Make room on your annual October watchlist for Bill Posley’s “Bitch Ass.” [SXSW Film Festival]

There are very few movies instantly recognized as a crowd favorite, but when they’re discovered in that sweet spot of magic, one would do quite literally anything to witness said film with a packed audience. Bitch Ass, the new horror movie from first time feature director and writer, Bill Posley, is exactly that, a magnificent audience gold mine that packs the ultimate punch and delivers the goods. Bitch Ass is the quintessential combination of Saw, Escape Room, and Candyman that will leave genre audiences absolutely delighted by this sick and twisted take on childhood games.

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A scene from BITCH ASS.

In 1980, a young Cecil (Jarvis Denman Jr.) is bullied by the 6th Street Gang, who gives him the nickname of Bitch Ass and torments young Cecil until he’s left for dead. Fast forward 19 years and a new group of kids consisting of Q (Teon Kelly), Tuck (Kelsey Caesar), Moo (A-F-R-O), and X (Dior Allen) take it upon themselves to enter the house of Bitch Ass for an initiation night. Little do they know that for the past 19 years, Bitch Ass (Tunde Laleye) has been preparing to exact his revenge on the 6th Street Gang.

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Tunde Laleye as Bitch Ass in BITCH ASS. Photo Credit: Shane Brown.

With the genre of horror being so diverse and fleshed out with more subgenres than any other genre in cinematic history, it is always a delight to see new entries that manage to make a name for themselves and become cemented as an instant bona fide must see within the category. Jonathan Colomb and Bill Posley manage to create this mythological character of Bitch Ass so well that it brings vibes of Tony Todd’s Candyman to life (which is presumably why Todd’s Titus Darq is the opening and closing narrator who introduces us to the lost tapes of Bitch Ass and gives us the final goodbye). With the mythos of Candyman, the torture porn elements of the original Saw (nothing too extreme, nothing too tame) and the escapism of Escape Room, Bitch Ass truly delivers on all fronts to provide the audience exactly what they’re looking for, a bloody good time.

Now a script is only as good as its cast, and a horror movie is only as good as its “villain.” Thankfully Bitch Ass has a cast that knows how to deliver and can pack the punch it needs to hold it all together. Teon Kelly, Kelsey Caesar, A-F-R-O, and Dior Allen are all proven to be tough enough and capable of joining the 6th Street Gang, they just need to pass initiation. This lets their characters have elements of fearlessness, toughness, and genuine nonchalant vibes. Nothing seems to really get to these characters, that is until they fall victim to the games of Bitch Ass. Having these characters just generally be wannabe gang members gives allows them to not need to be more than just that, and they pull off that feat tremendously well. However, being a gangbanger scared for their life at the hands of someone believed to be a myth only works if they myth themselves embodies true terror. Tunde Laleye is a force to be reckoned with. This man delivers fear wearing a Phantom of the Opera-esque mask and his figure and pain tolerance are what make him so menacing. He plays twisted versions of children’s games with his victims, putting his own life at risk if the challenges can salvage a win, and dishes out his own pain. There is nothing truly more terrifying than a figure assumed to be dead, who’s willing to take the pain as much as they are willing to dish it out. Bitch Ass didn’t come to play games, he came to make sure he lives forever.

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Director Bill Posley. Photo Credit: Honora Talbott.

There is so much to love and enjoy about a horror film, or really any genre film, that knows exactly what it is and makes sure to deliver on that promise it made to itself. Bitch Ass knows it’s a horror movie that also serves as a partial comedy with some of its antics and never takes itself too seriously, but knows when to throw its punches and makes sure it lands that knockout. Bitch Ass has so much going for it: the script is tightly packed, the acting is top notch, and the enjoyment level is cranked to 11. Bitch Ass will be one of those movies audiences will instantly fall in love with, will sell out screenings years after its release, and be added to the October watchlist for genre enthusiasts everywhere.

Screening during the 2022 SXSW Film Festival.

SXSW Screening Information:

*Monday, March 14th, Screening @ 10:00 pm CT, Alamo Lamar D

*Tuesday, March 15th, On-line Screening @ 9:00 am CT

*Wednesday, March 16th, Screening @ 10:15 pm CT, Alamo Lamar D

*Saturday, March 19th, Screening @ 3:15 pm CT, Alamo Lamar B

For more information, head to the official SXSW page.

Final Score: 4.5 out of 5.



Categories: In Theaters, Reviews, streaming

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