‘What’s the worst thing you’ve ever done?’
Bad Girls is a 2021 American underground feature film about three teenage girls on the run after robbing an exotic dance club.
Directed by Christopher Bickel (The Theta Girl) from a screenplay co-written with Shane Silman, the Films Colacittà production stars Morgan Shaley Renew, Sanethia Dresch and Shelby Lois Guinn as the titular “Bad Girls.” Cleveland Langdale and Micah Peroulis play as two cult rock stars kidnapped by the girl gang. Jonathan Benton stars as a geeky hotel clerk swept up in the madness. Mike Amason and Dove Dupree star as oddly-paired FBI agents following the wreckage of the girls’ cross-country crime spree. Produced by Crystal Colligan.
After robbing an exotic dance club, three desperate teenage girls lead a misogynistic Federal Agent on a lysergic cross-country chase, scoring a duffle bag full of money, drugs, and a crew of willing kidnapees along the way…
“Grindhouse films are easily dismissed by some audiences. It is not hard to see why as these films can be abrasive due to the extreme violence, rough language, and obnoxious attitude. Bad Girls embraces all of these qualities […] It is trashy, loud and a lot of fun.” AIPT
“The hollow characters and formulaic plot are largely alleviated by the cast’s enthusiasm for the project—some scenery will definitely get chewed along the way, but nobody’s bored while they’re doing it. The real fun in Bad Girls comes from the girls’ nonstop craziness, the special agents’ deadpan humor, and—surprisingly for such a low-budget film—its overall look and feel.” Ars Technica
“Bickel has constructed a film that is an ultra-violent, profane, exploitation homage in the finest tradition of Russ Meyer. Yet, for all the low-brow blood, guts, and boobs, Bad Girls still preserves the essential filmic elements that make it relatable […] In the madness, there are moments of genuine heart and soul.” Film Threat
“Just like The Theta Girl, Bad Girls is a loving tribute to female lead exploitation films like Thriller, Coffy, Sugar Hill and even more modern releases like Streets of Vengeance. It’s character-driven, bloody, funny, and paced very well.” Horror Society
” …one could argue that Bad Girls is an exercise in lateral growth for Bickel, the kind of work a filmmaker produces to develop their chops rather than break new ground. That said, there is enjoyment in watching him layer standard elements with his own sense of style to take ownership of his artistic inspirations.” Schlockmania!
“There’s my usual gripe about CGI blood in some of the shooting scenes. Most of the other effects, stabbings, beatings etc., look practical, however. And, while it’s not totally out of character for the genre, I wasn’t crazy about the darker turn Bad Girls takes in the final act as Val starts to let things go to her head […] Despite these minor quibbles there’s no way I could not recommend Bad Girls. It’s a wonderful throwback to old school exploitation films. One with enough action on the streets and in the sheets to keep fans entertained.” Voices from the Balcony
“Bad Girls is an underground film produced by amateurs in South Carolina for $16,000 — “about one-half of the catering budget for a typical made-for-TV movie,” Bickel proudly indicates. The majority of that budget (some of which was raised by crowd-funding, some came from Bickel’s day-job in a record store) went to pay the cast and crew a modest daily stipend — something which director Bickel cites as being “of utmost importance to keeping harmony on set.”
Citing influences as diverse as Jack Hill, Russ Meyer, Greg Araki, R Kern, John Waters, and Robert Downey (Sr.), Bickel has crafted a vision more than just the sum parts of those influences — it is something unique in current underground cinema.
“These are characters people haven’t seen before, interacting in a violent world that is almost-but-not-quite our own,” says director Christopher Bickel of the “exaggerated reality” of the Bad Girls universe. “When you’re making a movie for the cost of a used car, you’re forced to get creative with the storytelling in ways that Hollywood focus-groups don’t allow. You won’t find Bad Girls in a Walmart because it doesn’t belong in a Walmart.”
Watch the red band trailer here