Review: Bitch Slap DVD

STUDIO: Fox | DIRECTOR: Rick Jacobson | STARS: Julia Voth, Erin Cummings, America Olivo, Michael Hurst
RELEASE DATE: 3/2/2010 | PRICE: DVD $22.98
BONUSES: commentaries, feature-length making-of documentary
SPECS: NR | 107 min. | Action thriller | 2.35:1 widescreen | Dolby Digital 5.1 | English and Spanish subtitles

RATINGS (out of 5): Movie | Audio | Video | Overall

It’s all about the cleavage in the B-movie-styled, much-buzzed-about Bitch Slap, wherein one needs both hands to list the movie’s influences and/or homages. The films of Russ Meyer immediately come to mind, as do those of straight-to-video auteurs Andy Sidaris, Fred Olen Ray and Jim Wynorski. Not to mention Tarantino and, hell, even the Battle of the Network Stars TV competitions of the 1970s.

Yes, the jiggle is on in Bitch Slap, and it’s amply provided by Julia Voth, Erin Cummings and America Olivo as a sweet and sensitive stripper, a vengeful businesswoman and a murderous drug-runner, respectively, all of whom come sweatily together in the steamy California desert to retrieve a stash of stolen jewels from a gangster’s hideout. In between scenes of the bodacious babes kicking some serious ass, the movie flashes back to each of their back stories and the scenarios that led up to their current situation.

Directed, co-written and co-produced by veteran TV helmer Rick Jacobson, Bitch Slap offer solid production values and enthusiasm across the board, but proves to be too much of what should have been a more enjoyable thing, lipstick lesbianism, cat fights (choreographed by Zoe Bell of Gamer) and groin brutality, notwithstanding. Jacobson and company’s tongue initially feels like it’s firmly planted in the movie’s cheek, but it just goes on too long and violently to translate into the breezy if mean-spirited fun that the B-movies he’s emulating delivered back in their day. Maybe if the running tie was an hour-twenty instead of 109 minutes….

That said, quick appearances by Xena’s Lucy Lawless (Spartacus: Blood and Sand) and Renee O’Connor and Hercules’ Kevin Sorbo are a lot of fun, as is the feature-length making-of documentary “Building a Better B Movie” by Daniel Cieplinski, which finds cast and crew having a grand old time while putting this flick together. And, yeah, the ladies are quite hot.


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About Laurence

Founder and editor Laurence Lerman saw Alfred Hitchcock’s North by Northwest when he was 13 years old and that’s all it took. He has been writing about film and video for more than a quarter of a century for magazines, anthologies, websites and most recently, Video Business magazine, where he served as the Reviews Editor for 15 years.