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Poster for Cult 101: Switchblade Sisters (1975)
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Cult 101: Switchblade Sisters (1975)

Opens on August 25

Director: Jack Hill Run Time: 91 min. Rating: R Release Year: 1975

Starring: Asher Brauner, Chase Newhart, Joanne Nail, Monica Gayle, Robbie Lee

Country: United States
Language: English

Presented as part of the 2023 edition of Cult 101.

About the film:

The iconic girl gang hit from legendary director Jack Hill. Filled with sharp, clever dialogue and tongue in cheek humor, this Shakespeare-influenced girl gang mash-up is a stone cold 1970s classic.

Lace, the leader of girl gang The Dagger Debs, meets her match when new girl Maggie moves into the neighborhood. Conflict turns to friendship as the girls end up in juvie together. Meanwhile, The Silver Daggers, the ladies’s male counterparts, have to contend with the arrival of a new gang, led by the villainous Crabs. But when the girls get back on the streets, a planned retaliation strike in tandem with The Silver Daggers backfires and puts Lace in hospital. Maggie assumes control, teaming up with Muff and her gang of Black militants to declare all out war.

“91 minutes of girl gang badassery, anticapitalist mayhem, and a decisive defeat of the patriarchy… female empowerment has rarely looked so cool or felt so attainable.”

—Jessica Scott, Neon Frenzy

About the filmmaker:

Jack Hill is a legendary cult film director primarily known for his work in the exploitation film genre with stories of feminist uprisings, complex Black characters, and the marginalized and working classes. He went to the University of California to study film, where he was a classmate of Francis Ford Coppola. The two worked together on student productions and later both apprenticed with Roger Corman, working on The Terror (1963), among other films. Hill continued with low-budget exploitation films, including The Big Doll House (1971) and The Big Bird Cage (1972), which initiated the women-in-prison genre, and his “blaxploitaton” hits Coffy (1973) and Foxy Brown (1974) – all four of which starred the sensational Pam Grier, whom Hill is credited with discovering. One of Hill’s final feature films, Switchblade Sisters (1975), was named a personal favorite by Quentin Tarantino.

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