They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, but that doesn’t fool me. Imitation’s also the cheapest way to make a buck. Riding high off the grindhouse/b movie craze comes Bitch Slap. With such a provocative title, you’d expect a titillating movie (no pun intended). What you’d actually be in store for is insufferable and unnecessary plot twists, drawn out fight scenes, and some pretty bad acting.
Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy a bad flick as much as the next person, but somewhere along the road it starts to feel like the movie takes itself too seriously as an actual grindhouse film and at other times, it’s clearly mocking the genre so it’s difficult to tell what this movie is. Most times, what’s really painful about the movie is the dialogue which is written in this un-realistic (I get suspension of disbelief, but come on!) overly-kitschy kind of way. “Ram this in your clambake, bitch skank!” It’s really just one of the cringe-worthy lines. With lines like this, I understand the sense of humor, but it’s difficult to call it appealing. Of course, there are a couple exceptions (I admit I loved “Lube my boobs, skank twat!” but that was one of the few) but nothing to warrant a 109 minute movie. This one easily could have passed, and even flourished, as a short film, but instead the whole process is drawn out.
Along the same lines, as I watched the movie unfold eventually getting to the “shocking” conclusion that I saw coming about 10 minutes into the movie, it became abundantly clear that the people behind this movie had either a) neither seen an ACTUAL grindhouse film/b movie or b) had completely missed the point of the genre. One of the confusing standards of the whole grindhouse/b movie/exploitation is the way it deals with women. They’re intensely sexualized and often violent, but there’s a sort of reverence to them. There may be several female villains, but they’re also shown as strong and powerful products of the sexual revolution. Needless to say, when you have woman beating woman several decades later, it’s just kind of disturbing. Its stripped of the empowerment and just seems like an adolescent male fantasy, much like most of the rest of the movie. Even worse than the violence itself, are the women. Ignoring the fact that they’re flat one-dimensional representations, not a single one of them is interesting or even worth caring about. The whole movie pretty much does a disservice to the female gender.
So, let’s say those past complaints can be overlooked. It’s a stretch, but let’s just go with it. Most of the movie takes place in the remote desert (Pretty obvious reference to Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!) but every so often, we’ll have an unnecessary random flashback. These are annoying in and of themselves, but imagine for me, if you will, that you’re standing in front of one of those backdrops of the Hawaiian oceanside that you see in tacky souvenir stores. That is the quality of the graphics. Now I’m not usually one to complain about special effects, but these scenes were not only drawing out the movie in an incredibly obnoxious manner, but the “importance” of that flashback could’ve taken place anywhere that would’ve been more in their spending range.
Bitch Slap suffers in a lot of areas that make a movie beyond repair. Like I said before, it could have survived as a short movie but as it is today, it’s a travesty of film making.