This eccentric low-budget effort from Penitentiary director Jamaa Fanaka attempts to mix gritty action and social commentary, but is too cheaply made and eccentric in its storytelling choices to be believed. From a technical standpoint, Street Wars is burdened with tons of technical gaffes: people are shot, but do not bleed, several scenes take place on phony-looking sets, and huge portions of the soundtrack have been clumsily and obviously redubbed. If viewers can overlook all these distracting technical problems, Street Wars will confront them with a story that will leave them scratching their heads. The audience is presented with a plot which includes such bizarre elements as a crack house that has a built-in jail cell to detain its customers and four men bringing the crack trade in Los Angeles to its knees by attacking the dealers with miniature aircraft. Street Wars is further hurt by acting that ranges from amateurish to indifferent and pointless musical interludes used to pad out the running time (including a bizarre song touting a "rooster" dance craze). In short, Street Wars is a cinematic train-wreck that might amuse blaxploitation fans and patrons of the surreal, but will leave most other audiences cold.
by Donald Guarisco review