It is well documented in the pages of this wonderful website that I have a fondness for a film with a good title.
Sadly as you can see from the reviews of Bachelor Party in the Bungalow of the Damned and Lockjaw: Rise of the Kulev Serpent it seems that with a magnificent moniker comes a hammy horror film, as if the film makers spent all their time, money and ingenuity on the name and none on the actual movie.
It was with trepidation then that I approached Bikini Girls on Ice, a film with a title so ridiculous and self explanatory it screams out ‘low quality’ and ‘bargain bin’ boredom.
However I was pleasantly surprised to find that there was much more invention and integrity to this low budget slasher than I had assumed.
That’s not to say its not stupendously silly and this can be instantly surmised when describing the storyline which reads like a mass murderers wet dream come true.
A busload of women’s college soccer players break-down at an abandoned gas station on their way to host a bikini car wash fundraiser.
As they wait for the bus to be fixed, they decide to go ahead with their plans and get changed and get washing (bikini clad) unaware that the gas station is the stalking-grounds for a homicidal maniac mechanic named Moe. His modus operandi just happens to involve scantily clad females and freezers.
So far so stupid I hear you say. Well yes, and no, because Bikini Girls on Ice is actually a pretty good slasher movie played true to the style of the old school 80’s classics. Embracing horror clichés the movie is filled with them, including some random tourists who are bumped of brutally and a creepy old man who warns the girls of what awaits them if they don’t run away.
Added to this are the titular bikini girls themselves who range from slut to saint, and more than deliver on the flesh front throwing in some unnecessary lesbianism free of charge.
Although the story is lavishly ludicrous, the horror is cleverly and wisely played straight with the killings being nasty and kept off screen at first to build tension. The gore is saved for special scenes only.
Director Geoff Klein, who also co-wrote the film with Jeff Ross, avoids the mistake many modern horrors make, keeping the camp comedy down and the fear up. The movie morphs from its titillating set-up, to full-blown frightening finale seamlessly.
Cheap looking at times, the production makes the most of its low budget and its limited locations with the gas station becoming a chilly spiders-web packed with fridges containing corpses.
The cast, although mainly there to ‘been seen and not heard’ do a good job – never over-doing it or playing the murders for laughs. And the likable bunch is bludgeoned off with surprising disrespect making you truly believe no one is safe.
Special mention must go to the brilliant performance of unknown William Jarand playing the silent psycho Moe. Looking like a wrestler or a rock band reject, his face displays pure hate as he rips and tears his way through the nubile young things on offer, grunting as he goes with a disturbing satisfaction.
Bikini Girls on Ice succeeds in combining a harebrained horror with a serious slasher, playing both to their full potential. It creats an unexpectedly entertaining end product and a monstrous mute maniac in Moe.
Lets hope that the production team freeze that winning formula and keep it on ice ’til the sequel appears some time next year. And lets hope that they also make spend as much time on the script and the production as they do penning bikini babe based pun’s.