Bad Movie Tuesday: Bitch Slap (2009), a modern grindhouse release which answers what it would look like if Tarantino reimagined a hard-R Charlie’s Angels
MY CALL: What if Charlie’s Angels was raunchy, trashy and rated a hard-R a la Tarantino? Well, you’d probably get this funny, tasteless and breastacular exploitation film which walks a fine line between an erotic clothes-on video shoot and a slapstick crime caper that makes every effort to be bad in the spirit of fun. IF YOU LIKE THIS WATCH: Boys Against Girls (2013) and Kill Bill (2003, 2004), I guess. But, from modern-day movies, some Tokyo Shock movies are more similar to this than even the raunchy classics that Bitch Slap honors.
Writer/director Rick Jacobson is no stranger to over-the-top, scantily clad tough girls and cleavage. He’s directed many episodes of Hercules, Xena, Baywatch and two seasons of Spartacus, and he knows how to deliver. He can’t aim a camera at one of his leading ladies without starting at her fun parts. As tasteless as that sounds, Jacobson has crafted a modern, clever throwback to exploitation classics, dragged kicking and screaming into the 21st century.
We have three female leads… The air-headed Trixie (Julia Voth), red-headed Hel (Erin Cummings; Dollhouse, Spartacus: War of the Damned) and the over-medicated hothead Camero (America Olivo; No One Lives, Maniac, Friday the 13th) are three breasty bitches with attitude who are in over their head for $200 million in diamonds. Clearly borrowing from Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction (1994), the story jumps from present day to flashbacks, not presented in chronological order, which serve to explain some things in the wake of the confusion while slowly pulling the veil on what’s really going on along with some red herrings. This approach is articulate, but it’s hard to notice when the view of this cleverness is obscured by so many in-your-face, sweaty boobs.
These girls talk a big game, are way too tough to be credible (because credible is what they were after in making this film, right?), and give us a mix raunchy girl-on-girl humor with silly spy skills.
This mix of female empowerment and exploitation features bullets to the balls, exit wound sprays from the head, threats of genital mutilation, stripper dance routines, comical drug use, a glowing vagina, very weirdly creative (or just drug-induced) analogies involving two-dicked dogs and getting people wet, crotch punches, death yo-yos, sopping wet catfights, women touching themselves, small children saying “salty balls”, a pig-tailed lesbian Asian in a schoolgirl outfit, loads of heaving and fondling, bitches hogtying other bitches with chains, bitches lighting other bitches on fire, bitches exploding other bitches in cars, bitches choking other bitches out, REALLY BIG guns, a female crotch bite (first ever on film?), the longest and most ridiculous catfight ever, and so much more.
The highlight of this director’s skills include a split screen girl-on-girl makeout session complete with trancy film-editing transitions. Jacobson also keeps things classy by showing us strikingly few bare nipples…however we do get rough finger-banging, insinuated lesbian oral sex, and more wet breast shots than Piranha 3D (2010) and Piranha 3DD (2012) combined.
The level of crazy corny action, fake acrobatics, cartoonish green-screen work (very Sin City graphic novel-y), utterly tasteless voluptuan montages with sleazy scoring, catfights with metal-scoring, and D-quality slo-mo special effects should provoke uncontrollable laughter.
Kevin Sorbo (Hercules, Xena, Meet the Spartans) makes a cameo appearance as Mr. Phoenix and Lucy Lawless (Xena, Hercules, Spartacus, Battlestar Galactica) as Mother Superior. Sorbo gets the better cameo by far! You can find him in the worst action finale ever.
A few of my favorite quotes (not perfectly quoted, by the way) include…
“I’m going to tear your show tits asunder.”
“Let’s slip off to some small Micronesian island.”
“So you’re a super spy masquerading as a sex toy tycoon?”
You should know based on the DVD cover whether or not this movie is for you. It may not be “my style,” but it was certainly for me.