Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Bitch Slap [movie review]

* North American theatrical release in January 2010
* Screened September 14th at Ryerson Theatre
The world premiere of
Bitch Slap was appropriately screened during the Toronto International Film Festival's Midnight Madness series. The ode to 60's and 70's sexploitation flicks was met by a rowdy audience, eager for a little mindless T & A-drenched entertainment. Bitch Slap definitely doesn't slouch in the T & A department. Unfortunately, the "mindless" quotient was damn near off the chart.
The plot is a nonsensical mishmash of ridiculous storylines essentially revolving around a diamond heist, many told in a series of flashbacks while the present day action unfolds in a remote desert area. The three main actresses are given suitably Tarantino-esque names like Hel (the brains behind the opeartion, played by Erin Cummings), Camero (the lesbian muscle with huge trust issues and a steady supply of tight pants, played by America Olivo) and Trixie (the naive, but sweet stripper, played by Julia Voth). The dialogue these three are saddled with is so bad that one can't help but feel their pain. Of course, when you sign on for a film with a director (Rick Jacobson, who also co-wrote the screenplay) whose filmography consists of dozens of episodes of bad television like Baywatch, Baywatch Nights, Hercules, Xena and Cleopatra 2525, not to mention d-grade movies such as the eighth installment of the prestigious Bloodfist film series, well, you get what you ask for. There were so many groan-worthy double entendres that I lost count.
Kevin Sorbo and Lucy Lawless (Hercules and Xena, respectively) make cameos, but other than that the entire cast is virtual unknowns. Some might recognize a quick appearance from Zoe Bell, who also acted as the film's stunt coordinator, from her appearances in Quentin Tarantino's Deathproof and as Uma Thurman's stunt double in the two Kill Bill movies.
Everything in Bitch Slap is so over-the-top that it felt like I was being kept at an arm's length from really becoming engaged with the movie. It didn't even function well as stupid escapism. The endless parade of slow motion cleavage shots and worse, a water fight between the three female leads that kept going and going and going...if the movie is laying on the sexual cheese (now there's a visual!) so thick that it alienates its core horny male viewer then it's in a world of trouble, because Bitch Slap has little else going for it.
Rating: ★★★☆☆☆☆☆☆☆