Ratings Key

= Excellent. The best the genre has to offer.
1/2 = Very Good. Perhaps not "perfect," but undoubtedly a must-see.
★★★ = Good. Accomplishes what it sets out to do and does it well.
★★1/2 = Fair. Clearly flawed and nothing spectacular, but competently made. OK entertainment.
★★ = Mediocre. Either highly uneven or by-the-numbers and uninspired.
1/2 = Bad. Very little to recommend.
= Very Bad. An absolute chore to sit through.
NO STARS! = Abysmal. Unwatchable dreck that isn't even bad-movie amusing.
SBIG = So Bad It's Good. Technically awful movies with massive entertainment value.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Bikini Bloodbath (2006)

... aka: Bikini Blood Bath

Directed by:
Jonathan Gorman
Thomas Edward Seymour

Like it or not, there's no doubt that the 1982 slasher movie THE SLUMBER PARTY MASSACRE went on to influence many films over the years. It was followed by at least two official sequels, a sort-of third sequel called CHEELEADER MASSACRE (2003), a truly terrible direct-to-video, shot-on-video rip-off called THE LAST SLUMBER PARTY (1987) and probably also led to the somewhat similar SORORITY HOUSE MASSACRE series, as well as the spin-offs that series created, such as 1990's HARD TO DIE. And that's just the tip of the iceberg. It's easy to see why this concept caught on. When you get together a group of high school/college aged girls, put them in a house and throw in a killer, audiences are almost guaranteed plenty of the two most important ingredients in exploitation-horror; boobs and blood. The movies themselves can be produced rather cheaply and because of their popularity on DVD and late night cable, they probably always turn a profit. And that leads us to the newest installment in the half-naked-babes-in-a-house-with-a-killer subgenre, Bikini Bloodbath; a goofy parody of the 'slumber/sorority' films, complete with direct references to those earlier films. Was it needed? Not really. Many of the earlier films were already pretty self-aware of what they were, took a lighthearted approach and were already too busy poking fun at themselves to really require someone else to step in later and do it again. That's not to say this one is completely without merit. It's pretty amusing at times.

Cheaply shot on video in Connecticut, this one begins with girls in gym class followed by girls in the shower. Adding a welcome bit of early relief is an appearance from the always-welcome Debbie Rochon, who milks every last laugh out of her lip-licking lesbian gym coach character. The ladies discuss their upcoming sleepover party and give the cold shoulder to a nerdy girl named "Smelly Suzy." One of the girls is attacked in a graveyard while walking home, a bum is killed and someone breaks into Rochon's home and offs her too. Six of the girls make it to the party. They talk. The blow up balloons. They make strawberry daiquiris. They dance. They play twister. They hop in the hot tub and drink and talk some more. Two guys show up. And then the psycho (a bald, goateed guy dressed in a chef's outfit) pops in to kill them all off. Some of the gags / lines work and some don't. The film unfortunately cuts away from the main action to a gathering of touchy-feely football jocks who keep grabbing each other's butts and dancing in long montages (insert FLASHDANCE and FOOTLOOSE in jokes). There's a lot up in the air sexuality in this film. Not only Rochon's character, but most of the guys seem to be into other guys, the male coach (played by PSYCHOS IN LOVE star Carmine Capobianco) is into guys, two girls make out in the hot tub, etc. That aspect was kind of interesting, at least.

There's not much gore here and what there is is of the ketchup bottle variety. So be warned, the horror scenes themselves are pretty skimpy. Just about every girl has a topless scene and spends the majority of the movie in a bikini so that aspect is fulfilled for the target audience. The picture quality and sound are acceptable for the budget. Unfortunately, like many films in this budget range, this suffers a LOT from time padding. It seems a lot of independent horror directors these days rely far too heavily on dull, needless filler to bump their film to just an hour in length. I've seen movies with thirty second shots of trees and movies with three minutes shots of someone walking in a field. This one has multiple needless scenes like this. They are usually quickly edited, though, and some of them are at least set to different rock songs. Some of those songs aren't even bad. One very important thing this movie does have is enthusiasm. The cast look like they're having a pretty good time, so if you can turn your brain off for an hour or so, you might too.


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