Starring: Julia Voth, America Olivio, Erin Cummings, Ron Melendez, William Gregory Lee, Minae Noji, Micheal Hurst, Kevin Sorbo, Lucy Lawless, and Renee O’Connor.
Directed By: Rick Jacobson
Throughout the course of cinema history there have been many films which have broken new cinematic ground. Films that tackle difficult and controversial subject matter in a serious and thought-provoking manner. Films that manage to entertain while simultaneously forcing us to question our own philosophical and spiritual beliefs.
Bitch Slap is not one of those films.
Nope, Bitch Slap is an unapologetically gratuitous b-flick centering around the wild exploits of three beautiful — albeit slightly insane — women, Hel (Erin Cummings), Camero (America Olivio), and Trixie (Julia Voth) on a quest to track down a cache of stolen diamonds. While trying to recover the jewels they are forced to defeat rival criminals, outsmart the local police, and somehow manage to keep from killing each other in the process.
Fortunately this somewhat cliched plot is told in a rather unconventional way, with the movie opening somewhere in the middle of the story and then slowly unfolding through use of a dual storyline, with one part moving forward and the other being told in reverse order through flashbacks. I found this to be a bit annoying at first, but it is eventually worth it when the two storylines finally crash into each other towards the end of the film. While this is clever and does make the story considerably more interesting, it does very little to disguise the fact that the plot itself is completely ludicrous, with the main villain’s evil plan being needlessly complicated to the point of absurdity. (“Yes! My diabolical, extremely convoluted plan worked! I should’ve been a politician.” Yes, I am 26 years old and I just quoted an episode of SpongeBob Squarepants, what of it?)
Much like the plot, the dialog is delightfully absurd as well. In fact, it is downright hilarious in its over-the-top obscenity. I can almost picture the writers huddled around a desk, giggling uncontrollably, constantly referencing their unabridged copy of “The Big Book of Genital Euphemisms.” Some of the lines in this film are so filthy and complex, I honestly could have used some sort of potty-mouthed Sherpa to guide me through. Actually in honor of this film, it is now my personal mission to try and work the phrase, “Plumbing the depths of Cooter-licious” into everyday conversation as much as humanly possible.
Not to be outdone by the dialog, the actors themselves obviously tried quite hard to match the intensity of the script. America Olivio in particular played the role of Camero totally wild-eyed, over-the-top, batshit crazy. An understandable choice when you take into account a few of the other characters, such as Hot Wire (William Gregory Lee), the machine-gun toting psycho with Tourette Syndrome, and his demented Japanese sidekick, Kinki (Minae Noji) a pit fighter who defeats her enemies with her highly modified yo-yo of death. As you can see, this film definitely did not call for subdued and subtle.
While I’m on the subject of the acting, I recently gave an interview in which I was asked which relatively unknown actor or actress would be a star within the next five years. I am hereby officially changing my answer to Julia Voth. In addition to being stunningly gorgeous, with eyes so bewitching they would have surely resulted in her being burned at the stake only a few hundred years ago, she manages to hold her own quite well in her first starring role. Her performance is a little uneven at times but unlike many other pretty faces, she actually seems to possess some charisma as well. Not to mention one scene in particular with co-star Erin Cummings which I’m quite certain would have been enough to turn even Oscar Wilde straight. Just in case you haven’t noticed by now, I suppose I’ll simply come out and say it. I am in love with Julia Voth.
Of course I can’t possibly end a review of Bitch Slap without saying a few words about the fight scenes. I have to congratulate stunt coordinator Zoe Bell (Death Proof) on creating the single most brutal “chick-fight” I have ever witnessed onscreen. I’m not just saying this because she could probably kick my ass, either. No offense to Erin Cummings or America Olivio, but it wasn’t like Ms. Bell was working with Angela Mao and Milla Jovovich here. She took two relatively green “fighters” (please note my use of quotation marks around the word fighters…) and pulled a fight scene out of them which was worthy of being chronicled in a song by Dethklok.
As I said earlier, Bitch Slap doesn’t break any new cinematic ground, make you think, or make any profound statement about life and the human condition — and it wasn’t trying to either. It is crass, obscene, unrelentingly violent, and cheesy as hell. Much like Grindhouse, Bitch Slap is a throwback to the classic exploitation and drive-in sleaze of yesteryear, only without the overbearing cloud of pretentiousness which tends to hang over most of Quentin Tarantino’s output. Were I still twelve years old, I’m sure I would consider Bitch Slap to be the greatest movie ever made. I mean what’s not to like? Beautiful women, big guns, massive explosions, tons of ridiculously filthy insults, and a machine-gun wielding midget.
Somewhere Russ Meyer is smiling.
Reviewed By Derek Miller
Posted On March 9, 2010