The Curator of Schlock #25 by Jeffrey Shuster
Savage Streets (Linda Blair has awesome big hair!)
What’s this? A female vigilante? That’s right, everyone. Linda Blair can stand toe to toe with the Charles Bronsons and Dolph Lundgrens of the world and towers above the Tom Skerritts. It’s time for Savage Streets!
1984’s Savage Streets from director Danny Steinmann features Linda Blair as Brenda, a tough street cookie who lives by her own rules. These are the Savage Streets after all. Brenda has a girl gang of her own, the Sirens, but they don’t start trouble unless the creeps are asking for it. Unfortunately, there’s this gang of local drug dealers called the Scars and they’re as creepy as the come. They almost run over Brenda’s deaf/mute sister Heather (Linnea Quigly). This doesn’t sit well with Brenda and she and the Sirens take the Scars’ convertible for a little joyride. They fill it to brim with garbage and when the Scars discover what they did, their leader Jake (Robert Dryer) swears revenge.
Brenda and the Sirens attend a high school that’s completely out of control! Students don’t pay attention during poetry lessons. They make jokes during sex education class. They even insult the gym teacher behind her back. The head jock loves Brenda. The head cheerleader hates Brenda since the head jock is the cheerleader’s boyfriend. A catfight in the girl’s shower ensues. Unfortunately, it’s when Brenda is involved with this altercation that the Scars decide to rape her sister.
The cops won’t do anything about the Scars. With her sister fighting for life and death in the hospital, Brenda wants the Scars to pay for what they did. In the meantime, she has to help her friend, Francine, with her wedding preparations. Guess who turns out to be the Scar’s next victim? Jake lifts Francine over his head and throws her over the Expressway. One of his goons throws Francine’s wedding dress over while saying, “Here comes the bride. She’s all drenched in red.”
Brenda decides it’s time to take the law into her own hands. She teases her hair out to ginormous proportions and dons a skintight leather jumpsuit. She lures Jake’s henchmen into a trap with her feminine wiles. The goons wander around what looks to be a rug store, following the sound of Brenda’s taunting voice. When they finally catch up to it, all they find is a tape recorder. And then Brenda shoots one of them in the neck with a crossbow. The other falls into a pair of bear traps.
That still leaves Jake to deal with. Brenda toys with him, shooting an arrow in each of his legs. He manages to chase after her, but gets caught up in a snare. Brenda says she’s going to slaughter him like a pig. I won’t spoil the ending for you, but let’s just Jake gets what’s coming to him. If only there had been a Savage Streets 2!
Ten Things I Learned from Savage Streets
- Linda Blair is dangerous
- Crossbows are awesome.
- 80s teased out hair is awesome.
- Paint can be flammable.
- Poems are about sex and/or death.
- Suburban teenagers keep their gang clothes hidden in their backpacks.
- Linda Blair wears her sunglasses at night.
- Pulling arrows out of your legs is messy business.
- The more studs on your leather jacket, the more evil you are.
- A thirty-year-old B movie can still entertain with the best of them.
Jeffrey Shuster (episode 47) is an MFA candidate and instructor at the University of Central Florida.