Wednesday, 9 June 2010

Bikini Girls On Ice

2009
Dir: Geoff Klein

These girls are just so damn hot; a maniac killer must put them on ice!

Stranded on their way to a bikini car-wash fundraiser, a group of hot college girls find refuge in an abandoned gas station on the outskirts of town. Soon their broken down bus is the least of their worries as a maniacal axe-wielding mechanic starts picking them off one by one.

If the idea of watching a busload of bimbos in skimpy bikinis being menaced by a maniacal mechanic in the middle of nowhere after they’ve been washing cars and frolicking in soap-suds (in slow motion nonetheless!) is your thing – you’re in for a treat. Bikini Girls on Ice is old school slasher-movie titillation with a capital TIT. Combining elements of House of Wax, Psycho, The Toolbox Murders and countless other 80s backwoods slasher flicks, it really doesn’t waste any time and cuts straight to the chase with a particularly atmospheric and surprisingly taut opening scene in which a lone bikini-clad lovely (Suzi Lorraine) comes a cropper at the hands of an unseen and particularly nasty assailant when she stops off at a gas station in the middle of nowhere. Old conventions are rolled out as much as they are slyly exploited, particularly the use of phones and vehicles with a habit of breaking down in this movie.



With a title like Bikini Girls on Ice, you’d be forgiven for expecting an overtly trashy flick that has its tongue stuck firmly in its cheek. What is most surprising is the fact that Bikini Girls actually takes itself rather seriously as it unspools – all the way to its dark conclusion – and for the most part, proves to be an entertaining slasher fest with its roots planted firmly in old-school un-PC horrors like Friday the 13th et al. There is even a Crazy-Ralph type harbinger of doom who shows up to warn the girls that if they stay at the gas station after dark, they’ll be dooooomed!

In a similar vein to say, Zombie Strippers, Bikini Girls has the potential for parodiable laughs galore, and falsely suggests a much different tone than the one it actually exhibits, given the trashy title. Instead it sticks rather rigidly to preconceived conventions and plays it so straight it never really manages to stand out or do anything remotely interesting. While certainly not a bad movie, it isn’t a particularly great one either. It’s just kind of a beige movie.

I half expected it to erupt into a tongue-in-cheek pro-feminist exercise with the skimpily clad girls more than holding their own against the aggressive brute stalking and slaying them and eventually kicking some serious butt; all April March anthems and riot grrrl attitude. Not so. It does for women’s lib what Jason did for property value in the Crystal Lake vicinity. It even has lesbians, albeit the sexy, immaculately tousled and full-pouted ones. Various vague subplots involving girly rivalry, backstabbing and petty jealousies are left unexplored and only for a moment do they evoke memories of similar subplots in the likes of All the Boys Love Mandy Lane, House on Sorority Row and The Descent, where the dysfunctional dynamics of a bunch of girls confined to a single location for an extended period of time, almost overshadow the threat posed by the killer! Slasher fans should revel in the various stalking/chase sequences though, as tension is effectively ratcheted and, when they occur, the ferocity of the attacks on the nubile victims are quite startling in their intensity. This slasher villain is a greasy mechanic with severe anger issues whose aggression and violence is as extreme as his back story is absent.

Proceedings are effectively aided by a creepy score courtesy of Benjamin Beladi and Michael Vickerage, and a particularly tense scene involving a box of keys and pounding coming from the trunk of a car serves as one of the suspense ridden highlights. A number of shots featuring various characters looking into a freezer as the camera skulks quietly up behind them are also incredibly creepy.

A very conventional, stylishly shot and false alarm ridden slasher populated by feisty damsels in distress.


2 comments:

Matthew Coniam said...

I've recently declared Mega Piranha the most brilliant concept for a movie ever.
I see now I may have been a little hasty.

James said...

Yeah. Way to be hasty, dude. ;o)