A teenage vigilante seeks revenge on a group of violent thugs who raped her handicapped sister and killed her best friend.
Savage Streets still to this day remains one of my favorite films from the 80s’. So it was not a stretch to say I was excited when a DVD arrived to review. Before we jump in I’ll mention a few of the high points…… Linda Blair looking as hot as ever, Linda Blair topless and Linda Blair taking on the bad girl role in an almost Warriors type of persona. Now the other high point is bad guy John Dryer who plays the role of Jake.
John Dryer brought his character role of being a smart ass punk who with gang to back him…lived purely to make others lives miserable with almost perfect execution. In fact, I found it real easy to hate his character Jake from the moment he appeared. Though if you remember back from that era, there were quite alot of films that followed similar suite. That formula usually was protagonist and local bad ass antagonist. The antagonist usually had a gang, usually was a smart ass and usually violent. In fact it was further cemented by an innocent getting raped. These 3 points served the setup perfectly for a grand finale confrontation.
Linda Blair (as Brenda) though is no pushover or naive female counterpart. In this case it’s her young mute sister Heather that gets victimized resulting in an all out war and revenge streak. Heather is played by a much younger Linnea Quigley who later became a frequent scream queen and often nude screen film star. The movie “Savage Streets” follows a similar theme as another film she was in called “Young Warriors” (1983) also followed a premise of gang rape and revenge. I feel like this would be the moment to start listing more movies like this but you get the point.
For premise, we have Brenda and her all girl posse who despite being hard as nails are no match for Jake and his group. Yes there is a high school involved and yes there is a revenge confrontation. That shouldn’t surprise, as every film back then seemed to incorporate some combination of those two. The premise of passing the “get back at you” back and forth is pretty evident and of course leading to that ultimate confrontation of leader vs leader.
Linda Blair with a crossbow, now that’s something you don’t see everyday. There is a couple things I noticed this time around that are worth talking about. Somehow for being a tough gang there sure seemed alot of playful gayness between the boys. Not so much literal, but this whole…..laughing hugging, grab the nuts, slap on the back, pull the pants down, hug again kind of thing that I though was pretty funny while they tried being the bad asses. The film also tend to get incrementally more violent, starting out like “Grease” but then ending more the vein of “Class of 1984”. So yes there are some dynamics here, but it’s fun to watch which is the main point.
Oh ya, the razor blade for an earring is a nice touch with just enough amount of tackiness. And what’s up with the lackey Red? Does this guy ever stop laughing at “everything”? Vince (Johnny Venocur) is the 2nd in command hear who we believe will never get to first wearing that Chachi bandana as an accessory. I almost expected Linda Blair to start sporting leg warmers as part of the fashion theme.
“Savage Streets” hit at the right time catering to a younger audience who were influenced by gang films like “Warriors”. Linda Blair was already making her own waves with various horror role sand women in prison films. The movie itself though took a long time to make it to DVD format which in some ways disappeared from radar and the publics memory of the movie. Some one though believed in it enough to see it come to light and I must say that several decades later it still is as powerful as the first time I saw it. I was checking on trivia facts and apparently “Cherie Currie was originally cast as Brenda” per IMDB. I think Linda was the right choice though, Cherie would have made a good second choice. The movie soundtrack was never released on CD with the exception of a promo release.
Savage Streets (1984)