It’s difficult to review a movie like Bikini Girls on Ice, because it’s not like I had any real hopes going into it. Of course, you always hope that a filmmaker with a brilliant sense of irony is going to provide a title that completely belies the genius nature of the film, but when you watch a lot of horror movies, that hope is small and frail, being malnourished.
The creators of Bikini Girls on Ice are obviously huge slasher fans, and Bikini Girls on Ice feels like a fan production. It’s the only movie most of the cast has ever been in. That gives you an idea of the general level of acting ability, but there has obviously been a lot of love put into this movie, so I hate to rip it apart too bad.
So, the opening kill–that feature which lets you know that the filmmakers have no faith in their audience’s ability to pay attention to a flat surface unless violence to hot women is being portrayed upon it–is of a woman in a bikini top who gets lost and stops at a gas station. “Boy I hope this place is still open,” she says as she gets out of her car into a pitch black lot before a pitch black building.
Once she’s dead, the movie proper starts, and we find out that a soccer team is holding a bikini carwash fundraiser. Road trip! Of course, their bus breaks down right in the abandoned gas station lot. While the two lucky gentlemen work on fixing it, the women decide to hold a carwash right there instead of wasting daylight.
There is a lengthy carwash montage, over which a Motley Cru cover band plays. After this, most of the girls decide to hitchhike back, but a few hang around to get murdered.
Let’s talk about the killer, Moe. His slasher theme is gas station attendant. Okay, so that’s weird. He doesn’t wear a mask. That’s a problem. You can argue over whether or not a slasher has to wear a mask. In my mind they do, unless they’re monstrous like Freddy or Victor Crowley. However, I draw the line at an unstoppable slasher without a mask. As Leslie Vernon explains in Behind the Mask, with the mask comes the myth. You can’t get stabbed multiple times, shot multiple times and have your throat cut if you’re going mask-less. It simply isn’t done!
Let’s talk about the kills: surprisingly restrained. Moe murders with a variety of tools: an ax, and ice pick, a shovel, a hammer, really anything nearby. Sounds gruesome, doesn’t it? With a production this fan-ish, I expected over-the-top gore. Even professional slasher flicks replace genuine terror with gross-out factor. But in Bikini Girls on Ice, all of the kills occur off-camera. You see Moe the Attendant, but not the victim. There are a lot of kills, but you only see one. I would applaud the restraint if the film offered anything else (besides the titular [teehee] bikini girls), but try to imagine Hatchet without any gore. Yeah.
Let’s talk about the ice. There’s a lot of ice in this movie. The killer really likes ice. He likes to put people in freezers, coolers and tubs filled with ice. When the bodies really stack up, he’ll just flop your corpse onto a pile of ice on the ground. The use of ice is so in-your-face that you expect it to be relevant. Your first thought is cannibalism, though he isn’t cleaning the bodies and you’d obviously gut and bleed them before freezing them. Then, you think maybe organ harvesting. Then you hope for something crazy. But you get nothing. It’s never explained. Yeah, that’s kind of spoilerish, but it spoils only a sense of disappointment.
Let’s talk about the accents: distracting. Turns out they’re all from Quebec and trying to sound American. Besides failing miserably at the American accents, it also turns their performances totally wooden. And there’s an inexplicable French couple wandering around, getting all murdered up.
Let’s talk about the phone situation. Horror movies have had a rough time since the proliferation of the mobile phone. So we get the “no signal” scene, and then we move on. Fine. I don’t love it, but I accept it. Fully one-quarter of Bikini Girls on Ice‘s dialogue and action is phone related. Its got no signal. It was left on the bus. It was left at home. It’s found. Its password is guessed and it’s perused for old messages. It gets unplugged. It’s plugged back in. DOESTHISSOUNDCOMPELLING?!?!?!?!
So how do I rate a movie like this? By giving the film the title Bikini Girls on Ice, the filmmakers have gotten a free pass on creating a bad movie. The viewer knows it’s going to be bad. We know that the best we can hope for is a skillful homage. From the title, we even know it’s not going to be scary. But is that fair? Is that aesthetically honest? Shouldn’t artists stand behind their work?
Regardless, what we know is that nubile, bikini-clad young women will run around screaming and being murdered. In that regard, Bikini Girls on Ice delivers in spades. It provides an entire bus-load of young women in bikinis. And though it doesn’t state it in the description, it throws in a carwash for free. It seems like that should go right in the title. Unlike Naked Lunch (“I can think of at least two things wrong with that title.” –Nelson Muntz), Bikini Girls on Ice makes good on its promises.
So I’m not going to rate Bikini Girls on Ice. On two very different scales, it would get two very different scores. It doesn’t fail that badly at anything it’s trying to be. I will say that even taken as a real film, it wouldn’t get the lowest score, because the film quality is good, and so is much of the cinematography. It doesn’t look amateurish.
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