It’s a pretty big movie weekend for fans of old-school blood and gore. First up, I’m going to tackle Bitch Slap, the new exploitation homage by director Rick Jacobson. The press going into this one has it in the vein of Grindhouse kicked forward a decade, where sex appeal started to dominate the ass-kicking action movies of the 80s. So does it work, or is it all style and no substance? Find out after the jump.
Let’s get one thing straight right off – Bitch Slap is not a “great movie.” In fact, it’s a fairly stupid movie. But that’s what it’s supposed to be – the movies that it’s paying tribute to were frequently mind-bendingly idiotic, and Jacobson slyly acknowledges this and gives it a little wink by ramping up the film’s absurdity notch by notch as it rumbles along. Here’s the plot: three hot chicks plot a jewel heist from a ruthless crimelord, and then things get crazy. Making some nods to Tarantino’s masterworks, the flick starts at the scene of the crime, whipsawing back for flashbacks to “develop” our “characters.” But everything, and I mean everything, in this movie is an excuse for either breasts or breaking bones to happen.
And that’s fine, you know? There’s a reason exploitation movies are awesome – because they’re exploitative. Bitch Slap fits the bill admirably, ramping up the sleaze until the unforgettable chaos of the third act. And while Jacobson doesn’t elevate the genre, he doesn’t really need to – it’s enough that he’s put together a movie that obviously shows real love for those cheap-ass chicks and carnage flicks of our younger days. If that’s your thing, I recommend a few beers, a midnight showing, and you’ll have a hell of a time.