The market for low budget horror is so flooded with product, it more than likely makes 2012 director Roland Emmerich salivate lustfully. For fans of this particular subgenre, it can be next to impossible to know which titles to watch and which ones to ignore. Many of them are painfully amateurish and horribly unoriginal, so sitting through too many can really wear your spirit down. However, you get the occasional gem, so I do like to dabble every once in a while.
When I do decide to a check out a low budget horror film, I tend to go by the title. And what a glorious, glorious title Bikini Girls On Ice is. Even knowing that there was a good chance the film would be awful, and that by signing up to review it I was waiving my right to turn it off if that proved to be the case, I don’t see how I’m supposed to not watch a film with the title Bikini Girls On Ice.
The film itself is about a female Canadian football team (proper football, what the Americans would call ‘soccer’) holding a fundraising bikini car wash. Except, wouldn’t you bloody well know it, their bus breaks down on the way. Stranded at an abandoned gas station, they use what facilities they have available to hold a makeshift bikini carwash there. Except, wouldn’t you bloody well know it, they’re being stalked and stabbed by an unhinged and ungroomed serial killer with an unusual and unexplained ice fetish. Will they survive? Will they be able get away etc. etc.?
So far, so familiar, and ever so slightly worrying. However, I was immediately struck when watching Bikini Girls On Ice by the high quality of the cinematography. For the most part, and considering the context of the type of film it is, it looks really good. I’m presuming it was shot on HD, which would certainly account for some of the film’s look. However, it must be said that the film doesn’t feature a mass of static shots and wobbly handheld silliness that plagues many of its contemporaries. I was genuinely really impressed with the look of this film.
Also of a surprising quality is the acting. Okay, we’re not seeing any award-winning performances here. What we are seeing is a bunch of actors all doing relatively well. There really aren’t many weak links, and so the consistency adds up to being another plus in the movie’s favour.
The script is a bit of a problem. The story is familiar and slight. The dialogue is clunky and unnatural sounding. The beginning zips along nicely, but the pacing becomes an issue about halfway through (I’ll be coming to the problems with the second half in a moment). The script could have done with quite a bit more work and lets down all of the other good things Bikini Girls On Ice has going for it.
Bikini Girls On Ice suffers from two other huge problems. The first is that, although the film starts out soundly, it begins to wobble in the middle before completely collapsing in on itself at the end. It becomes muddled, misguided and a good deal of what happens is illogical. As an example, it’s hard to understand how no one noticed that what two of the characters find in their car boot at one particular point just doesn’t make sense. It’s a shame, because based on what they manage in the first half of the film, the makers of Bikini Girls On Ice are clearly capable of better.
The second issue I’m almost embarrassed to mention, but I think it’s important that I do. It’s called Bikini Girls On Ice. Where the flipping heck is all the gore and nudity? Oh sure, there are plenty of girls in bikinis, but we get one brief topless sex scene, and that’s it. As far as gore, pretty much all of the kills are off-camera impact shots where you really don’t see anything. I’m not against films that don’t include buckets of blood or barrels of breasts, but the title surely indicates a camp, OTT sleaze fest. This film is actually very serious.
So, in an ideal world, this film would have a different title (and a better ending), and it would be well received and the people involved would move on to be successful and happy.
I’m pleased that this film exists. I just wish it co-existed with the film I thought Bikini Girls On Ice was going to be.
Still, if you’re into low budget horror, you’ve probably seen much, much worse than this before. Give Bikini Girls On Ice a try. It’s pretty good.
According to the press info I got with the film, the disc will feature ‘Behind the Scenes, Bloopers, Deleted Scenes, Audio Commentary and Auditions.’ None of this was on the review disc, though, so I can’t tell you if it’s any good or not. These sorts of films often come as bare bones releases, so consider these extras a cheeky bonus.
Bikini Girls On Icewill be released on July 5 and can be pre-ordered from the Den Of Geek Store.