“Streetwalkin’,” written by Matthew Ender & Odette Springer and performed by Sylvia St. James.
Interesting Dated References: Teen prostitutes being easy to find.
Best Line: Said by john — “I’ve got a hard-on.” Said by hooker in retort — “Nigga, you better go get your friend to sit on it.”
Social Context: Teen prostitution. Apparently it was epidemic if they made multiple movies about it. I don’t know if this was just a New York thing or what. It seems odd that both of the movies I’ve recent watched about teenage prostitution have taken place in New York.
Summary: Streetwalkin’ opens in the subways of New York with pimp Duke (Dale Midkiff, the dad from Pet Cemetery) talking to the crying young Cookie (Melissa Leo). Before you know it, Cookie is a regular whore; Duke her abusive pimp.
So Duke beats up this other whore and that gets Cookie upset.
Later, Duke goes to an all-black strip club and orders a double Scotch and talks to that weird guy from Ally McBeal. At that same club, the guy who was Huggy Bear plays a pimp and yells at his ladies.
Did I mention the entire movie has been filmed at night?
It was also supposed to be a big deal that Julie Newmar plays the queen pimp in the movie. At some point Duke gets abducted by another pimp and they have a really poorly choreographed fight. After that, he trashes the apartment he and Cookie live in. It’s like this movie skipped the entire build-up part that makes you care about the characters and just jumped into the drama. Too much 80s and not enough 70s. Hookers? Teens? New York? Prostitution? Somehow it’s not happening.
I’m curious about this authentic “New York City Rap” poster that appears to have a bunch of band logos beneath the title.
Duke gets a gun and goes to shoot Cookie because she’s trying to see another pimp. Then he gets in another badly choreographed fight.
While Duke searches for Cookie, she and another hooker do some kinky domination thing with a john. For the record:
Those are the same Return of The Jedi curtains with which I had the accompanying bed linens. Well, I had the sheets, but I didn’t have the pillow cases. When our house was burgled in 1984, they used the pillow cases to steal all of my dads Betamax tapes. They didn’t take the player, though, which happens to be the same player I’m using right now. Full circle.
So, Duke continues on his barely interesting search for Cookie. He has the Ally McBeal guy in tow and proceeds to kill Huggy Bear. Meanwhile, all the hookers are playing poker with Cookie and her younger brother and drinking Jack Daniels and Heineken. Duke and Ally McBeal show up at the poker game and get all violent. At some point Julie Newmar shoots Duke like 34 times because he was beating on Cookie. Then Cookie shoots him for real and the movie ends. All the elements for a good story, but not enough development to make anyone care.
Poster and Box Art: For the record, I just want to state that 1986 was the year they finally figured out how to use quotes on modern day movie boxes/cases. I’ve never seen this occur before 1985/1986. I have yet to pinpoint what movie made it standard, but I’m sure you recognize the “big quotes” style of promotion used on the back of this box.
When did we start caring what these people thought of movies? Before this you rented a movie based on the story, cover, actors, word of mouth, etc. It’s as if at some point around 1985 everyone said “We don’t know shit, let’s put these giant quotes on here, that will tell everyone what to rent.” The world sucks now.
Availability: As soon as Melissa Leo won that Oscar this was released on DVD under the “Roger Corman Classics” label. Get it via Amazon.