Movie Review: Crazy Bitches

Crazy Bitches Poster

@lcfremont also reviews Crazy Bitches and gives her take...

'7 women and one fab gay guy go to a remote ranch for some R&R, but things go horribly wrong when one by one they are killed by their own vanity.'

Welcome to the Vanity Killer Murder House where a group of 'crazy bitches' are staying for the weekend. Friends since college, Alice has arranged for everyone to get together at an isolated ranch. Two of the fancier girls assume that a ranch is a spa and they are pretty disappointed when they realize it's more a place for hiking. Hey, as someone who grew up in Nevada, a ranch is just a polite term for a brothel, so I totally understood their disappointment.

What we have here is the usual group of stereotypes. The slut, the hippie, the prude, the failed actress, the survivor, the put upon wife, the lesbian and the fabulous gay friend. Per the rules of horror, our slut is dispatched of early on and it's too bad because I could have definitely used a lot more of Candis Cayne. In fact, back when the trailer for Crazy Bitches came out, it was sold as a LGBTQ horror film and even had it's premiere at Outfest. Starring some genre favorites such as Guinevere Turner, Cathy DeBuono, Mary Wells and the aforementioned Ms. Cayne, the film is more a comment on the insecurities of women. This is not necessarily a bad thing, but to have the film touted as LGBTQ and then only show the two most glaring stereotypes of gay culture was more than disappointing. We even get the token straight girls who only want to explore their naughty side because a lesbian happens to be handy. I understand and appreciate that not all gay positive movies require a coming out narrative, but Crazy Bitches failed in all of the ways that another LGBTQ horror film, Hellbent, excelled.

Scene from crazy bitchesThe biggest downfall of the film seems to be the fact that writer/director Jane Clark didn't set out to make a horror film. In an interview with Women and Hollywood, Clark explains that she wanted to explore how friends, especially women, can be so full of complexities and that's when horror popped up. Admitting to not being a horror expert, she looked back to The Shining, The Omen and Pan's Labyrinth for inspiration, but Crazy Bitches is intended as a satire, so one can't help but wonder if Clark should have looked to American Psycho for guidance.

The insistence that women can be just as bawdy and sexually charged as men without any of the slut shaming that's usually involved is definitely a breath of fresh air, but it also gets boring really fast. In fact, the one thing that seems to connect everyone is the fact that they have all slept with Alice's husband. Yes, even Gareth. Of course, they all have vanities specific to their personalities that our killer exploits otherwise they wouldn't be staying at the Vanity Killer house. The whole crazy killer backstory feels like it was tacked on in a lazy attempt to have a reason to kill these ladies off. Also, it's the kills that could have really been played for laughs and there is a bit with a scalp where they definitely give it the good old college try, but it just doesn't translate as comedy or satire. It just kind of feels like an awkward comedy sketch done by actors who have no idea how they wandered into it. At a certain point in the movie, the remaining characters actually choose to just have some birthday cake and gets a restful night's sleep rather than try to find a way off of the ranch property. This plays as neither funny or sensical. Just bizarre.

Coming in at an unnecessary running time of over 90 minutes, the who and why of the killer, or killers, is so anticlimactic by the time it is revealed, that I'm still not sure why I was supposed to care. There is a kill scene that clearly features two cloaked figures, but only one killer is revealed at the end of the movie. Or not..... For a movie that expects you to be on a certain level of intuitiveness and dark humor, it certainly doesn't explain itself very well when it really counts. Or maybe I had just checked out by then. After too many touchy, feely conversations, dark secret reveals and a completely uncalled for lesbian vs. gay guy fight, I just didn't care. Yeah, yeah, selfishness and vanity is a cancer, but Crazy Bitches really should have decided if it was going to be serious or satirical while trying to teach us this lesson.

Lisa Fremont

Twitter: @lcfremont

Images: IMDb &