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Savage Streets (1984)

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  • Savage Streets (1984)

    A teenage vigilante seeks revenge on a group of violent thugs who raped her handicapped sister and killed her best friend. Staring Linda Blair (The Exorcist, Hell Night), Linnea Quigley (Night of the Demons), and directed by Danny Steinnman (Friday the 13th Part V: A New Beginning).

    I fucking love this movie. It's so unapologetic in how it plays everything straight rather than for camp. For the most part, it usually works as there are moments of nastiness in it. At times, it feels like it takes place in one of those post-apocalyptic futures where society is just teetering on the edge of anarchy. It isn't quite that bad. It's not even Death Wish 3 level where gangs of nearly limitless punks rule the streets of fake London turned fake New York City. Everything about the world in Savage Streets is relatively normal. It's the two groups (the women and the villains) that are so over the top. Take director Danny Steinnman's sleaziness from A New Beginning and apply to a movie about a gang terrorizing a group of women and that should paint a picture for you.

    I've seen a ton of rape / revenge flicks, and I think the rape scene in this is possibly the most disturbing to me. It's not nearly as graphic as something like I Spit on Your Grave, but the victim (Linnea Quigley) is mute and deaf making it all the more horrific. Its mentioned later how terrified she must have been yet she couldn't scream for help. This is easily the best performance of Quigley's career and she doesn't use her voice or fake tits in it (this was filmed pre-impants).

    The villains are nothing but scum through and through and it is so refreshing to watch them get their comeuppance. Isn't that part of the appeal of the rape / revenge sub-genre? It helps that it's handled by a take-no-bullshit-attitude, crossbow armed Linda Blair in a tight leather outfit. She looks like one of the oldest high schoolers in cinema, but damn if she doesn't look good. This is prime early-80s trashy Blair we're talking about here.

    Hands down the best character is the school principal played by John Vernon. I'd love to have a movie of just him playing this guy. Blair and even the villains do what he says. Plus, he's got golden dialogue such as "go fuck an iceberg". How do you top that? Maybe by having Debra (The Beach Girls) Blee in it. I mean, if her hairstyle wasn't so damn atrocious. Still, any Blee is a welcome addition even if she does vanish in the story at times due to production issues.
    People hyping up latest comic book movie to be the GOAT and I'm like "psshh, you guys must not have seen Bigfoot rip off a man's dick before in 1980's Night of the Demon."