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FILM REVIEW: Bitch Ass (2022)

Bitch Ass - New Release Review


Director: Bill Posley

Starring: Teon Kelley, Tunde Laleye, Kelsey Caesar, Belle Guillory, Me'lisa Sellers, Tony Todd


Written by: Jonathan Colomb, Bill Posley

Produced by: Shane Brown, Bill Posley, Jonathan Colomb, Van White

Cinematography by: Steven Parker

Original Score by: Joseph Mohan


Synopsis:

A gang initiation goes wrong when a group of four recruits break into a house of horror, as they're all forced to play deadly games for their lives. Win and you live - lose and you die.

Thoughts:

Created as a clear homage to classic "hood horror" films of the past like 'Bones' and 'Tales from the Hood' Bill Posley's darkly comic slasher 'Bitch Ass' has an interesting premise but sadly never lives up to the hype of those films in any way at all.



Playing out over two timelines, one in 1980 and the other in present day 1999, 'Bitch Ass' tells the story of Cecil, an overweight, shy and highly intelligent young man obsessed with board games, who becomes the target of the local street gang and eventually gets beaten and disfigured by them in a vicious planned assault. Years later and Cecil is looking for revenge, having carefully prepared traps in the style of classic board games in his own house, just waiting for his time of vengeance to come. A new gang break into his house and now the games can truly begin.


The premise is good but unfortunately the budget just isn't there. Director Bill Posley tries his best for sure, using clever edits and transitions to make it look interesting but they actually just get a bit annoying after a while. Having said that if these transitions and edits had been used a little more sparingly it would've definitely added something extra but in the end it just kinda felt like a technique to attempt to hide the fact that a lot of the shots are very bland and one dimensional.

Bitch Ass as a character is awesome. I love the look and the backstory and the inclusion of the Rubik's cube which acts a bit like a calling card is a nice touch. The origin is perhaps a bit cliché, bullied kid seeks revenge on his attackers and all that, but I did enjoy the added element of the board games, which writers Jonathan Colomb and Bill Posley try to implement in interesting ways. Some of the games parodied here are classics like Jenga and Connect Four and there's a cool angle involving Rock, Paper, Scissors which links both the present day timeline and the 1980 flashbacks in a tender way.


Ultimately 'Bitch Ass' lives and dies by its budget which is evidently low (reportedly only around $30,000) and the film doesn't really have much of a cinematic feel about it, which is a shame because I do think that there is something here that could be visited again. It's mostly set in a big house, which isn't lit very well at all and the set pieces are a bit naff. This definitely isn't 'Saw' or 'Don't Breathe', although I don't think it's trying to be. There is some dark humour going on here too and I don't think the film takes itself too seriously, which to be fair is probably another negative.

I did have fun watching it but I was crying out for something a bit more grittier. There's hardly any tension at all when the gang first break into the house and I had zero connection with any of them. Some of the acting is notably sketchy but I did like Teon Kelley in the lead role as Q. Even the inclusion of the legendary Tony Todd as Titus Darq, the mysterious host that bookends the film, doesn't really add much to the end product overall. I wish he had been in it more.



If a small studio or production company can throw some money into this project then I think there's a good chance a sequel to 'Bitch Ass' would definitely be worthwhile. It might work better as an urban legend type anthology expecially if they continued to use Tony Todd as the host. Either way I'd like to see Bitch Ass as a serial killer on my screen again just with a bit more financial backing and creativity.


Verdict: ⭐️⭐️


- Gavin Logan


FrightFest Presents & Signature Entertainment release 'Bitch Ass' on Digital Platforms 19th December

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