A Study of Girl Gangs in Cinema


If anything film has taught us, female bonds are complex and are story-changers. Girl gangs can be empowering, but also harmful. Harmful in the sense, the purpose of breaking stereotypes for women turns to naught with bad writing. For the good and the bad, here's a perusal of the most notable girl gangs on film.

Mi Vida Loca (1993)

This indie film focuses on a group of Latina women caught up in the gang life of East L.A. Two of the characters, Sad Girl and Mousie, are caught inside this society of violence and crime. Both best friends, this film delves into their story in the context of something bigger than themselves, present in their society.

Jubilee (1978)

Murder, murder, murder, they wrote. This unusual film of time travel, punk and arthouse has three girls going on a mini murder killing spree to harm a girl named Crabs. For a female friendship bound by murder, this might be your jam.

Baise-Moi (2000)

This controversial movie (heads up, lots of sex scenes and violence) follows Manu, a slacker, drifter and loafer and Nadine, a part-time hooker with a happy outlook in life have their fates intertwined after a rape and murder and form a pansexual Thelma & Louise dynamic as they drive around Southern France. Apart from the study of their friendship and their dangerous personalities, this is a perfect film that challenged gender roles.

Skate Witches (1986)

"Skate Witches" give you three girls who 'take no crap from no one' and would steal your skateboard. In a male-dominated recreation and sport, the film poses itself as a supposed empowering film for women. If only the acting and script weren't so cringey.

The Warriors (1979)

The Warriors is a film of costumed gangs in New York -- your stereotypical fedoras, fitted overalls and waistcoats all there. Standing out from male gangs are a group of girls, The Lizzies, whom you would meet in a bar. They're the type you would want to join if you love your independence and fun. They all have pretty faces, but femmes fatales scream out as they hold dangerous weapons to kill a bro -- their sexuality.

Switchblade Sisters (1975)

You have here lace, the part-time leader of the Jezebels (née The Dagger Debs). The group of girls is reminiscent of a Sweet Valley High scenario or a clique in a teen novel, but don't let the premise fool you -- you'd get a moment of revenge via a toothy blowjob, an abortion conversation, gang rape, and other things that are far too common in the '70s.

Sin City (2005)

Sin City is film noir lover's dream come true. You've got your cold men, sexy distressed damsels... then the Girls of Olde Town. The group of prostitutes is filled dangerous women, those who fall under the 'femme fatal' trope. And just when men thought they can buy you and your sex out, these girls are the ones calling the shots in this Frank Miller film.

The Craft (1996)

In The Craft, you begin with Neve Campbell, the new girl in high school with a side salad of a sad backstory; Fairuza Balk, the badass babe and then Skeet Ulrich, your teenage dream. This film gained a cult following for a reason -- your girl group consists of four teenage girls pursuing witchcraft for their own gain.

Girl Gang (1954)

Fear-mongering was a thing in '50s cinema, and when an evil, mustachioed man convinces a group of girls to do his bidding by taking heroin. Unfortunately, this old-timer film has certainly run its course. Being controlled by a man no longer resonates with women today, but we can't dismiss the fact that this film was pretty forward and difficult to watch (considering the '50s was still conservative), and it's probably your entry to the girl gang scape.

Dune (1984)

Witches are the OG of the girl gang. If you pit all walks of girl gang subs -- bikers, cholas, banshee teens, mean girls -- the witches and their affinity for the supernatural would immediately kick them off the limelight. Dune's "The Bene Gesserit" is a sisterhood of follically-challenged women, who all rely on the Reverend Mother. The all-knowing nature of this group, their strict training and demonic vocal range just blows. If you're in this gang's bandwagon, you'd get to control minds. We may just have a winner.

Any thoughts and insights? Which girl gang do you like the most? How do you think does it shape perception on women? Share it with us through a comment below!

2017-08-18 #culture #videos #cinema #film #girl-gang

One Comment

  1. vicuna
    vicuna ·

    There's an interesting french movie about black girl gangs in the french suburbs, and in the same time about how to grow up from teenager to adult... called "Girlhood" or "Bande de filles" by Céline Schiamma (2014) you can see the teaser here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1f7EGBPIxtE

More Interesting Articles