CRAZY BITCHES

PrintE-mail Written by Andrew Marshall

Seven former sorority sisters and their gay BFF reunite for a girly weekend on a remote ranch to reconnect with each other. Problem is, their cabin just so happens to be where a group of obnoxious teenage girls were murdered 15 years earlier, and it soon transpires that the killer may have returned.

Nobody is going to argue that the plight of women in horror films is an imbalance that still needs to be adequately redressed, and a slasher movie with only one significant male character is certainly a step in the right direction. The character interplay between the ladies informs much of the film’s events, and is just as significant as the slowly escalating mass murder mystery.

It’s common in many horror films to have murders occur along a particular theme, often in accordance to some mythological or philosophical motif, but the deaths in Crazy Bitches are styled with a far simpler and much more personal concept: vanity. Each death is tailored to be symbolic of what each woman is most self-absorbed about – hair, skin, legs and so on – removing what defined them in life to leave them empty in death.

We are given plenty of potential suspects in the form of gossipy and horny locals and dirty redneck ranch hands, not to mention the ladies themselves, whose varying attitudes towards one another throw up at least a little suspicion. Along the way to the final reveal we get a few running jokes such as one character’s repeated exclamation of “fuckin’ straight girls” when left frustrated after aborted amorous encounters, and some neat visual touches like lightning flashing on spider webs or shots from the killer’s point of view seen through a mesh mask.

The film is actually quite low-key for a slasher movie, lacking voluminous fountains of blood or insignificant minor characters drafted in to jack up the body count, and it’s over an hour before the first corpse is even discovered. Once the situation is realised, shock and panic start to set in with revelations of previous indiscretions coming in thick and fast (“Has any one of my friends not slept with my husband?”) along with graphic flashbacks to the girls’ sordid past encounters, during which we get a bit of male objectification for a nice change. Any down time is used to develop the characters in order for their deaths to make an impact, even if it’s ones you may not particularly like.

Exploring the dynamics of female relationships through the medium of slasher flicks might seem an odd concept, but it’s one that acquits itself well, giving a balance of perspectives sorely absent from much of the genre, and resulting in a film that doesn’t quite fit, but is all the more interesting because of it.

CRAZY BITCHES / CERT: 15 / DIRECTOR & SCREENPLAY: JANE CLARK / STARRING: SAMANTHA COLBURN, CATHY DEBUONO, ANDY GALA, LIZ MCGEEVER, VICTORIA PROFETA / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW
 


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