The Suicide Girls are an underground cultural phenomenon (once based in Oregon but gone global now), with its specialty tattooed and nude models enjoying online notoriety, Hollywood party-favor status, national burlesque tours, a sexy annual calendar, and now their very first film.
The movie, directed by Sawa Suicide and produced by Missy Suicide, features 12 would-be calendar girls (real life SGs Evan, Fractal and Rigel… to name just a few) whose travels take them to the home of Stephen King (aka, Maine). There, they settle en masse at a secluded location where they'll be shot… presumably with a camera, but this being a horror film things do take a turn for the hearse.
I'm pretty sure I got the Unrated version of the DVD, because there's an awful lot of J. Marion Sims inspired nudity. As a critic, I have some issues with the film's pacing because of these long, extended, and dare I say tumescent, scenes of the mock calendar photo shoots… but I am sure it hits the (G) spot for the Suicide Girls' target audience. Since I am not the intended audience for this movie, and since I am reviewing this as a standalone film, here's my R-rated rundown:
The movie starts off promisingly enough, giving an immediate feel and tone to how the "fake reality" style is going to go down. Not unlike other recent horror flicks such as the few years old Wrong Turn 2 or the upcoming 2001 Maniacs: Field of Screams, the conceit is that a television crew (or/and surveillance cameras) is following our victims and they, of course, have no idea what's in store for them.
More than a baker's dozen in the cast, we've got the 12 girls (a nice cross-section of types, styles and personalities), we've got the blonde-babe photographer and her mousy assistant, plus the expected assorted concoction of crazy local yokels. The tough-talking, hard-living ladies run into danger just about one second after they cross State lines into Maine. And they find even worse things deep in the woods were their private cabin sits. All the horror film accoutrement are at hand: Shaky phone service, a campfire, a makeshift cemetery, and of course… The Lake.
The story is standard: Sexy, young, randy and liquored up ladies get picked off one-by-one until there is the obligatory twist ending. What sets Suicide Girls Must Die! apart from the usual direct-to-disc claptrap is the likeability (or at least compelling force of personality) of the cast. It is a pleasure to see — despite their girly moniker — women in a slasher flick. Sure, there are some clichés but overall the characters are smart and seasoned, not to mention genuinely (even in all their tattooed artifice) beautiful. The death scenes are good and the suspense is well done (though there isn't a good balance between those few tense moments and the looooong stretches of dialogue and the pictorials). The aforementioned twist is perfect, and the film ends on a blackly funny note.
Not a great film, but better than most of its ilk. Suicide Girls Must Die! comes to DVD on June 29.
= = =
Reviewed by Staci Layne Wilson
Check Horror.com's Exclusive Interview with Missy & Sawa, plus an exclusive clip featuring Evan