Director: Geoff Klein
Cast: Cindel Chartrand, Danielle Doetsch, Ivan Peric, Christina Sciortino, Tarek Gader, Caroline Faille, Kerri Taylor
Plot: A group of girls try to raise money with a bikini car wash, unaware they are being stalked by a madman in the shadows.
The first ten minutes of this movie opens really well. A woman is driving through an abandoned road (already in her bikini, with no audience, despite this film referring to how cold it is quite often), and she stops at a derelict gas station for directions. There is no one there, but thanks to a good score and some chilling direction, we all know something is up. Klein doesn’t rush this scene and just plays around with what is going to happen. The girl, unwittingly, wanders in and out of trouble, and like any good horror movie, we are unable to predict where the scene is going. Will she make it out of there? Is this a false alarm and really there is nothing wrong? Or if she does die, when and how? It also helps that we don’t know who the killer is yet and his first appearance is quite shocking. Later, the villain suffers due to overacting, but in this one moment, Bikini Girls On Ice succeeds as a promising entry to the sub-genre of ‘Babe-Butchery horror’.
It doesn’t even fall apart right off the bat afterwards. We are introduced to Cindel Chartrand’s Jenna and her best mate, Sam. They are meeting some friends on the road to take part in a bikini car-washing fundraiser. They are fairly likeable, as far as the genre goes, and their acting isn’t bad enough to be blamed on the actresses themselves. I have been on enough film sets now to see over-rehearsal or under-rehearsal when I see it: for some of the opening scenes, these actors were either dumped onto a set with an hour to brush up on their lines or they were asked to rehearse so often, the dialogue stopped flowing naturally. Danielle Doetsch is bright-eyed and sunny enough to get her ‘happy-go-lucky’ best friend character across. Tarek Gader is very believable and amusing as the nervous bloke, who is being willingly manipulated by the girls on the possibility of sex in the near future and as the trip doesn’t go to plan, his fretting is enough to make him one of the better characters. If Bikini Girls on Ice played its cards right, it could have evolved into a nice, little thriller with enough horror and character development to raise it higher in a genre that isn’t necessarily the hardest to beat. However, as the movie hits its second act, it becomes clear that there aren’t really enough ideas in the pot to make it work.
It just plays out exactly as you think it is going to. As the night creeps in, women wander off one by one, usually ordered depending on how low they are on the cast list, and end up getting killed off gruesomely. There is no surprises in store and as soon as you know that, the horror and tension feels a little by-the-numbers. It also hurts that most of the murders are done off-screen, probably to save on budget, but accidentally getting rid of the gore factor that could have made this movie a little more worthwhile. Other backstories are wasted. A romance is severely undercooked. An interesting best friend relationship between Jenna and Sam is only brought up at the very end, when it is too late to adequately explore the dynamic. I wanted the stereotypical bitch character to do something redeeming, even if it was only to shake the story up somewhat. It does get a little better near the end, when we know which characters have made it to the climax of the story and it just becomes a case of figuring out how they will get away. Clue: it involves a pretty impressive knife throw from a girl who has just spend half an hour submerged in ice.
Final Verdict: A promising start raises hopes too high for the rest of the film to meet. A nice idea only gets a movie so far and the second act struggles to hold it together.