The ’80s are gone, and have been for longer than many of us would like to admit. But the spirit of the SOV revolution they ushered in lives on in films like STREETS OF VENGEANCE. The writing/directing team of Paul Ragsdale and Angelica De Alba follow up to their slasher homage CINCO DE MAYO with a vigilante/revenge film in the style of SAVAGE STREETS or RAPE SQUAD. The results are delightfully sleazy.
Strippers, porn stars, and other sex workers are falling victim to a straight razor wielded by a black-gloved killer. This is the final straw that convinces Mila Lynn (Delawna McKinney) to break from Ivan Dark (Bryan Hurd) and his porn empire and go into business for herself.
She finds herself kidnapped by a group on incel type can’t get laid losers who call themselves The Sword. They’re on a mission to kill off women who “tease men with their toxic sexuality”. She escapes and puts together a crew to fight back. Some heads and balls are going to roll.
The sexual politics angle thankfully isn’t overplayed either. It’s not totally blown off, issues of violence against women, victim shaming, etc are touched on. But it’s mostly there to set up a battle of the sexes type plot. With the exception of Brian (Anthony Iava To’omata) the males in the film are all scumbags to varying degrees, but that’s pretty much par for the genre.
STREETS OF VENGEANCE is framed as the feature presentation on “All Nite Long with Stacy Monroe”, a reference to USA’s “Up All Night with Rhonda Shear” and sets the 80’s tone beautifully. It isn’t set in the ’80s probably due to budget reasons, (it was allegedly made for under five thousand dollars), and adapts accordingly.
There are cell phones and way more ink and piercings than you would have seen back in the day. But what it does capture is the feel of those films. From the abundant nudity from porn stars, (Ginger Lynn Allen, Alexis Amore, Joanna Angel and Kristy Hill/Sophie Dee) in supporting roles. To outrageous and sometimes cheesy looking violence that includes a man being fed his own dick. Argento’s TENEBRAE is referenced in another sequence. Even the final montage evokes memories of so many promised but undelivered sequels.
STREETS OF VENGEANCE is available on Blu-Ray and DVD on Olive Films Slasher//Video imprint.