An outrageous homage to exploitation flicks...
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Missing the exploitation films of the '60s and '70s? Wait no longer because BITCH SLAP is now available on DVD. This guilty-pleasure of a film pays homage to the films of the great Russ Meyers, throwing our three heroines into a ridiculous plot as long as their assets are the main focus. TV Director Rick Jacobson along with producing partner Eric Gruendemann (both of Hercules: The Legendary Journeys and Xena: Warrior Princess), tired of the Hollywood system decided to call the shots themselves and produced this outrageous film.
The story is centered around three bombshells: the leggy stripper Trixie (played by the gorgeous Julia Voth), the cunning Hel (Erin Cummings), and drug addicted Camaro (America Olivo) that venture into the desert to find some priceless goods. Only problem is, things are constantly going wrong whenever the girls aren't showing off their cleavage or making out with each other. Also along for the ride are some major background players that keep the story moving. Michael Hurst (Hercules) plays the slimy Gage perfectly as Ron Melendez plays the innocent desert cop, Deputy Fuchs (it's pronounced "fukes"). And since the director and producer are so connected to Hercules and Xena, Kevin Sorbo and Lucy Lawless (with Renée O'Connor) provide cameos.
What's interesting about Bitch Slap is the structure. You have an A-Story that is centered around the girls looking for some diamonds but you also encounter a B-Story that is going backwards in time, revealing more of the plot that leads up to the A-story.
And that's where my recommendation ends. Bitch Slap indeed is a throwback to the exploitation films and there is a plethora of cleavage, legs, gorgeous girls throwing buckets of water on each other and then beating the crap out of each other, but it doesn't go further than that. The opening credits are a highlight reel of many great exploitation films of the day but sadly the film doesn't quite live up to this set-up. There IS, I admit, nonsensical fun in seeing the senseless non-stop violence but it's all a tease. If it weren't for the language, this would be soft R. If you think it's unrated for the three girls, you were mislead and will be disappointed.
There is definitely a market for movies like Bitch Slap but I think we need more substance these days to really sink our teeth into. The story takes place in mostly one location but the flashbacks are shot mostly green screen and while it's passable, it can really be distracting. This movie certainly isn't for everyone but for you teenage boys out there, this might interest you.
The DVD comes with some pretty great extras though. The making of, I have to say, is actually more worth while than the film itself and if you're studying filmmaking, there's a lot to learn from the making of this film and I give them kudos for that. It shows how much work can go into a project but also the satisfaction as well.
If you're into exploitation flicks, give Bitch Slap a whirl. This may be right up your alley, especially if you're into long winded girl fights.
Review by David Yeh