Appellate Judge Rob Lineberger thinks the "Oops, I dropped my bikini" Bandits might have been more interesting.
"I can't seem to keep my hands off of you."—Heather
Bikini Bandits: Briefs, Shorts, and Panties is like a Troma film without the nudity, with the slickness and fast cutting of an MTV featurette. You could say that Briefs, Shorts, and Panties appeals to the lowest common denominator…except no denominator is low enough, and it certainly isn't common. The basic premise of this series goes like this:
1) Sexy, gun-toting women in small bikinis find a G-Mart. They double-park,
get out of the car in slow motion, and walk toward it.
Judge Bill Gibron has more than adequately covered the content of this DVD in his review of The Bikini Bandits Experience, which overlaps almost completely with this DVD. I agree with Bill about the heavily self-promotional flavor, the repetitiveness, and most of all that Bikini Bandits "just doesn't know how to administer its anarchy very well." The blitzkrieg pacing doesn't allow any vibe to bloom. Just when you're about to get horny, the scene cuts to a guy wearing fake redneck teeth. Just when you're about to get offended, the scene breezes over to a sight gag. If they stayed on target for more than three seconds at a time, it might build up something resembling emotional attachment. Instead, just lie back like a couch sponge and let the kaleidoscope of imagery wash over you.
Judge Gibron is also right that the whole thing is funny, energetic, and somewhat sexy. The lesbian undertone in "Bikini Bandits and the Time Machine" is the peak of eroticism, milking the lipstick lesbian cliché for all it's worth. "Bikini Bandits and the Golden Rod" is the only short to actually acknowledge the Bandits' breasts, when Heather hefts her divine assets for a moment. These hints reveal what Bikini Bandits could have been. The energy and humor are very dumb—but they definitely exist, capitalizing on a punk vibe as much as possible. The high points are seeing Corey Feldman poke fun at his teenage self, or Tool frontman Maynard posing as the Devil. Maynard's involvement ups the visibility of the soundtrack, resulting in an authentic MTV experience. Let's face it, MTV is both successful and popular, Tool rocks, and bikini-clad, gun-toting babes have a certain cachet.
Bikini Bandits always stays in check, never showing nudity or actual violence, never breaking the curtain of playfulness. In fact, I've seen Troma's version of Bikini Bandits, Fortress Of Amerikkka, a wreck of a film that torpedoes itself by showing nudity and violence in unappealing ways. By comparison, Bikini Bandits retains a coyness and self-respect that make it viable. In fact, though the whole thing is bizarre and white-trashy, it was engaging enough that I was entertained the whole way through.
This is all beside the real point. It is hard to pin down this specific DVD collection of Bikini Bandits shorts (is it the compilation from the G-Mart site, or the one on the Amazon site, or something else?), but in any case you'll be paying about $15 for a compilation of material that exists for free on the Internet. Below is the list of Bikini Bandits clips featured on this DVD, and you'll find all of them at AtomFilms:
• "Bikini Bandits: Episode 7"
As if that weren't enough, the DVD lacks any sort of menu or clear organizational structure. You put it in, it plays and repeats ad infinitum. (Incidentally, the video is relatively polished, and the sound quality is clean enough to support the repetitive alternative rock track.) Yes, having Bikini Bandits right there at your fingertips is a nice perk, but how hard is it to jump online and get your Bikini Bandits fix?
For what it is, Bikini Bandits is reasonably successful. The mix of live action, Flash animation, music video, and faux ads is fresh and funny. If Steve Grasse had backed off of the frantic intercutting of erotic stuff with stupid stuff, we might be talking about the new wave of exploitation. As it stands, Grasse updates an old formula for the new scene, along with modern annoyances. Nonetheless, despite your best intentions, Briefs, Shorts, and Panties worms its way into your brain and infects you with visions of hot women.
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