Thursday, April 23, 2015

Bikini Vampire Babes – review

Directors: Ted West & Margaret Root

Release date: 2010

Contains spoilers

I must admit to having approached this with trepidation… I mean the title alone was enough to cause that. It just summoned memories of films such as Vampires on Bikini Beach (which in turn summons the foul stench of Malibu Beach Vampires) and so I put it into the DVD drive and waited…

And despite the fact that it is rubbish, it is certainly no-where near the train wreck I suspected it might be. It was, dare I say it, amusing in places and certainly not as awful as the two films I linked above. Don’t get me wrong, that doesn’t make this a great film – although the unashamed crap bat moments rank high in the so bad it's good category – but it wasn’t as bad as I feared.

Puerto Rico
It starts off with a flashback to Puerto Rico – an amateurish graphic of a burning beach house and some palm trees representing the place – when two vampire hunters came for Lizette (Sharis Fajardo) using silver bullets (in error) and paying for their attack. Lizette – centuries before – had been married to a landowner and though they had no children she has since created them (of a sort, as she says). She now makes a living by competing in bikini contests.

JoJo as Bree
The one she is heading for is also the first contest entered by Bree (JoJo) . Bree’s sleazy manager Tom (Jesse Storm) has rigged the contest, following which he thinks he’ll be able to get her to sign a (presumably more exploitative) contract. As we see – mainly through the credits – the contest, a thought struck me. Strip clubs and pole dancing have become a common locational trope through the genre and this was, in essence, no different as a location – there were a couple of poles, the girls wore little but their “performances” were less energetic than an atypically portrayed pole dance.

Bree and Tom
So Bree wins, when Lizette was convinced victory would be hers. She goes to find Tom and Bree, beats up Tom (in a most unconvincing fashion), takes the prize winnings and then sucks on Bree’s neck to turn her – all attacks are accompanied with a comedy sucking noise. The next day Bree is back working at the fast food drive-thru, when Lizette picks her up (we’ll get to the fact that this was in the day and the inconsistency around sunlight later). They are heading for Vegas and Tom is following… Also tracking Lizette is Resa (Kimberly R Jones), whose father and grandfather were the vampire hunters from the head of the film.

Sharis Fajardo as Lizette
On the road we get to see Minion (Rod Harris), who first appears as a bat and we do get some great moments of Crap Bat Syndrome; for instance, whether splatted on the car’s windshield or "flying" we always get wires in shot. It turns out that Lizette’s clan is a matriarchal one, she seeds family members around the country as she travels and the male victims are destined to become slaves to the females. They don’t get to Vegas, however, as the car breaks down and they end up staying with potential victims Jane (Talor Reazin) and Dick (Ron Benton).

instantaneous immolation
Sunlight rules seem inconsistent – generally, going out in the sun is ok when vampire sunblock is used and going out without sunblock leads to instantaneous immolation. Yet Bree seems fine in the sun without the sunblock the day after turning (arguably she is not fully turned and yet has to use the sunblock later whilst still not fully turned). I should mention that the film uses some obviously filtered day for night shots as well, which isn't a brilliant technique and compounds the apparent inconsistency around the sunlight rules. Stakes will kill, garlic does nothing (Lizette lived in Italy for over 100 years) and crosses cause a painful feeling. Vampires reflect and can be videoed (Lizette keeps a vlog detailing all her movements and gets extra hits when she posts a feed – yet somehow Resa thinks the vampire is always one step ahead of her!) The first bite on a victim subdues them allowing a peaceful feed.

vampire sunblock
OK, its fluff, absolute and unadulterated fluff with bikinis offering a low level titillation. However the film revels in its cheap and fluffy nature and the stars, whilst hardly offering anything close to award winning performances, are clearly having fun. The story is tissue thin and I sat watching it expecting a new entry to the Worst 100 list and was honestly shocked when, as watching it, realising it was going to score too high for that. Played for laughs more than anything else, after all this is a film where a vampire is defeated through their coulrophobia, this probably deserves 3 out of 10 as a piece of film.

The imdb page is here and a homepage here.

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