It’s debatable whether or not a film with the title “Bikini Girls on Ice” or a grammatically awkward tagline that runs ‘These girls are so hot, a maniac must put them on ice!’ actually needs a review, as its virtues should be pretty obvious. For those still reading, the film marks the debut of writer director Geoff Klein, and is an old school slasher opus that harks back to the simpler days of the genre, when killers were crazy and girls didn’t bother with clothes. It arrives now on region 2 DVD via Kaleidoscope Home Entertainment, and comes with a decent collection of extras including deleted scenes, making of footage, a blooper reel and audio commentary.
It would probably be more accurate to describe the film as having a setup rather than an actual plot. A group of college girls, plus the obligatory couple of horny guys, get stranded at an old abandoned gas station en route to a bikini car wash when their bus breaks down. Unfortunately for them, the building is also home to a madman, who sets about picking them off one by one and stashing their bodies in a freezer. Hence the title.
One thing “Bikini Girls on Ice” cannot be accused of is false advertising. The girls are reasonably hot and indeed spend almost all of the film parading around in skimpy bikinis, with plenty of car wash action (complete with rock music and slow motion shots). Klein throws in a few flashes of sex and nudity, though nothing too sleazy, and this certainly gives the proceedings a boost, and helps to distract from the fact that the film is in pretty much every aspect straightforward slasher fare. Of course, for those who care, this is not necessarily a bad thing, and the usual mix of characters wandering off by themselves and doing stupid things while not noticing that their numbers are being whittled down is dumb, though harmless. As might be expected, the acting isn’t great, though for the most part the cast don’t grate on the nerves, and the viewer doesn’t get too annoyed while waiting for them to die.
Undoubtedly, the film’s greatest failing is that it is a relatively anaemic affair, without much in the way of guts or gore. The maniac is a strictly bargain basement fellow, who has no real frills or costume, and is just a big, grunting dude in a boiler suit with greasy hair. Although he swings his axe with gusto, the most the viewer gets to see is blood being thrown on the walls and a few splashes of grue. This is a real shame, as a bit more splatter would have upped the fun factor considerably, and its omission leaves the distinct sense of something vital being missing. As things stand, without any real shocks or scares, the film may well seem quaint to younger viewers more used to gross out modern exploitation fare.
The good news is that the film has far better production values than the usual straight to DVD horror fare, and has actual locations and sets rather than looking like it was filmed in someone’s backyard. Klein’s direction is competent and professional, and although not particularly engaging, the film runs along at a decent pace and at just an hour and twenty minutes is commendably brief. Whilst this may sound like damning with faint praise, the film is pleasingly economic, and avoids padding things unnecessarily out with needless filler material.
“Bikini Girls on Ice” is certainly way above average for its type, and it’s good to see a slice of low budget horror that isn’t completely hamstrung by its lack of resources. Though it would have benefitted from a more visceral edge, it still delivers the slasher goods in an almost charmingly old fashioned style, and should be enjoyed by undemanding genre fans.
Geoff Klein (director) / Geoff Klein, Jeff Ross (screenplay)
CAST: Suzi Lorraine … Kelly
Kerri Taylor … Nikki
Cindel Chartrand … Jenna
Ivan Peric … Tommy
Jarek Gader … Blake
Christina Sciortino … Lena
Danielle Doetsch … Sam