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“Bitchslap"-(Unrated)
Reviewer:
Chris Pandolfi
Studio: 20th Century Fox
Genre:
Action
Release Date:
3/2/2010
Special Features:

See Below

Review:

Oh yes, "Bitch Slap" is everything you think it is. Girls. Guns. Catfights. Explosions. Lesbian romances. A story of bad guys, booty, alliances, betrayals, and secrets. It's being billed as, "a post-modern, thinking man's throwback to the B movie/exploitation films of the 1950s - 70s," but the truth is it gives us little to think about, and I'm hard pressed to say that it reexamines modern assumptions of culture, identity, and language. It does, however, open with a Joseph Conrad quote: "The belief in a supernatural source of evil is not necessary; men alone are quite capable of every wickedness." We see the word "men" and automatically think it's a blatant anti-male message. But by the end of the film, it's made abundantly clear that women are just capable of being wicked. Equality through evil. Funny.***

This movie is irredeemably enjoyable, preposterous in both its story and its characters yet magnetic as a satire disguised as a schlocky male fantasy. It tells the story of three bad girls, all smoking hot, who find themselves in a plot to extort diamonds and weapons from an underworld kingpin, whose identity is a secret. The redhead is Hel, presumably short for Helen (Erin Cummings); she seems to be the leader of the group, tough but levelheaded, able to see the big picture and plan accordingly. The blonde is Camero (America Olivo), an oversexed hothead who's on medication. She's one of those people that hates everyone and is mad about everything, and has the dialogue to prove it. The brunette is a stripper named Trixie (Julia Voth), always upset, always overwhelmed, always wanting to play by the rules.***

Every opportunity is taken to flaunt their feminine assets, and boy, do they have them - a basic shot is a slow-motion close-up of heaving breasts and deep cleavage, although some time is set aside for bare legs. There's never a moment when they aren't wearing high heels or don't have makeup painted on their faces. And then there are times when they pause to do a little manual labor, such as digging in the middle of the desert. My, but it's burning hot, and ... is that a bucket of water sitting there? Maybe they should splash each other playfully in order to stay cool. Things will heat back up later on, when Trixie and Hel discover that their feelings for one another are deeper than they first imagined. That's about when the situation goes completely out of control. Loyalties change. Identities are revealed. People get shot. Things blow up. And did I mention the catfights?***

Intertwined with this is a ridiculous but somehow appropriate subplot about a notorious criminal known only as Pinky, never dealt with directly and never seen but fabled to be the most dangerous criminal mastermind who ever lived. When Trixie innocently brings up the subject, Hel and Camero speak in the same tones as someone telling a ghost story around a campfire. "Many believe Pinky's a phantom," says Camero. "Others think he sold his soul to the devil. I think he IS the devil." Maybe so; a flashback sequence shows a silhouetted figure going nuts with what appear to be samurai swords, used to decapitate people left and right. Do we ever discover what Pinky looks like? With such gorgeous women displayed on the big screen, can you honestly say that you care?*** When this movie is not going out of its way to be sexy, then it's being incredibly goofy. Take Olivo, for example; the angrier she gets, the funnier she becomes, not only because she spews unbelievably inane profanity, but also because her character is the most aggressive. And just wait until you hear of her tryst with a sideshow contortionist. Let's also consider the director, Rick Jacobson; he's currently at work on the new "Spartacus: Blood and Sand" television series and has been involved with "She Spies," "Cleopatra 2525," "Batwatch," "La Femme Nikita," "Hercules: The Legendary Journeys," and "Xena: Warrior Princess." The last two are noteworthy because Kevin Sorbo, Lucy Lawless, and Renée O'Connor all have cameos in "Bitch Slap." Or maybe they aren't noteworthy at all. Whatever.***

Special Features:

"Building A Better B-Movie Documentary" & "Audio Commentaries With Filmmakers & Cast"

Final Words:

This movie is, essentially, a cross between an erotic photo shoot and a silly crime caper, one that has been fed into a low-tech special effects mill. And I suppose that's why I had fun watching it. While I ultimately have no good reason for recommending it, you have to admit, there is something infectious about a movie that actively tries to be bad. I'm reminded of an often repeated Pauline Kael quote: "Movies are so rarely great art that if we cannot appreciate great trash, we have very little reason to be interested in them." "Bitch Slap" is, indeed, great trash, projected up on the screen in all its violent, foulmouthed, double-D glory. Fellas, this is your lucky day.***

 

 
 
 
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