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"Bitch Slap" Review

"It's a fine line between clever and stupid." - This Is Spinal Tap

A friend basically commanded me to check out Bitch Slap, a wannabe grindhouse-styled grrlploitation flick. It's been getting some buzz around the film nerd sites, but having been there, done that, and seen the wet t-shirts, it's more a big miss than Miss Right.

It kicks off semi-promisingly enough with enough tough girl decolletage to resurrect Russ Meyers and an energetic "we know this is crap we're spoofing" vibe as we meet a trio of fatal femmes (named Hel, Trixie, and Camero), as they arrive at a trailer in the middle of the desert with a guy with Jason Statham's voice in their trunk and a heap of flashbacks in their future.

While I love babes, boobs, and bloody brawls as much as the next borderline reprobate, it quickly got dull because Bitch Slap tries to have its spoof and play it straight, too. The first time we see "scenery" other than the desert, it's clearly cheaply done greenscreen work meant to give a no-fi Sin City-esque patina to the proceedings and it's a gas, but the real problem is that in between the scenes of the babes tossing water on each other in slow-motion - a gag that bookends a flashback! - and faux lesbian nookifying (oddly, none of the stars ever get actually nude), there is an apparently serious attempt at a plot which is at odds with the otherwise goofy tone.

And the inconsistent tone is where Bitch Slap gets, well, bitch-slapped. There are moments of sublime awesomeness in poses and camera angles, but it would take a fusion of Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez combined to have a prayer of pulling this goulash off and Xena: Warrior Princess vet Rick Jacobson just doesn't have the chops. At 105 minutes, it's at least a half-hour too long, too.

Even if you're a maven for cheesy pneumatic bitch-slapping bimbo B-movie bozoness, Bitch Slap manages to sail past the so-bad-it's-good zone into the how-did-they-make-boobs-and-bitchy-babes-boring realm previously charted by Coyote Ugly. No amount of raging hormones and hornyness can make Bitch Slap worth slapping your, um, bitch up over.

Score: 4/10. Catch it on cable in small doses.


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