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Overall Rating

Awesome: 3.23%
Worth A Look: 3.23%
Average: 0%
Pretty Bad: 35.48%
Total Crap58.06%

3 reviews, 13 user ratings

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Bad Girls
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by Matt Mulcahey

"That's when the whores come in, shaking their tales for the men folk."
1 stars

It’s too bad John Ford or Anthony Mann never got a chance to make a western about hookers turned gunfighters, because…. Actually, I take that back. After watching Bad Girls, I don’t think even they could’ve constructed a watchable oater about pistol packing outlaw whores.

Considering the number of difficulties that plagued Bad Girls’ production, it’s a miracle the movie isn’t even worse.

Original director Tamra Davis, who fostered the project from its inception and brought on board her Gun Crazy co-stars Drew Barrymore and James LeGros, got canned shortly after filming began. Davis’ footage was scrapped, the script was re-written in all of two weeks and The Accused director Jonathan Kaplan was brought in to clean up the mess.

The new script’s two-week turnaround shows.

Bad Girls opens with Madeline Stowe gunning down an army colonel who’s getting a little rough with harlot pal Mary Stuart Masterson. The Colonel’s grieving widow puts a pair of Pinkerton detectives on the hookers’ tail, so along with Barrymore and Southern belle Andie McDowell the strumpets leave Colorado and head to Wyoming to realize every celluloid hooker’s secret dream – running a saw mill (as Masterson so succinctly puts it, ‘We sold our bodies, why can’t we sell wood?’)

But the titular skanks have their hopes for a new life dashed when Stowe’s former flame, outlaw James Russo, steals their saw mill seed money ($12,000, which must’ve taken a lot of cowboy poontang).

The personality of each of the female stars is easily and broadly defined -- Stowe is the tough one, Masterson the innocent one, McDowell the prissy one and Barrymore the really, really hot one. Only Stowe comes off as having any business in a western, though alternative casting for the other lead roles probably wouldn’t have made much difference since Bad Girls can't find a proper use for such born-for-the-genre tough guys as Russo and Robert Loggia.

Though the end result doesn’t speak to the fact, Kaplan probably seemed like a logical choice to take over the picture. Before he became a passable studio journeyman, Kaplan cut his teeth pumping out inspired pieces of exploitation schlock in the 1970s such as White Line Fever and Truck Turner.

It’s possible that years of studio hackdom eroded Kaplan’s ability to make a good “bad movie”, but Bad Girls’ failure is really more of a reflection of Hollywood’s inability to make a decent B-movie no matter how much money it sinks into genres formally reserved for the drive-in circuit.

If Roger Corman had taken the basic plot elements of Bad Girls in 1975 and handed a couple thousand bucks and two weeks worth of film to someone like Jonathan Demme, Joe Dante or even a young Kaplan, this flick probably would’ve been a pretty damn good time.

While the script is bad and Jerry Goldsmith’s score may be the worst of the prolific composer’s career, what ultimately dooms Bad Girls is the fact the movie actually takes itself seriously. It’s a B-movie that doesn’t understand that B-movies are supposed to be fun.

Bad Girls honestly seems to believe it’s some sort of feminist western variation on Thelma & Louise, not a “women in chaps” flick about gun totin’ whores. The copious amount of slow-motion bouncing bosoms on horseback should’ve been a clue…..

link directly to this review at
originally posted: 04/12/05 15:38:07
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User Comments

9/13/17 morris campbell IT SUCKS 1 stars
7/18/06 David Cohen Not exciting like an action flick, too Hollywood to be realistic, faisl on every count 1 stars
8/30/05 ES Blah, blah, blah hollywood claptrap garbage, watch it if you have no taste & watch anything 1 stars
4/21/05 Carolyn Rathburn This movie goes to show you don't have to be a good girl to get the job done, awesome. 5 stars
4/20/05 Chris Stephens If they woiuld have gotten naked.... 2 stars
4/16/05 Linda Denisen I rather liked this movie, well enough to own it. 4 stars
2/21/05 axe best intentions, worst Western ever 1 stars
10/22/04 John it's pretty bad _ Goldsmith' score is brilliant and worth mentioning 2 stars
5/05/04 John worse movie 1 stars
3/03/03 y2mckay Crapfest. These Girls should have either gotten naked more or killed more people. Dull. 2 stars
11/25/02 Charles Tatum Girls with guns, scowling and trying to be taken seriously 1 stars
3/18/99 Madcap I still laugh my ass off when I think of this movie 2 stars
3/11/99 Cool Thing Two stars for gratuitous use of breasts. And that's all. 2 stars
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  22-Apr-1994 (R)
  DVD: 01-Feb-2005


  02-Feb-1995 (MA)

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