Bitch Ass_1 - 2022 slasher

[#SXSW 2022 Review] A Masked Madman Turns Childhood Games Into Deadly Traps in 90s Throwback Slasher BITCH ASS

Bitch Ass is the kind of indie horror movie that you wish had major studio money. In an alternate universe where the team was handed a blank cheque, or some slick producer was able to talk them into a $20 million budget, Bill Posley’s Bitch Ass would be the Scott Pilgrim vs The World for slasher fans. It’s ambitious as all hell and daringly creative but it lacks the one thing every indie production needs: money.

Money can buy you more equipment. Money can buy you more time. Money can buy you more anything. This movie needed more. But what Bitch Ass lacks in funds it makes up for in spirit. It reaches for the stars, even knowing full-well that they are out of reach. Helping sell that un-compromising ambition from co-writers Bill Posley and Jonathan Colomb are Sheaun McKinney, Tunde Laleye, Me’Lisa Sellers, and Teon Kelly. Also along for the ride is the legendary Tony Todd (Final Destination) as Titus Darq, horror host of Hood Horror Movie Nights to introduce the film and its titular killer as “the first black serial killer to ever don a mask”.

 

“…a bold, imaginative slasher delivered on a shoestring budget.”

 

In true slasher villain fashion, Bitch Ass is out for revenge 10 years after the tragic events that left him disfigured and disillusioned. Abused by every single person in his life, Bitch Ass has grown into a neighborhood boogeyman of sorts; A shell of the sweet, gentle boy he used to be. When a new crew of kids from the gang that tormented him breaks into his house, they come face-to-face with the villain he’s become.

Bitch Ass is presented like a live-action board game, complete with room markers and side quests. It really helps sell the gamification of this slasher as a 4 on 1 cooperative but it also just makes sense for the character. Bitch Ass is obsessed with childhood games like Rock, Paper, Scissors and Connect Four. The traps that he puts his victims into are deadly versions of those same games. One particularly funky death trap is a flesh-and-bone version of Operation with an electrified corpse. WARNING: Choking Hazard. Not recommended for children under 3 years. 

 

 

Bitch Ass’s traps are the main attraction. No doubt about it. There’s even a load screen style graphic for each deadly game featuring character cards for each victim player and a “VS.” smack dab between them both. These sequences are where Bitch Ass really comes alive. Not only is this where we see these poor unfortunate souls meet a grizzly end but it’s also where the most inventive camerawork and editing are on full display.  There are split screens and moving panels and every second of it was a lo-fi blast.

So much attention is paid to how these kill sequences are presented that I’m sure the rest of the movie was built around them. Sadly, that same degree of care does not extend outward to the rest of the film. Because of how the murder setpieces are constructed, it makes absolute sense to shoot those scenes as wide as possible but the cinematography sticks out like a sore thumb for every scene in between. In some instances, the image is being stretched beyond its limits, warping characters at the outer edge of the frame. And when I saw wide, I mean W I D E. 90% of Bitch Ass is shown in the strangest aspect ratio I’ve ever seen. It was like peeking through a hole in the wall most of the time. Or, maybe giving it a little more credit, through fingers covering my eyes as though I was an 8-year-old watching this fictional slasher classic on late-night tv.

 

“…a strong, albeit flawed calling card for a group of creatives trying to push the boundaries of what horror films can do.”

 

For how much attention and creativity went into its kills, I was really bummed out by the look of so much of the rest of the film. Mark my words though, the team behind Bitch Ass is going to make something great, sometime soon. They just need the right budget, the right equipment, and the right studio to believe in them. Bitch Ass is a strong, albeit flawed calling card for a group of creatives trying to push the boundaries of what horror films can do. Despite a few missteps in story and some puzzling visual choices, Bitch Ass is still a bold, imaginative slasher delivered on a shoestring budget.

 

Bill Poseley’s Bitch Ass celebrated it’s World Premiere at the 2022 SXSW Film Festival. Click HERE to follow our continued coverage of every horror title at this year’s festival and be sure to let us know if you’re excited for this indie slasher over on Twitter, Reddit, Facebook, and in the official Nightmare on Film Street Discord. Not a social media fan? Get more horror delivered straight to your inbox by joining the Neighbourhood Watch Newsletter.

 

Bitch Ass Festival Poster - 2022

Review: Bitch Ass (2022)
TLDR
Bitch Ass is a strong, albeit flawed calling card for a group of creatives trying to push the boundaries of what horror films can do. Despite a few missteps in story and some puzzling visual choices, Bitch Ass is still a bold, imaginative slasher delivered on a shoestring budget.
Story
50
Cinematography
50
Performances
60
Style
70
57
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