Unfortunately, Dominic takes an immediate interest in the pretty Maggie. Patch (who does indeed wear an eye patch) hates Maggie, who has taken her place as Lace's de facto deputy. When Patch keys in on Dominic's smoldering looks toward Maggie, she makes sure that Lace is aware of it. Yes, Switchblade Sisters is a lurid, violent, engrossing gender-reverse variation on Shakespeare's Othello with Lace as the Moor, Dominic as Desdemona, Maggie as Cassio, and Patch as Iago.
|Patch turns Lace against Maggie.|
Switchblade Sisters is a personal favorite of Quentino Tarantino, who re-released it in the 1990s and paid subtle homage to it in Kill Bill. Sadly, neither of the female leads, who are quite good, had meaningful film careers. Robbie Lee--who reminded me of a cross between Kristy McNichol and Tuesday Weld--later supplied some of the voices for the Rainbow Brite cartoon series. Joanne Nail guest-starred in TV series like Harry-O and The Rockford Files.
Thunder Alley (1967)
|This poster makes Thunder Alley |
sound much racier than it is!
Thunder Alley was a transitional picture for American International Pictures. The preceding year's Ghost in the Invisible Bikini put an end to the profitable Beach Party series. The same year also saw the release of The Wild Angels, which would kick-start a series of violent motorcycle gang films. Thunder Alley lacks the innocence of the Frankie & Annette films, but it's a far cry from Peter Fonda in a black leather jacket! Thus, we get the incongruousness of Annette singing a Guy Hemric-Jerry Styner song in one scene and experiencing a hangover in another.
|Diane McBain and Fabian.|
In Thunder Alley, McBain plays Callahan's lover, who thinks his current gig in the thrill circus is "dullsville." She views Callahan solely as an ends in a means (i.e., a celebrity lifestyle). However, that doesn't stop her from threatening Francie when Annette's character expresses her interest in Callahan. At that point, I was hoping for a catfight, but none materialized and I surmised that perhaps Fabian wasn't worth it.
|Annette singing her one song.|