Savage Sisters (1974)

Rating: ***
Review Date: 6/29/13
Director: Eddie Romero
Cast: Gloria Hendry, Cheri Caffaro, Rosanna Ortiz, Sid Haig, John Ashley, Vic Diaz

"Hands off, or your ass is ham and I'm the slicer!" Man, they just don't write dialog like that anymore...

A fun and campy Filipino action film featuring three beautiful women chasing after a million dollars of stolen government money. Jo Turner (Cheri Caffaro) and Mai Ling (Rosanna Ortiz) are revolutionaries who get arrested for insurrection, but tough-as-nails Sgt. Lynn Turner (Gloria Hendry) busts them out of jail because they know where the money is. Jo also has a personal score to settle with the ruthless pirate (Sid Haig) who has the cash. Everyone ends up double-crossing everyone else, but the women stay surprisingly true to each other, despite their differences.

It's a surprisingly entertaining film that doesn't take itself overly seriously, and isn't nearly as trashy as similar exploitation fare. A wild-eyed Sid Haig is at his maniacal best and is a total hoot to watch. Sleazy John Ashley is also quite amusing, and always ends up with the short end of the stick. The leading ladies are lovely and full of attitude and empowerment, which is utterly delightful. It's a shame that went out of style in the 1970's. While I'm not a fan of Cheri Caffaro, she performs admirably and holds her own quite well. Gloria Hendry is fabulous, although her agent reportedly begged her not to take the role. And sexy Rosanna Ortiz is the only one in the group who can throw a half-decent punch and kick. The goofy humor is subtly effective and sets the tone of the film appropriately. Overall, one of the better exploitation films to use the "ebony ivory jade" formula.