Scream of the Bikini
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(Jul 09, 2013)
Winner of 3 Maverick Movie awards and nominated for 15 - including Best Picture - Scream of the Bikini is a 1960s action-spy-comedy by acclaimed South American director, Fernando Fernandez. Jasmine Orosco and Paola Apanapal - in their English language film debuts - are Bridget and Sophia: gorgeous super models by day, brutal bounty hunters by night. Murder, intrigue and pillow fights await our beautiful leading ladies at every turn, as they match wits and martial arts with a coterie of madmen and women bent on world domination. Filmed somewhere in South America in 1966, and poorly translated and dubbed by Germans, this campy James Bond-meets-Barbarella send-up plumbs the seedy depths of the international fashion model/psycho-killer underworld with a boldness that only a gun to the head can provide.
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I am a big fan of 60's "Euro-spy" films. The kind like "Danger Death Ray," "Double 007," "Secret Agent Super Dragon, and of course the "OSS 117" Series. The ones American studios bought, dubbed, and independent channels showed on rainy Saturday afternoons. SO when I saw the description of this film I was suckered in. Turns out I was the only one who did not realize this is a satire, trying to be in the vein of "Airplane!" and the Naked Gun franchise. And not a bad one either.
The problem is that this movie is more a caricature than a satire, and that is the problem. It is hard to do GOOD satire of a movie genres. For every Airplane! there are a dozen "Silence of the Hams," "Alien Trespass," and the classic example of what not to do, "The Lost Skeleton of Cadavar ." This film, unfortunately, has to fall in this last group. It just did not make it.
As stated, it is a broad caricature of a movie style. It has a good cast, and good working knowledge of the subject, but as a caricature it is too broad to sustain its Hour and forty minute length. We get the joke early, and there are no more jokes after that. Each introduction of a character or plot point is not a new joke. It is simple an explanation of the first joke, which we all got and laughed at then, and chuckle at now.
This is NOT a cheap film. A lot of work and talent went into producing it and it is a shame they writers or director did not see that he SNL skit idea went on way too long. Which is equally a shame becasue this genre could use a good satire.
The premise is good. After 15 minutes, the terrible video quality (done on purpose), slightly-off voice dubbing (supposed to be Spanish-->German-->English dubbing), and grandma wardrobe just gets old.
The cast took risks. The director too risks.
The terrible close-up of the man playing guitar having ZERO to do with the music being played is typical. Maybe I needed 3 more adult drinks to enjoy it?
The later fight scenes DID work and were funny. Think "Austin Powers"-like. Not enough to save my rating.
I wanted this film to succeed. Based on the mixed reviews, it appears that people either love it or find it tiresome. I'm in the 2nd group.