Image Entertainment presents
Bikini Bandits: Briefs, Shorts & Panties (2004)
"Get a move on it, girls!"- uncredited Bikini Bandit leader Heather
Stars: Heather Victoria Ray, Barbara DiMateo, Corina Thompson, Nyla Hodge, Heather McDonnell, Betty San Luis, Peter Grasse
Other Stars: Corey Feldman, Jello Biafra, Dee Dee Ramone
Director: Steven Grasse
MPAA Rating: Not Rated for (language, violence, sexuality, brief nudity)
Run Time: 55m:16s
Release Date: 2004-10-26
DVD ReviewIf you're at all familiar with the internet antics of the Bikini Bandits, you already know the drill. Their numerous short films, running just five to seven minutes each, are low on anything resembling class, and crammed to the sleazy rafters with beautiful women in small bikinis firing guns and wreaking all sorts of sexified havoc. The plots are largely inconsequential to the visuals, and if you don't mind being hammered with a lowest common denominator approach by creator/director Steven Grasse, then something like the pseudo best of Bikini Bandits: Briefs, Shorts and Panties should fill a necessary, if very base, void.
This collection of nine separate episodes, including the wannabe cinematic epic, Bikini Bandits and The Golden Rod, is a real mish-mosh of quality, but the underlying knowledge that just about every frame of every short is filled with a scantily clad woman with a foul mouth and a lot of ammo is what the underground success of the Bandits experience is all about. There isn't any apparent rhyme or reason to the selection of episodes here, with some being well above the bar (Bikini Bandits Go Dutch, Bikini Bandits Go to Hell) and others woefully tired (Bikini Bandits and the Time Machine). The presence of such guest star luminaries as Corey Feldman (doing battle swinging nunchucks in Hell), Dee Dee Ramone (as the Pope) or former Dead Kennedys frontman Jello Biafra (as a porn king) just adds to the surreal elements in between the soft-core flesh peddling.
Grasse plows the not-quite-naked sleaze content like a master, and his platoon of actual strippers strut, cuss, and shoot with their own kind of music-video-caliber performances that operate under the wiggle/jiggle/swear/shoot school of acting. The jokes are inane, often bordering on the patently offensive (see Retard Cum Home), and Grasse is perfectly content to rehash the same gags over and over. His brother Peter is a recurring presence, usually playing a buck-toothed simpleton who is sexually harassed, abused, and humiliated by the Bandits.
All of the simplistic jokes and recycled gags matter little when he trots out the Bandits, and this particular disc builds nicely to Bikini Bandits and the Golden Rod, a multi-part semi-miniseries that somehow has the unmitigated gall to end up looking the most like an actual feature film of all the shorts here. The Golden Rod is most likely Grasse's Citizen Kane, his opus of gun-toting, swimwear-filled decadence, and even the trailer (which is included here) is a sexy classic unto itself.
A word of warning, however: if you already have 2003s Bikini Bandit Experience in your esteemed library, you will experience some duplication with this release, as some of the content shows up in both places.
Rating for Style: B-
Rating for Substance: B+
|Aspect Ratio||1.33:1 - Full Frame|
|Original Aspect Ratio||yes|
Image Transfer Review: Most of the episodes are presented in 1.33:1 full-frame, though a few show up in nonanamorphic widescreen. Grasse utilizes a lot of overcranked color processing, really saturating things almost to the point of being overdone. The transfer, however, is notably pretty strong, with pleasing, well-rendered fleshtones across the board.
Image Transfer Grade: B+
Audio Transfer Review: Audio is presented in 2.0 surround, and the mix was admittedly more aggressive than I might have expected. I've watched a ton of Bandit shorts on the net, but hearing some of these clips pumped through my home theater speakers revealed a bit more depth than I would have expected from such prurient cheap thrills.
Audio Transfer Grade: B
Disc ExtrasStatic menu
Scene Access with 8 cues and remote access
Extras Review: While my screener didn't have a formal menu (the feature just starts), it did include a few extras. A ten-minute interview with Steven and Peter Grasse about the origins and intent of the Bandit empire is of moderate interest, and concludes with a visit to their wonderfully tacky GMart gift shop. There are also two music videos, one is a bikini-filled clip for The Outsider by A Perfect Circle, and the other is animated video for the genuinely funny tune, F*** Christmas, which is featured on the tepid Bikini Bandits Save Christmas release.
The disc is cut into a sloppy eight chapters, which seem to break in the middle of episodes for some reason or another.
Extras Grade: B-
Final CommentsWomen. Bikinis. Guns.
That's all it takes for trashy, tacky fun, and though the material often reeks of desperate repetition, there are a handful of shorts—like the soon-to-be classic Bikini Bandits and the Golden Rod—that rise above the usual cheap titillation.
Yep, I just love this stuff.
Rich Rosell 2004-10-25