Movie Review: Bitch Slap (2010)
Bitch Slap claims to be “a post-modern, thinking man’s throwback” to the sexploitation movies of the 50s, 60s, and 70s, with a dose of Tarrantino’s Kill Bill thrown in for good measure. There is hope: The opening credits roll on top of footage from movies like Dragstrip Girl and Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill! The first significant shot is of an old car pulling up to a trailer that looks suspiciously like the one that belonged to Budd, brother of Bill. Then the three protagonists of the film—Trixie (“a down-and-out stripper”), Camero (“a drug-running killer”), and Hel (“a corporate powerbroker”)—get out of their car and start talking.
Faster, Pussycat! starts the same way, with the three main women standing by their cars and spouting cheesy lines while Russ Meyer, the king of the nudies, frames his shots for maximum titillation, but there’s a difference: Meyer wasn’t merely a smut-peddler. He genuinely worshiped the female form, which explains why Turra Satana towered over just about everybody in that film. Bitch Slap’s director, Rick Jacobson, seems to think that women are an assemblage of body parts that look good in latex. Russ Meyers’ women fought people in a show of dominance. Rick Jacobson’s fight so he can show things jiggling in slow motion.
Bitch Slap‘s script is basically a two hour long excuse to show breasts. On that level, it is a success. Trixie, Camero, and Hel step out of the car and start digging so that their breasts can get dirty. They get each other wet with a random supply of water so that their breasts can get soaked. The women are ex-cons, strippers, secret agents, and every other conceivable stereotype so that they can appear in an endless array of easily-torn fetish wear. The plot, which fails even at successfully regurgitating ideas lifted from better movies, acts as a reason for everybody to change into and out of these costumes.
Naturally, all three women are lesbians, and, just like every bad movie lesbian with a sexy and/or macho job, they love talking about sex. They’re all about “bashing gash,” riding “the Poontang Valley Express,” and eating “pussy bar parfaits.” Only one of those is remotely plausible in any conversation, but just about every line in the script is like this. I laughed like an idiot when Camero and Hel were fighting over something for some reason, and one demanded that the other “blow on my biscuits,” just as I did when one of the movie’s few men, Officer Fuchs (if you say that loud, you’ll get one of the movie’s most clever jokes!) says the most romantic thing ever, telling Trixie that he’s “an aficionado for your ass.”
If any of that sounds like fun, that’s because you must have a taste for terrible movies. And yes, this is a terrible movie. 90% of it looks like it was shot against a green screen in a basement, the gunfighting sequences follow no discernible logic, the director appears to be infatuated with stylized split-screen stuff, and there is a flashback sequence every five minutes, often flashing back to intervals of time like “one hour and six minutes ago” in an effort to plumb the depths of its invisible plot. I laughed a lot once my brain had finally been numbed, but at no point in time was I laughing with what was going on.
I guess the problem is that the people responsible were obviously aiming to make a “cult classic” grindhouse film. Sure, those movies are filled with cheesy lines and stunted acting and were shot on incredibly low budgets, but this movie is unlike its sources because, from Faster, Pussycat! to Dolemite, the best exploitation films had something else going for them besides non-actors and clever ways around low budgets. They had soul. Unlike, say, Black Dynamite, Death Proof and even Planet Terror, Bitch Slap is incredibly disingenuous with it comes to its predecessors. It’s no wonder that a movie that starts with clips from the old classics of the genre ends with raw footage of women shaking their tits for an unseen audience, via webcam.
Bitch Slap. Directed by Rick Jacobson. With Julia Voth (Trixie), Erin Cummings (Hel), America Olivo (Camero), and Michael Hurst (Gage). Released January 8, 2010, by Freestyle Releasing.
Paul Arrand Rodgers
Paul Arrand Rodgers has this blog, and that's about it.