Streets (Katt Shea, 1990)

posted in: Duane, Review | 0
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A psycho motorcycle cop terrorizes a young prostitute in Venice, California after his attempt to rape her is thwarted by a young runaway. Knowing she can identify him, he will do whatever it takes to find and eliminate her after getting his rape on.
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Christina Applegate (TV’s Married With Children, Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy) stars in Katt Shea’s (Stripped to Kill, Poison Ivy) fourth film (produced by Roger Corman), in which she plays a junkie hooker pursued by a psycho cop looking to finish her off after attempting to rape her (see, she only blows dudes with condoms on. She’s a respectable street urchin with morals!). It’s a strange amalgam of late 80s straight to video sleaze and overly melodramatic movie of the week that works for the most part. Shea’s direction is solid as usual, and the film manages to strike a balance between lighthearted coming of age tale and dark urban nightmare.

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Applegate does a fine job playing Dawn, the broken 16 year old cast-off with a sob story; trying to make a living on the streets with only her mouth to keep her in steady supply of smack. She hooks up with naïve runaway Sy (David Mendenhall; Over the Top) who thinks by riding his bicycle to Hollywood with his shitty keyboard strapped to the handlebars he’ll be able to start a music group over the weekend and “make it”. The two of course become thick as thieves as Dawn shakes her ass just enough to make Sy think he’s gonna get a free sample of whore ‘tang while she leads him on through the seedy underbelly of Venice and all the human detritus contained therein (keep in mind Streets is about as gritty as what they might safely conjure on an episode of Beverly Hills, 90210).

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And then comes the darkness… the real show stopper here is the nutjob beat cop, Lumley, played brilliantly by Eb Lottimer (Breakin’, Stripped to Kill 2: Live Girls). His dead eyed stare and proclivity for self-mutilation is only overshadowed by his cruelty as he cuts a swath through Dawn’s friends, ever so slowly working his way towards her so he can finally finish her off as penance for scratching his face and robbing him of a solid forced entry. His campaign of hooker hate is well executed and had me grinning like an idiot more than once at the brutality he inflicts on Dawn’s associates. Also worthy of mention is a cameo by Shea veteran Kay Lenz (Stripped to Kill, Death Wish 4: The Crackdown) as Lumley’s police Sargent, but sadly she is sans-lingerie this time around.
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For a tale about a junkie hooker, Streets is admittedly very light on the sleaze; there are no scenes of coitus at all, and the only bit of sweet exposed hooker meat we are treated to come from a couple titty shots courtesy of a hideous face-tattooed whore and Applegate herself (don’t get too excited, it’s fairly brief).  Thankfully, Streets almost makes up for this oversight with some pretty brutal violence that is at times abrupt and even shocking. There’s no denying that the addition of some attractive naked sluts would have really rounded out the production. The film also feels almost too upbeat at times, mostly due to the sunny California setting. I found myself wishing it was set in the filthy alleyways of New York or something far less cheerful looking. It’s hard to feel the oppression of society when these dejected souls are lamenting their collective situations under the palm trees by the pier.COSDS-Streets00009

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Futile attempts to tug at one’s heartstrings aside, Streets is a solid, well-paced thriller that will keep exploitation fans amused for a solid 90 minutes. If that doesn’t grab you, watch it to see Kelly Bundy’s sweater meat.
Official COSDS Nunspank Rating:

 

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Duane co-founded The Church of Splatter-Day Saints in 2005. When not immersed in film he's enjoying good whiskey, smoking meat in the backyard or thinking about sluts. He makes a damn fine habanero fire sauce.

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