Sunday, 25 July 2010

A Scream In the Streets

Students of Trash Cinema who regularly make pilgrimage to 42nd Street would do well to seek out Something Weird's DVD of A Scream In the Streets, (aka Girls In the Streets) a low down dirty-ass exploitation roughie from 1973. The plot - and I use the term loosely - concerns Ed Haskell, a hard-nose cop who's been assigned a new partner, Bob Streeker (?), a hot-head who hates doing things by the book. Together they patrol the streets of suburban LA in search of a serial rapist who's MO is raping and killing young girls whilst dressed as a woman...

Watching A Scream In the Streets you get the feeling that the production probably started out as a thriller in the vein of the new hard edge cop films that were emerging - Dirty Harry and The French Connection, but along the way got turned into a sexploitation flick - considering that every 10mins or so the story grinds to a halt for some borderline-hardcore sex. The direction, credited to Carl Monson is mostly flat and insipid, although the film does break out in two sequences - a Peckinpah-style shootout (cue meaty squibs and slow-mo), and a car chase that's sabotaged by some amateurish undercranking. As for the cops, its a wonder that these guys are not directing traffic, totally inept at law enforcement and spending most of the film bitchin' rather than arrestin'. Of course none of that hardly matters, A Scream In the Streets delivers plenty of sleazy thrills, and a jaw-dropping final shot (a splitscreen freezeframe, no less!) which suggests that that the film makers were probably not taking any of this seriously in the first place. Yep, I liked it.

This being a Harry Novak production, its not surprising the source print used for Something Weird's DVD is in great shape - sharp, bright and showing minimal wear and tear. The extras are the usually treasure trove of Something Weird flotsam and jetsam, and be sure to watch the extra called Harry Novak Crime Stopper, a highly amusing shot-on-video trip to the office of Harry Novak by the Something Weird crew.

1 comment:

  1. This one is something to see, that's for sure. And our friend the rapist might possibly be the most unconvincing woman in the history of cinema. And that is saying something.