Gunslingerettes line up for the atrocity exhibition.
Bad Girls is directed by Jonathan Kaplan from a screenplay by Ken Friedman and Yolande Turner. It stars Madeleine Stowe, Mary Stuart Masterson, Andie MacDowell and Drew Barrymore. The plot sees the four girl actors playing prostitutes on the run following a justifiable homicide and a hanging escape. Suffice to say that they get into scrapes & double crosses whilst being pursued by the Pinkertons.
Being asked to suspend disbelief is one thing, being force fed drivel masquerading as pro-feminism is entirely another. Bad Girls is a mess of a movie, an insult to the Western genre, to the fans of the lady actors, to the lady actors themselves, who simply deserve much much better and arguably worst of all - to women in general. The script is laughable, serving only as an excuse for the gals to sling those guns and hips when possible, whilst being abused and saved by "men", while the plotting is by the numbers as everything falls into place readily. There's even slow-mo shots where they serve no purpose of enhancement. Throw into the mix that three of the ladies look nothing like on the run outlaws, all shine and span and make up with nice hair (Masterson the exception as she has a modicum of believability about her), well it's rather a depressing experience all told. Sure, as a red blooded guy I'm not going to be turned off by Barrymore's shapely thighs adorned in white stockings, or Stowe's truly gorgeous face, but when the highlights of a "girl" Western is something that's only aesthetically sexy for men, then they clearly have got it wrong.
So what's the justification for it being so bad? Well the back story offers up the answer. Film was meant to be directed by a woman, Tamra Davis (erm-Billy Madison & Crossroads), but she was jettisoned a couple of weeks into production. The plan with Davis at the helm was for it to be a Western told from a female point of view. However, Kaplan (The Accused/Unlawful Entry) was brought in quickly and the screenplay rewritten in a hurry. And boy does it show. Technically it's a duffer too, Jerry Goldsmith's score is cheap in texture and Jane Kurson's editing is choppy to say the least. There's no eye catching cinematography (Ralf D. Bode), while the acting away from the script hindered girls (ie: the men), is either a waste of time them being in it (Nick Chinlund) or badly directed (James Russo). While Dermot Mulroney seems only to exist as being a link to Young Guns - the "boy" version that this is clearly trying to ride the coat tails in on. If you want a good Western about the girls fighting the good fight then seek out George Marshall's 1957 film The Guns Of Fort Petticoat. It's a fun movie that at least has believable women fighting back under duress. Bad Girls, tho, is just bad in every department. 2/10