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 young women 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 young women in 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 a throwback to old school slasher-movie titillation and exploitation. 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 taut opening scene in which a lone (bikini-clad, naturally) woman (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 thinking you know exactly what to expect. 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 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 hoped it would echo Death Proof with the girls finally banding together and more than holding their own against the aggressive brute; maybe with some April March songs thrown in for good measure. Not so. It does for equality and feminism what Jason did for property value in the Crystal Lake vicinity. Various vague subplots involving hinted-at back-stories, rivalry, backstabbing and shifting dynamics between the women are left unexplored. For a moment it evokes memories of the likes of All the Boys Love Mandy Lane, House on Sorority Row and The Descent, where the dynamics of an all-women group of friends confined to a single location for an extended period of time under incredibly stressful circumstances, are more interesting and tense than 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 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.


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 Gracey said…
Yeah. Way to be hasty, dude. ;o)

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