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Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » A Scream in the Streets
A Scream in the Streets
Image // R // January 8, 2002
List Price: $24.99 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by J. Doyle Wallis | posted January 24, 2002 | E-mail the Author
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The Story: *Bear in mind I'm using the term "story" very loosely* A serial rapist/murderer is roaming the parks of Los Angeles and killing women. This madman hasn't been caught because he is disguised in drag, and despite his noticeable stubble and manly frame, no one, not even undercover police women, can tell its a perv hiding under the Golden Girls wig and ill-fitting dress. Deep insight into the killers depravity is provided by his blatantly saying "I hate women. You are all dirty" as he kills his victims. Officers Bob Streeker and Ed Haskell comb the city streets, arresting perverts and low class robbers, keeping their eyes out for the scumbag who has been murdering the cities women.

The Film: This is pure classic sleaze. Basically a long form stag film, made in the era before porno became a more legitimate, more accepted, medium. This is the kind of film you couldn't show at a drive in, and were most likely to find playing in a greasy inner city theater, or maybe your dirty uncle would have a copy he'd project on his basement wall. So, by no means think of it as a exploitation buddy detective film, its basically just an excuse to go from random sex scene to random sex scene with some cop banter in-between. As a matter of fact, a majority of the sex scenes (X-Rated by todays standards) have nothing/little to do with the serial rapist roaming around- we see a sicko have sex and then beat a massage parlor girl, we see a cop and the dispatcher hook up, a Peeping Tom looks in on a dope smoking couple and later a pair of lesbians, we see one of the detectives and his wife, and from time to time we see the two detectives bust some robbers, ride around talking about how perverted the city is, and a couple of times we see the drag queen rapist feebly murder a girl or two.

Make no mistake, this is a pure, cheap, Sleaze-O-Rama titillation porno film complete with fetishists spankings and women in garter belts, assorted perverts, dope smoking, lesbos, and so forth, with a cast of men who mainly look like plumbers and used car salesmen and women who were obviously strippers from the all-nude district. While I figure if you want porno, rent/buy a real "explicit" porno, and if you want 70's detective action rent/buy Dirty Harry, Day of the Cobra, or Shaft, I guess I can see the charms of this long gone genre of sexploitation film, and I recognize that it has its fare share of fans. The cheesball, pulp novel dialogue is a real hoot, the young cop and the dispatcher have, roughly, the following exchange when he's asking her to go out- He says, "We could play 'Photography' for a couple of hours."- "What game is Photography?", she asks.- " Its when two people go in dark room to see what develops." I'll admit the opening credit sequence with the drag queen rapist assaulting a victim framed in a separate square while the credits played, and the finale when the film goes split screen, with the drag queen rapist on one screen, the detective shooting the rapist as he reads him his rights on the other, was pretty neat. Fans of this genre of film (admittedly I am not) will probably like it quite a bit, and certainly although it makes no great strides in film-making, I'll be giving it a positive review for the following reasons.....

The DVD: Image/Something Weird Video does a great job with fringe material, offering a fantastic transfer and tons of extras for the classic sexploitation fan.

Picture- Fullscreen. For a low budget, older, cult genre film, I was flabbergasted by the image quality. It shows great color and sharpness, and with very minor wear and tear lines or specks. I really couldn't believe the film looked this good, it just goes to show even old b-films can be resurrected and look just as good/better than the older prints the major studios keep. It really is a jaw-droppingly good print for this kind of film.

Sound- 2.0 Dolby Digital Mono. The audio track on the other hand suffers, but it is due to the original sound recording being bad, pretty lacking, with low levels and often sounding like everyone was speaking into a tin can. It is audible though, you just have to turn up your volume a little more, and, all things considered, Something Weird probably did the best job they could.

Extras- Lots of extras all geared to the stag/sleaze fan and a few good old funky weird things. Overall the sources are spotty, grainy, and pretty rough, but that should be of no surprise to fans of this sort of stuff--- Loading the disc, it opens with a fun Something Weird promo--- TRAILERS for A Scream in the Streets, Destination Fury, The Godson, Mafia Gang, Michelle, Prostitute Protection Society, Secret File 1413, Sex Club International, Some Like It Violent, A Taste of Hot Lead, The Touchables, and X-Ray of a Killer. Most of the trailers are between 3 and 5 mins long.--- SHADY SHORT SUBJECTS: Crime in the Streets (18mins), The Prowler (24 mins), Caught in the Can (25 mins) admittedly this was the only one I watched entirely, with some fast forwarding through the sex. It concerned two guys who dress up in drag so they can get arrested, go to women's jail, and then get it on with their fellow cellmates., Strip in the Street (3mins, a classic, B&W, silent, stag film), and Harry Novak: Crime Stopper, (16 mins) which is basically a casual, off-the-cuff home video visiting sexploitation guru Harry Novak at his offices. He shows off his firearms, and he checks his messages, and tries to track down a deadbeat film distributor who owes him money.--- And finally a Gallery of Harry Novak Exploitation Poster Art (4mins) and Still Gallery (8mins), both of which are a played feature accompanied by jazzy exploitation music as the images roll by.--- Plus there is an Easter Egg you get by clicking over to the drag queen/rapist necklace on the main menu; it accesses a bonus trailer.

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