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Savage Sisters

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    Ian Jane
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  • Savage Sisters



    Released by: MGM Limited Edition Collection
    Released on: March 6, 2012.
    Director: Eddie Romero
    Cast: Cheri Caffaro, Gloria Hendry, Rosanna Ortiz, John Ashley, Sid Haig
    Year: 1974
    Purchase From Amazon

    The Movie:

    Directed by Eddie Romero in 1974 and shot in the director's native Philippines, AIP's Savage Sisters looks and sounds, on the surface at least, like a rough and tumble mix of women in prison high jinks and jungle movie action. While it definitely contains elements of both of those tried and true drive-in genres, the fact of the matter is that the film is more often than not played for laughs, and sometimes those attempts at comedy don't always work.

    Set in an unnamed Banana Republic during a revolution, the sinister General Balthazar (Leopoldo Salcedo) plans on leaving the country with a million dollars in US cash being transported through the jungle of the country he rules with an iron fist. What he doesn't count on was being beaten to the punch by those pesky revolutionary guerillas. What those guerillas didn't count on, however, was being shot dead after the robbery by a gang of local banditos lead by Malavael (Sid Haig) and his partner, One-Eye (Viz Diaz). These guys are bound and determined to hire a boat or a plan and get out of the country as soon as they can to spend the rest of their lives living the good life. Complicating matters is the presence of a female prison officer named Lynn Jackson (Gloria Hendry) who winds up teaming up with two ladies who were involved with the revolutionaries - Jo Turner (Cheri Caffaro) and Mai Ling (Rosanna Ortiz). Together they're going to get the money no matter the cost, and possibly leave a trail of bodies in their wake - unless their complicated past together tears them apart before they can pull off their plan.

    Played with tongue placed firmly in cheek from start to finish, this could have been a funny parody of the genres that it borrows from (and which most involved with the production happen to have toiled away in) but most of the comedic elements come across as very forced and fairly pathetic. A scene involving the General and his tryst with Jo's commanding officer (Rita Gomez and her rather impressive cleavage) should be amusing and kinky but is played so safe that you wonder why they didn't just cut out a few F-bombs and go for a PG rating. If sex and violence are what the audience wants, well, give it to them - but aside from a couple of moderately squibtastic shoot outs, this one only teases us, it doesn't really ever deliver the sleazy goods it hints at. Aside from a near nip-slip courtesy of Hendry's bath scene, there's nothing even really close to nudity here - perverts of the world, you have been warned.

    What makes the movie worth a watch when you've got nothing better to do and maybe a few beers in you ahead of time is Sid Haig. Here he is running around in a poncho and a sombrero speaking in possibly the most offensive Mexican accent you've ever heard. He's basically playing a tail, hairy version of Speedy Gonzalez, and it's bizarre enough that, even if it doesn't really 'work' in the 'good' sense of the word, you can't help but be amused by it - it's just wrong. Vic Diaz gets a pretty sizeable supporting role here as his one-eyed pal One-Eye and they have some amusing scenes together. John Ashley, who serves as a narrator/bridging character named J.P. Billingsly is also amusing here as he's a bit of a wannabe hustler, but all in all this is a movie that rises only slightly above the bottom of the barrel. It should have been great given the combined awesomeness of the three female leads, but they don't get to do much except spout of cliché tough talk and the end result is a pretty limp exploitation picture. It is kind of interesting to see how the ending resembles a certain segment in Creepshow, however.

    Video/Audio/Extras:

    Savage Sisters looks okay on DVD by way of MGM's 1.85.1 anamorphic widescreen transfer but it's not going to blow you away and parts of it look fairly soft. Grain is moderate throughout but it adds to the atmosphere of the film and isn't ever a problem. Some minor print damage shows up here and there in the form of the occasional speck and one very noticeable vertical scratch but aside from that there's nothing serious to note in that regard. Skin tones look a little pinkish in some scenes and then in others they look quite natural in others. Black levels are mediocre and tend to look like dark gray but despite these issues, the picture quality is perfectly watchable - just not amazing.

    The English language Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono track sounds just fine, offering up clear dialogue without any noticeable background hiss or noise. The levels are well balanced, the score sounds good and if it's a bit limited in range, that stems back to the source. No problems here.

    Sadly, aside from the standard static menu and chapter stops that we get on these releases, the only extra is the film's trailer - but it's a good one!

    The Final Word:

    Savage Sisters is no masterpiece but it's entertaining enough. It benefits from a strong cast of B-movie veterans and a few moderately amusing action scenes but those looking for oodles of trashy nudity and/or a good story will be disappointed. Sig Haig is pretty fun in this though, definitely one of the goofiest roles of his career.
























    • Jack J
      #1
      Jack J
      Senior Member
      Jack J commented
      Editing a comment
      Hi Ian, Is that release date correct (March 6)? I checked your link to Amazon and it says it's not released yet.

    • Ian Jane
      #2
      Ian Jane
      Administrator
      Ian Jane commented
      Editing a comment
      According to the press release, yes, and according to Screen Archives, also yes - but Screen Archives doesn't have it in stock yet either for some reason so who knows.

    • Jack J
      #3
      Jack J
      Senior Member
      Jack J commented
      Editing a comment
      Oh okay. Thanks.
    Posting comments is disabled.

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