‘The Big Switch’ is a proper b-movie: cheap, short and pretty meaningless. But it has a sense of style, is full of ideas, and manages to transpose the pulp milieu of Mickey Spillane onto London and Brighton in a relatively convincing manner, no mean feat when the chief villain is wearing hush puppies.
Made in two versions (needless to say, one with a lot more nudity, sex and torture), ‘The Big Switch’ trots along nicely, whipping from one hardboiled scene to another, full of tough talk, regular beatings, mod gear, discos, night clubs, endless cigarettes and unfeasibly large London apartments filled with objects d’art and discarded panty hose. The film winds up nicely with a shoot-out in the run down pop art setting of the amusement arcade on Brighton Pier, an unexpected snow storm propitiously adding to the atmosphere (and causing a couple of cast members to slip arse over tit, one while firing a gun – although he was obviously a great shot, as the intended target clutches their chest anyway).
‘The Big Switch’ is far from perfect, but nevertheless provides a great deal of casual entertainment, the odd thrill and, best of all, the occasional surprise. It may be cheap, but it’s certainly not worthless and is ten times better than, say, a punch in the balls.