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Streetwalkin' - Shout Factory - DVD Print E-mail
User Rating: / 3
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Written by Jay Creepy   
Tuesday, 02 December 2014
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BUY STREETWALKIN' DVD

AKA: City Streets, Cookie, Garotas das Ruas, Streetwalkin' – haciendo la calle, Yoihmiset, Prostituzione, Mulheres da Rua, Prostitucion

Directed by:
Joan Freeman
Written by:
Robert Alden, Joan Freeman, Diane Gonciarz
Produced by:
Robert Alden
Cinematography by:
Steven Fierberg
Editing by:
John K Adams, Patrick Rand
Music by:
Matthew Ender, Doug Timm
Special Effects by:
Wilfred Caban
Cast:
Melissa Leo, Dale Midkiff, Antonio Fargas, Julie Newmar, Randall Batinkoff
Year:
1985
Country:
USA
Language:
English
Color:
Color
Runtime:
1h 24min

Distributor: Shout Factory

Take the location scenes from The Warriors, Basket Case, Life is Hot In Cracktown, Cruising, the Death Wish movies, etcetera, now blast out a seriously dark 80s album from maybe Grace Jones, or Annie Lennox and you sort of get close to the feel of this one. The fact that a majority of Streetwalkin' is based on the dirty mad street corners of NYC, it’s realism plain and simple.

Streetwalkin' is a cautionary tale of a runaway teen who arrives in New York with her younger brother, due to the abuse at home. Whilst he steals food, Cookie (Melissa Leo) has a slick fella watching her every move at the station. He approaches her and the grooming begins.

The credits simply bleed pools of 1980s with an upbeat song you may find on a Rick James album with a woman blasting out her vocals. Images of the NYC sex trade flash by, especially big cig smoking hoes. 

His name is Duke, and he's a pimp. A slick haired white boy pimp who's a standard, one moment hugging Cookie, next moment slapping a girl called Heather around in public for holding back some money. As I stated it's a heavy location set flick with dark neon passages and alleys, graffiti all over.

Cookie has been turned out but seems quite happy. Her brother is suspicious of Duke but accepts they have nowhere else to go. Heather decides to leave due to her street beat down. Afterwards we follow Cookie to one of her clients, a goofball. The camera lovingly traces Cookie's body as she strips, then her client strips but ends in a classic Porky's fashion.

Back at the apartment, Duke properly beats the hell out of Heather for trying to leave. Finding Heather unconscious on the floor, Cookie loses it with Duke. He grabs and slaps her. “Duke, you're the boss, anything you say goes.” she says terrified.

She takes Heather to the hospital whilst Duke drops into an 80s club -- the ultimate 80s club, with disco dancers, hoes, transvestites, and slow talking pimps. “You gotta get respect,” Duke tells a friend who laughs about Heather, “Bitch'll never do that again.” Duke decides to prowl, hunting a new girl.

After leaving Heather in safety, Cookie figures she needs to 'choose' a new pimp. She tells Jason (played by Leon Robinson, who is featured in the first season of OZ) how “Duke went crazy!” So whilst she chats to a pimp directly from a gritty Donald Goines novel, Duke takes Star (Khandi Alexander, Menace II Society, CB4, Poetic Justice) who actually belongs to Finesse, played by pimp stereotype himself, the king of family friendly pimps, Huggy Bear, Antonio Fargas, who gets punched by Duke for his protests. Cookie arrives at the club to let Duke know she's leaving him for Jason. She finds him kissing Star. She lures him outside and two of Jason's henchmen drive away with Duke at gunpoint. Cookie is rather upset, but Jason calms her. Meanwhile, Finesse claims his precious Star back, saying “bitch” about a dozen times.

Afterwards, on the dark docks, Duke is still held at gunpoint. For all his woman beating ways, Duke proves to be one tough M.F., beating down the two men and taking their car. Meanwhile, Cookie takes life lessons from an older streetwalker. Duke returns to the apartment and smashes shit up in a blind rage.

Cookie goes with a regular client, Jeff, who's eerily obsessed with her. He's probably a nice man, but just sounds very creepy. Duke's friend gets him a gun and he rampages through the streets looking for her and fighting other pimps. It's an interesting character development. The writers could have gone the average route and made Duke a cowardly pussy woman beater. He's a woman beater, yes, but sure can scrap with other men and win.

Jason finds his two henchmen dead, so he knows he has to get to Duke first. Cookie, her brother and some friends, including Star, have a card game late night in a closed bar. It's the calm before the storm. When her brother sets out to get some Chinese takeaway, Duke sees him. Jason is meanwhile desperately looking for Duke and Cookie.

Sleaze motels, bright lights, rubbish, broken glass everywhere, nudity, S&M, loud funk ‘n disco music, Streetwalkin' is a captured photograph of the underground NY scene from that era. It has drama, action, comedy and tense moments such as forced Russian roulette and the confrontation between Duke and Jason.

Streetwalkin' feels like an 80s big box rental, or a late night TV movie. It's so cool and if you like New York dirty low down gritty films, this is one of the top ones. Backed with a commentary by director Joan Freeman and writer Robert Alden and some trailers, it's a barebones release but worth grabbing.

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 RATING:
 VIDEO: 1 
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 AUDIO: 1 
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 DVD: 1 
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 MOVIE: 1 
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 DVD SPECS:
 Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 16:9
 Region: NTSC R1
 Audio: Dolby Digital Stereo 2.0


 SUPPLEMENTAL MATERIAL:
 - Trailer
 - Audio Commentary with Joan Freeman, Robert Alden.

Comments
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Cris R  - cautionary tale     |216.31.131.xxx |2015-07-27 21:12:43
I actually played this for my teen daughter... just in case.
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