The blurb made me think that this was going to be a bit of a Grindhouse type film, and with a few good looking ladies gracing the leads I was wondering what could be the downside of having this on in the background. However something happened as I started watching it, my attention was drawn and it became about more than just the ladies and started to surprise me, I ended up watching it and not doing what I was supposed to.
The production values are more than expected, the film has some fun moments and some rather cool styling that in a few scenes is very reminiscent of The Spirit and 300 (Filmstalker review), and the story does get you hooked in enough to give it your attention. Throw in a few laughs, and the film is actually rather entertaining.
It's surprises like this that I like about watching films.
Bitch Slap has three things that stand out the moment it begins. There's Julia Voth, Erin Cummings and America Olivo, three gorgeous ladies who play the leads of the film, Trixie, Hel and Camero, a cracking name indeed. However don't let the gorgeous ladies fool you, neither should you let yourself be distracted by the cameos of Kevin Sorbo and Lucy Lawless, this film is a lot more than "boobs, blood and guns" as I've heard it described elsewhere. There's a lot of fun to be had here.
The film has a Grindhouse feel to quite a bit of it, mixed with some cool flashbacks that are reminiscent of how The Spirit looked. It does look much better than you might expect, and it's not just down to the luscious ladies playing the leads, seriously there's much more to it than them, although I have to say that Voth, Cummings and Olivio are fantastic to look at but they also play their parts rather well. Sure there are some over acting moments, particularly from Camaro and her annoying head twitches during her angry scenes later on but didn't I say this was Grindhouse-esque? Trixie is the best character though and comes into her own later in the film.
The story is the cleverest part of the film as is the way that it plays out. We follow the three girls as they try to locate the hidden item or items in the current time line until there's a blip or reveal which leaps us to a flashback to explain the situation and then return us to the current day to see how the story changes or the characters react to the reveal. It's a nice way to tell the story, developing the characters in the current time line and flipping back to the past through the flashbacks to twist and turn the story the characters are developing in. It is nicely done.
The story continues as they fight among themselves and a couple of characters from the flashbacks appear to mix things up between them and pursue their own quest to try and find the mysterious item, including one mysterious and very feared killer.
There are some enjoyable fight scenes too, and again I feel the need to defend myself and the film and say it's not about the sexy ladies fighting, but there are some genuinely fun fight scenes. Okay there's also the slow motion water fight to counter those moments, but come on, it's perfectly acceptable...isn't it?
The enjoyment just isn't in the fight scenes, it carries through other aspects of the film and there are some funny moments, usually because of the story, the way its told, the amusing situations the characters get into and their dialogue, however there is some that's down to the cliché exploitation moments and the tongue in cheek way that some of the girls are presented, and while it might be seen as a bit of a guilty pleasure or a little bit of fan indulgence, it's still fun.
The budget might be low for the film but it does deliver style and fun with some rather well played story elements. While the acting and the film might not be top notch, they do a great deal with the budget and it does play above its genre grouping, the film does a great job of maximising on its strengths and it works well.
Funny, enjoyable, some good scripting and characters, all surprise in a film that you'd expect much less from considering the budget and genre it comes from. Bitch Slap has a lot of what you'd expect, but also a lot more of what you wouldn't, and it's all the more fun for it.