First things first and let’s get it out of the way – you really ought to know what to expect when you rent a movie called “Bikini Bloodbath Christmas”. While that’s not necessarily an excuse (we wouldn’t be thrilled about people making really racist movies and then telling us to just not bother seeing them if we don’t agree with it), it’s more a quality guide – as in, if you like quality cinema, probably best skip this one.
The “Bikini Bloodbath” series is, quelle surprise, the brainchild of two men, Jonathan Gorman and Thomas Edward Seymour. These two valiant campaigners for feminism have crafted a series where…get ready for it…women in bikinis get murdered! The male cast is an unappealing and doughy bunch (presumably both directors and their friends) whereas all the women are either gorgeous and skinny (comparatively, this is a very low budget film after all), or have absolutely enormous breasts. The villain in this enduring series (four movies and counting, although it looks like it’s done) is Chef Death, who might as well be called “Generic Slasher Villain X”, and they’re filmed in a tiny number of locations.
Now that’s out of the way, I have a confession to make, dear reader. I sort of enjoyed this movie! It was picked purely due to it being a Christmas movie, and having Debbie Rochon in it (who we loved in “Colour From The Dark”), but there’s a definite real sense of humour at work here. In fact, the comedy is by far the best thing about this movie – the gore effects, while certainly gross, are very cheap, and the nudity just becomes numbing after a while due to its ubiquity.
The plot, such as it is, involves a feud between a weed shop and a deli, two stores that share the same yard. It’s Christmas time, and both shops want their own Santas outside, but there’s not really enough space for both of them, so there’s a fight between the store owners, the two Santas, and a few sharp words between the women, before it’s completely forgotten. For some reason, despite weed shops and delis not being the typical sort of place you’d expect to get served by a woman in a bikini, both owners are insistent on their staff being decked in as little as possible, and the film is kind enough to show every single scene of dressing and undressing which is physically possible.
I’m really not selling it well, am I? Tell you what, let’s get the rest of the bad stuff out of the way before we get to what the film really does well. The two bosses insult the women in the movie almost constantly, and while it’s not supposed to be taken seriously, the sheer volume and vitriol of the insults really wears on you after a while. It’s like the movie is determined to tell us that these bikini models are no better than you or I, and I honestly don’t understand why they’re doing it. The women don’t feel they have any agency in their own story – they’re insulted from pillar to post, and every now and again one of them will get butchered.
Okay, I admit it. Criticising the lack of agency in a movie like this is so far beyond pointless that I wish I could get the skin cells that wore off typing those words back. But there’s a reason that stuff is annoying, and it’s because there’s a lot to like otherwise. There are some great jokes, some surprisingly inventive visual moments, and there are a couple of great performances in there too. Rachael Robbins as Jenny, the final girl from the previous two movies, is great, and Margaret Rose Champagne as “William Dafoe”, the evil Frenchwoman, is absolutely hilarious. Rochon is in it for maybe thirty seconds, which makes her top billing a little annoying…but the women do pretty well, all told.
There’s one scene which angered my wife so much I have to write about it (and it’s an amazingly new way to gross people out). Desperate to use the toilet, only there’s a dead girl on there, one of the characters opens a window and dangles his bare ass out of it. Rather than just having gross sound effects, we are treated to an extreme close up of a fake butthole, with a stream of shit coming out of it. I salute them for finding a level below the bottom of the barrel, I suppose?
If the film had tried a little less hard to offend, and someone had told the directors that in an era where nudity is available at the click of a button, for free, for everyone in the world, then concentrating so hard on nudity might not be the best plan; we might have had a little B-movie gem. They have a talent for comedy, and a cast which doesn’t suck – try something that plays to those strengths, and you might even be able to find some decent actresses (or just ones who aren’t thrilled about constantly disrobing for a couple of sleazy guys).
Rating: thumbs in the middle
PS – if there was ever a sign of non-quality, it’s having a Lloyd Kaufman cameo in your movie. He presumably wrote his own dialogue, so unless you’re desperate to see a sad, pathetic old man say “I’m just off to rape a pregnant woman” feel free to hit fast-forward whenever you see his face.