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Thursday, August 1, 2013

Bikini Girls on Ice (2009) - Horror Slasher

Bikini Girls on Ice (2009) - A really good slasher film has an unforgettable killer with a back story to motivate the killing spree. It has plot logical enough so that it will put the victims in the way of the killer with some semblance of cause and effect. It is a film about the torment of the killer and the drive to have to kill. It is also about the victims being separated and hunted the fear of trying to escape. The formula has been done well many times and poorly even more often over the last thirty-five years. It has also been done poorly many times particularly in sequels. So how do you make a new slasher that is of quality?  Start with a cast of attractive women in bikinis. Every guy at least likes to see attractive women in swim ware. To start you will have half your audience, actually because the horror world is probably seventy percent men you will have more than half your audience. Then you have to get these attractive victims to the location of the killer. In Friday the 13th the victims were counselors who arrive at the summer camp where the killer is. It is an organic set up that works. So put these ladies on a bus and get them to the killer by having the bus break down. Oh wait that's been done. Since the setup is not original you have to do something else to make the film interesting.  What you do is have the bikini babes and the broken down bus cliche but instead of playing the film straight as a tense slasher, turn in into a campy romp making fun of slasher cliche.
 Oh wait again, that is not this film either. Maybe instead of having the characters being just stupid victims we can give them some depth. You don't have to have the regular stereotypes, no girl next store, no pining good guy chasing after her, no desperate virgin guy praying he will get laid, no bitchy pretty girl acting all jealous or her ditzy friend who never stands up for herself. You know break the mold so the same old same old does not sink your movie before it starts. Unfortunately this film by Geoff Klein is everything that could go wrong with a slasher without the humor.
  All Bikini Girls on Ice has going for it is the attractive actresses and leave every other slasher trope in place without originality or camp. It is a film devoid of an idea that is new or fresh, its a simple setup where the woman soccer team is going to have a car wash to raise money for the team. They will all wear bikinis to attract people to the car wash. The head girl, we will call her the bitchy stereotype picks a loser virgin guy to set up the transportation and they rent a bus that just does not make it to the destination. When the bus breaks down at Moe's garage it seems abandoned even though there are still lights and some very loud ice machines. The illogical decisions of the group since they are broken down pretty much in the middle of no where are mind boggling. One would think that the news that the bus will take 3 hours to fix would be enough to cancel the days events and for people to get on their cell phones and call for rides back to school. Not here though, in this world everyone decides to hold the car wash right where they are, in the parking lot of an abandoned garage. Hell why is t5he team not doing the car wash at the school? Why is it they have to drive through East Bumfuck to get to the location for the car wash. Oh yeah because the story required them to get to this particular garage and fuck logic completely for trying to get in the way.
  Not only that but just the logic of girls in bikinis is flawed. Klein has to sell this film so he wants as much skin in the flick as possible so he has the girls in swimsuits, but I have two women in my life, a daughter and a wife and trust me when going to the beach they would never go without shorts and a top for before and after a swim. In fact most woman would carry a large beach bag with everything they need, sunblock, sunglasses towels, clothes, iPod there definitely would not be just girls in bikinis with nothing else. It is just ridiculous that they woman go everywhere without any back up clothing and you notice it as it gets dark. Sun goes down. the car wash is over but no one has any clothes to put on. Again writers Geoff Klein and Jeff Ross have not thought out the simplest of logistics. No that's not fair, what they discussed might have gone down like this.
 G: Hey you know this script is sort of weak, should we spend the time to make it better before going into production?
J: Well its a slasher, you know horror fans will see it even if it is shit so why go through that kind of trouble?
G: I know those fuckers will drop money on anything, we'll probably make our money back before enough people realize the film is shit.
J: Dude you know it, besides I don't give a shit I just want the IMDb credit, but what if people just get bored and stop watching, then word of mouth will stop people from even seeing it. We have to have a way to make them at least get through it.
G: Well how about we just keep the girls in bikinis the whole time, in fact know matter what happens they never put on any clothes.
J: But what about that part where it becomes night, won't someone get cold or something?
G: We'll just not have any other clothes on the set, it won't be part of the world, and then we will imply that there might be a chance for nudity and Bam we win!
J: Brilliant Geoff!
G: Thanks Jeff!
 So we get this poor transition, where it is obvious there is no reason to continue with the bikinis but they stay in that state anyway.  By the way if you are hoping for nudity you are not going to get that either. Instead we get a transition to night. I guess was needed to get to a scarier environment but it was so clumsily done it stands out. They have a few car wash scene where remarkably there is a lot of traffic and then a kill where a yellow clad girl wanders out of the daylight into the back door of the garage. She wanders around a bit thinking she is hearing sounds in the distance. The interior of the garage is dark and has limited light sources to create the needed atmosphere. She is being stalked by Moe (William Jarand) and is killed violently. Then a shot of the moon and then everyone is standing in the dark, no explanation of where the time went or anything just its now dark.
  The largest failure of this film is the lack of rhyme or reason for the maniac mechanic Moe. He is a non-verbal crazy who stabs repeatedly and then stores his victims on ice. Since there is no back story at all through scenes or through expository dialog with the local characters there is nothing creating a since of urgency. He is just this mad man creeping around killing the girls one at a time but without any back story at all. Maybe in the sequel there will be some sort of story for him but here it is a failure on the writers part. The garage we learn through an old guy is abandoned but that's all we get so there is never any motivation for the killer.
  On top of all these failures is the classic slasher trope of divide and conquer, the victims separate from each other and are killed and never to the remaining characters organize to stay together and find those who have gone missing. Instead one by one they wander off to their own fates without the knowledge that anything bad is going on. Never is a scream heard, never to they all hang out together, never is there even a glimpse of normal group behavior. It really is a frustrating feeling to watch this film. We have such a long history of slasher film to learn from and yet this one seems as though it is only trying to duplicate the mistakes of the past without even a nod to originality. Worse yet is the fact that the number of characters and the number of kills don't match up. When the car wash is going on there are ten girls in bikinis and 2 guys, but I think the total number of kills is four girls and the two guys? I could be wrong on the numbers but a half dozen potential victims vanish from this film without a word being said. Its all to rush towards a finale that is equally disappointing and nonsensical. Our final girl Jenn the all American freshman soccer star runs about trying not to be killed. She finally just gives up and whines and pleads on the ground when she is saved by a minor character who has had a line or two in the entire film? On top of this fucking insult to horror fans is the epilog scene setting up our iconic killer Moe for another film even though he was shot to death on the climax.
I always like to acknowledge that it is a difficult thing to organize and execute a film and there some credit should be given. Klein made this film happen, and I am sure expended a lot of time energy and money in its execution, it makes it more disturbing that he has so failed to make a film that is nothing but a retread of some of the worst slasher films of the past. What a waste, you have the fortitude to pull a film off and yet spend no time creating a film worth seeing. Maybe he made money and that was all he was trying to do. Why though, put work into a product that you can't be proud you did? Money can't ultimately be why we do creative endeavors there has to be something more doesn't there? Well the fact that Klein has made Pinup Girls on Ice (2013) tells us for him at least it can all be about the money.
  I must be in a bad mood today so let me try to lighten up a bit. Like I said earlier the actresses in this film are beautiful which is a necessity if the film is going to be awful, Cindel Chartrand, Danielle Doetsch who was in the wonderful science fiction film Motivational Growth (2013) which I saw and loved at the Boston Science Fiction Festival, Suzy Lorraine, Christina Sciortino and Kerri Taylor do their jobs as the girls in bikinis that will sell this film. The couple guys in the film are fodder Tarek Gader as the virgin Blake and Ivan Peric as Tommy, the hero who is not to be. So there is definitely no recommendation coming for this film. It is too unoriginal and formulaic in the worst way for that. I hope that director Geoff Klein takes as much time making sure he has a worthy story for his sequel as he does promoting himself and his girlfriend on the internet. That kind of effort when put into the product will get him much further than just creating an online image.

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