In collaboration with a selection of the finest film blogs the infranet has to offer Lost Video Archive is proud to contribute this quality post to Blair Week, a six day extravaganza expounding on the virtues of Linda Blair and her legacy of quality motion pictures. Don't believe me? Just read on...
United States 1984
Director - Danny Steinman
Vestron Video, 1985, VHS
Run Time -1 hour, 33 minutes
Night Patrol video. It’s a movie loaded with crass low-quality humor that I didn’t quite get at the time, but I did understand tits, and Night Patrol has a healthy share of those. I was also old enough to understand that a great deal of the films tension rested upon the protagonists desire to get in Linda’s pants, which to everyone’s great delight happens at the end. By that time I was already sold down the river.
Linda didn’t turn out to be such a great actress, but that revelation came at a time when there was plenty of work available that didn’t require much acting per-se. The childlike behavior and almost unnatural innocence she brought to The Exorcist, turned out to be an asset in her career as an adult. Linda came of age at the exact moment that American exploitation film was at its peak, and Savage Streets is premium example.
Made the same year as Night Patrol, Savage Streets claims right there on the back cover to invoke yet another Linda vehicle, the previous year’s epic Chained Heat. Initially this claim is confusing because plotwise, Savage Streets actually appears to be an example of that brand of juvenile dystopia films particular to the 1980’s. Typically these featured hyperbolic warring punk-cum-new-wave street gangs who combined Bowiesque face paint and teased hair with studded leather and switchblades. They were the heirs to the delinquent youth scare films of the 50’s but they tried to fuse the modern mosaic of pop cultures into a hyperbolic but plausibly threatening future. Punk, rap, and metal among other subcultural in-groups were all equally threatening attacks on the status quo and contemporary exploitation films often combined them all into one militaristic drug soaked nightmare in films like my personal favorite, Death Wish 3. Savage Streets is rife with the childish arrogance that made parents of the 80’s shudder for thought of a future ruled by their own coke addled offspring. The best part of all this of course, is that scare films usually end up becoming popular with the generation they portray.
John Vernon sends shivers up the spine. Such virulent threats to the status quo however are couched within the safety of other standard distractions. The rest of the high-school landscape is a choice mix of comedic flirtations and shirt-ripping shower cat-fights, a veritable teen-women-in-prison-comedy that just proves youth rebellion of the future is, if nothing else, still predictable. When her deaf sister (Linnea Quigley) is brutally raped and her best friend killed by another more violently unhinged gang reminiscent of a watered-down Warriors, Linda perms her hair and goes full vigilante, invoking Jenifer Hills and Paul Kersey all in one pouty-lipped self-aware package.
All these sites contributed rad content to Blair Week:
Satan's Hope Chest - Chained Heat and Savage Island
Camp Movie Camp - Grotesque and Nightforce
The Horror Section - Hell Night
Full Moon Reviews - Bailout
Illogical Contraption - Repossessed
Lines That Makes Things - original Linda inspired artwork
Breakfast In the Ruins - Exorcist II
B Movies and Beyond - Summer of Fear
The Manchester Morgue - Rollerboogie
Happy Otter - The Chilling
Ninja Dixon - The Witchery
Unflinching Eye - Linda's fall from grace.
Lost Video Archive - Savage Streets and Born Innocent