This Savage Streets review is reproduced from the old site.
Do you like R-rated revenge flicks full of violence, tits, full-frontal nudity, gang rape, and Linnea Quigley? Come along with me on a journey into a movie with all of those wonderful, magical exploitation ingredients – Savage Streets.
Savage Streets is a 1984 action-revenge film that is pure exploitation. There is no high art to be found here. I couldn’t even pretend to believe the makers of the film had anything other than money in mind. Hey, that’s perfectly fine with me because that can turn out to be great fun.
The story follows Linda Blair as Brenda, the delicious Linnea as her deaf-mute little sister Heather, and their gang of gal pals. One night while out strutting around on the mean streets of LA, they run afoul of a typical 1980s gang of street punk dirtbags. The dirtbags almost hit Linnea with their car, so in revenge, the girls swipe their car and dump trash in it.
That goes over as well as you’d expect. A day or so later the street punks are at the girl’s high school shaking down some kid who owes them money. They notice Heather go into the gym where she is waiting on Brenda. The boys decide to take their revenge for having to clean up some trash out of a car by gang-raping Heather. All of this happens while Brenda is in the shower part of the gym in a fight with the jealous head cheerleader. This fight scene is important because it explains why Brenda wasn’t there for her little sister, and also because we get to see a helluva lot of full-frontal 1980s nudity. It’s glorious.
Once the fellas are done with Heather, she gets kicked in the head and put into a coma, landing her in the ICU with no one having any idea who the attackers were. A few days later, Brenda and the girls are in a club when they have a run-in with the gang again. One of the girls is pregnant and is getting married in a few days. As she is on her way back from the toilet, she is assaulted by the gang and she slashes the leader’s face to get away.
A day or two later they chase her down and toss her, and her new wedding gown, off a bridge to her death. One of the gang members has had enough at this point. He runs to the ICU where Heather is being taken care of and tries to apologize to her while she remains in her coma. Brenda overhears and she tracks him down to his house, forcing him to give her the details.
The scene is set for a revenge rampage. Brenda gathers up a crossbow and some bear traps and we get to it! A crossbow arrow to the throat here, a bear trap to the head there. Arrows in legs, knives in guts, set on fire to burn until the cops arrive. They go in a variety of ways.
This is a fun movie. Linda Blair made a string of B movies in the 80s and this is probably the best one. It is one of the few that wasn’t a horror film. Even though she was the biggest name in the film, she does the worst acting in it. Even Linnea, who plays a deaf-mute, manages to outact her. The supporting cast is mostly nobodies but, again, they all do better acting than Blair. Maybe Linda only acts good when demon-possessed?
We do get to see Linda naked and, of course, we get to see Linnea naked. God, I love Linnea. There is a ton of nudity. The revenge killings are more downplayed than the rape scenes strangely enough. We know exactly where the director’s head was at.
In the United States, the Motion Picture Association of America originally gave the film an X rating, which was successfully appealed by the producers on June 22, 1984. The central rape sequence remained truncated by the MPAA in the final cut, which was originally longer; according to Steinmann:
“The girl’s torment was much more brutal. Each gang member took turns with her. It probably was overkill and what’s left is good enough.”
In the years since its initial release, Savage Streets has developed a cult following and has been exhibited at various horror and exploitation film revival screenings, including at the New Beverly Cinema in 2008 and the American Cinematheque in 2016.
Savage Streets is absurd exploitation trash fun. A simple sleazy 80s revenge story. You check it out if you are a fan of genre flicks.
Check back every day for movie news and reviews at the Last Movie Outpost