly insignificant this time.