Day 27: Cops!
Maniac Cop 2 (1990)
Junesploitation now takes us to ‘Cops’ for Day 27 and there are certainly many films that could fit this prompt, but why not add a few more themes with the pick including sequel and horror and check out Maniac Cop 2 (1990)? No reason not too so here we are with the follow up to the ’88 film, which sees the return of Robert Z’Dar as Matt Cordell aka the manic cop picking things up right here he left off. The film brings back some characters from the first film (including Bruce Campbell and Jack Forrest and Laurene Landon as Theresa Mallory) and introduces some new ones with Robert Davi as Det. Sean McKinney and Claudia Christian as Susan Riley as they set out to stop Matt Cordell.
This sequel is on par with the first film, they both deliver entertaining films and there is not quality drop. The new cast do as good as the original cast, Robert Davi is particularly good as Det. McKinney as is Claudia Christian as Susan, their scenes are some of the best ones that don’t include the maniac cop himself. Robert Z’Dar as Matt Cordell steals the show here as he did with the first film, the undead cop is quite the strong presence and they did mix things up with him here.
Perhaps the one aspect that didn’t quite work was the sub-plot with a serial killer who targets exotic dancers, the killer Turkell (Leo Rossi) felt very out of place and his performance didn’t really match anything within the film. Matt Cordell using this guy of all people to help him get revenge just didn’t work and seemed a bit too ridiculous for an already ridiculous film. Maniac Cop 2 is a very worthy follow up and a must see for those who liked the original or enjoy their crazy fun action/slasher films.
Day 28: Free Space!
Switchblade Sisters (1975)
Day 28 is the last ‘free space’ prompt for Junesploitation as we are right at the tale end now and to keep up with using the free space for female led films, we are taking a look at Jack Hill’s Switchblade Sisters (1975) aka The Jezebels. Hill is not stranger to exploitation films having made The Big Doll House (1971) and Coffy (1973) or having female leads in his films. However there are quite a few things that really let down Switchblade Sisters, it is a very mean spirited film and despite being called a feminist film it really is not.
The film focuses on the exploits of female gang ‘Dagger Debs’ led by the overly outspoken Lace (Robbie Lee) and the male gang ‘Silver Daggers’ led by her boyfriend Dominic (Asher Brauner). Lace and her crew end up in juvenile detention after an altercation with new girl in town Maggie (Joanne Nail), Maggie also does time with the crew in detention and after some unpleasant business with those who run the center, Lace gains the trust of Maggie and they initiate her into the gang. During all of this the two gangs are at war with another gang led by Crabs (Chase Newhart) and all hell is about to break loose. For a film with a low budget it does look good and the way it was shot and edited adds to the experience of a raw look at gang life, however the rest of what is going on really lets the film down.
The characters are all extremely unlikable, Lace is a bully through and through, treats her crew badly and enacts a revenge plot against Maggie and her boyfriend Dominic out of pure jealousy. Dominic is a horrible character also, treats Lace poorly and then out right rapes Maggie just because he can, with his crew using the girls as their pawns to make money via sex in the school bathrooms. Then there is Maggie, she should be a sympathetic character, she gets bullied and raped, but all this does is make led the gang in Lace’s absence. It doesn’t work what so ever, none of the characters have any redeeming qualities or any likability (Unholy Rollers did this so much better) and it is a chore to sit through a lot of the scenes. Both men and women came off as bad in this film, the gangs seems utterly pointless (maybe that was the point?) and the violence escalates at such a ridiculous speed it can’t at all be taken seriously. Switchblade Sisters at least for this writer was a disappointment and left a bad taste after it was finished, not one I personally would recommend.
Reviews written by Marcella Papandrea
Please check out FThisMovie.net, with many thanks to the crew for the concept of Junesploitation and some excellent prompts for 2021!