INDIE SLASHER REVIEW: BIKINI GIRLS ON ICE (2009)
Well Go USA’s BIKINI GIRLS ON ICE(2009), directed by relative-newcomer to filmmaking Geoff Klein, who until this film has only directed a few shorts (if IMDb is correct) has crafted a slasher flick that follows all of the known conventions to the slasher genre but one- creating a film that has on-screen violence/murders, blood and gore, or nudity. The film has a pinch of each-but not enough of any one ingredient to keep the movie interesting enough through all the elements one is accustomed to finding in a horror film, and in particular, a slasher film.
What makes a successful slasher film one may ask? For starters, how about some on-screen slashing instead of each and almost every kill scene cut (by the director, mind you, and not by the psycho in the film) from the movie right before any opportunity of blood spilling occurs for the viewers. Gee, I thought that the whole point of watching a horror film marketed and advertised as “a brilliant mix of FRIDAY THE 13TH and URBAN LEGEND” and “a classic slash-action that horror fans everywhere will die for” was to actually deliver a miniscule amount of what the film is hyping itself up about. I think that BIKINI GIRLS ON ICE had the potential to be a decent low-brow, run of the mill slasher film that would be fun to watch and be regarded as a solid slasher film to watch-maybe nothing new to add to the genre but a film that could possibly have been created to cater to fans of mindless gore that actually might have had a few scenes of solid suspense mixed in with some blood oozing out from knife, axe, or blunt objects being used as murder weapons—but no. No such luck. The film lacks everything that could have made it a glorious, low budget, probably B-grade slasher film. What was particularly nerve-wracking was the fact that the cast gracing the screen was filled with lovely figured girls prancing around in bikinis throughout the whole film, including Chicago-native Danielle Doetsch (BLACK DAYS), Scream Queen Suzi Lorraine (TORMENT, DESTINED TO BE INGESTED), Cindel Chartrand (MISBEHAVIOR), Christina Sciortino (THE END), Kerri Taylor (SATAN’S SCHOOLGIRLS), Caroline Faille (a first time actress) and a few other attractive girls clad in bikinis. The title did not lie—there were girls in bikinis throughout the whole film. The problem was that there were girls WEARING bikinis throughout the whole film and not girls TAKING OFF bikinis throughout the entire film. I figure if a movie whose plot revolves around a bus full of women’s soccer players stranded at an abandoned gas station during a fundraiser for their soccer team is filled with beautiful women with trim and fit bodies sporting bikinis, then I want to see a little bit more than just some cleavage and buttocks peaking through in skimpy attire. There was one sex scene within the film in which Nikki (Taylor) goes for a little lesson in stick with a customer of the car wash that is offered much more than just a wash. This is the one and only scene of nudity and its a topless sex scene and is fairly brief. I was kind of a little bit disappointed by this. Thankfully for the film, the acting in it was not horrible and at times pretty convincing but mediocre acting in a slasher film with hardly any blood and gore with a majority of the murders cut before any actual flesh is cut or chopped apart really became quite annoying. I was sure I had put in a slasher film in that was not approved for PG rating because if that one brief scene of nudity was omitted from the film, it would able to be presented on the Disney Channel or another such network.
The director Geoff Klein even states during the films commentary that he consciously made a decision to not film much of the violence within the script on film because he felt that it would be scarier and viewers imaginations would run wild and come up with their own ideas about what happened. Sadly, the only thing I was thinking about was how much potential this film had and how it could have been way better if their was quite a bit more on-screen violence shot in the film and if there was a load more blood and gore. Save the lack of blood and violence within a film for “thrillers” and “suspense” films, not movies dubbed “slashers”.
On a positive note, I absolutely loved the movie’s cover art, as well as the title itself. BIKINI GIRLS ON ICE has a certain ring to it that screams out exploitative scenes of nudity, blood, and guts and going into the film I could tell right off the bat that I was going to be in for a major disappointment. I felt that the two actresses whose characters stood out and gave me something to keep me attentive were the performances of Danielle Doetsch and Cindel Chartrand. The two characters are best friends in the film and really gave believable performances. Doetsch, in particular, had a real energetic buzz going on around her and her animated performance kept me awake during this less than adequate entry to the slasher genre.
The killer in the movie, dubbed the name “Moe” because it is written on the work shirt he is wearing during all the murders that viewers are not privy to, just goes stomping around grunting and exhaling loudly while quickly entering a shot and raising a weapon, only to have the director yell “CUT!” before anything is done on camera for the viewers’ enjoyment. I also noted that the director really has a hard-on for the Australian horror film WOLF CREEK whose plot revolves around a group of young adults stranded in the middle of a barren stretch of Australia only to ask for help from a psychopath who takes them captive and begins to torture and kill them. If only the director had taken his love for WOLF CREEK and applied some of the aspects of it that made the film so popular with viewers–the addition of blood and gore to each murder that was filmed.
The special features on the film are pretty decent and include a Behind the Scenes segment, Deleted Scenes, some bloopers, and trailers. In listening to the commentary with director Geoff Klein and writer/producer Jeff Ross, I found out that Klein really enjoyed WOLF CREEK, even going so far as to throwing in his film his favorite sound that was used in WOLF CREEK for a scare scene or murder sequence. What I did not understand is why the director than did not decide to go the route in which WOLF CREEK took where there is tons of blood, torture, and on-screen violence. Our psychopath in the film also has no motive or reason for killing other then that he is absolutely completely nuts.
I did enjoy the commentary, but noticed that both Ross and Klein delivered it with about as much enthusiasm and interest as young child forced to watch foreign news report on changes in the stock market. I can see myself definitely using the movie’s commentary as background noise to fall asleep to at night. The intonation in both their voices rarely fluctuated and was so soft-spoken that it makes for perfect napping audio.
BIKINI GIRLS ON ICE is not the worst slasher film out in the genre, but it is one that I feel is worth skipping over–especially if looking for a bit of nudity, more than a sprinkle of blood, and scenes of on-screen violence actually shot and shown to viewers instead of leaving the violence in the imagination of the viewer. I have a wonderfully twisted and sadistic imagination but I watch horror films to see what OTHER twisted and sadistic visions filmmakers can conceive of and capture on film. I look forward to seeing a film that director Klein creates with the intention of leaving nothing to the viewers’ imagination and instead, just show us what you have in that creative brain of yours, Geoff.
(Look for this review, along with many others, in the 2nd Issue of SHU-IZMZ ZINE, due out later this month!)