Now this is more like it: Bikini Squad! Softcore Erotica Month finally hits its stride with a broad(chested) parody of Baywatch hailing all the way from circa 1993. Is it good? Hell no. But at least we’ve found a decent example of the 1990’s softcore erotica subgenre, complete with outlandish performances, Mickey Mouse music, an abundance of scantily clad bodies for the men and women in the audience, and yes, even a little love story. It’s the perfect Valentine’s gift for couples with low standards and a minimal porn budget, and a New Adventure in Netflix.
Bikini Squad stars Vice Academy 4’s Rebecca Rocheford as Cathy, a hot young director – who’s also hot – hired to shoot the season finale of the hit syndicated TV series ‘Bikini Squad.’ But the odds are stacked against poor (stacked) Cathy, who has to contend with egomaniacal stars like Muffy (Donna Baltron of Virtual Seduction), braindead stars like Biff (J.C. Palermo, who I could have sworn was Gary Riley from Summer School after beefing up ‘Carrot Top’ style) and lovable klutz Summer (Maureen Flaherty of Bikini Traffic School). She’ll have three days to shoot a week’s worth of material and find a way to solve the problems plaguing the set, ranging from missing cast members to fires in the wardrobe department.
All of these troubles and more are the work of the show’s producer David, played by Lucky O’Boyle (which doesn’t so much sound like an actor’s name as it does a St. Patrick’s Day headquarters). David needs his own successful show to fail so he can earn more money, a motivation that needs some clarification and gets none. He’s a producer, so maybe it’s like that one movie about producers. You know, The Player? (We never see any of the writing staff, after all…) Cathy’s solutions to these problems range from pretty obvious, like borrowing other cameras when their own go missing, to ‘brilliant,’ like casting an invisible jet ski team after they’ve been cut from the budget. It’s a plucky film, full of “Gosh Golly Gee Wiz, We Get To Make A Real Movie Today” chutzpah. It’s also really, really terrible, albeit in a dorkily fun way.
The thing about satires is that you kind of need to be better than your source material to pull them off. Bikini Squad isn’t better than Baywatch, and boy is that saying something. The acting ranges from ‘barely good enough’ to ‘it’s a good thing you’re hot,’ and the writing might have looked good on paper but only if the paper also had the collected works of Vincent Van Gogh and James Jean on it too. This is the kind of movie where homosexuals are mincing predators (played by famed screenwriter Adam Rifkin no less) and ‘women directors’ are viewed with the same sort of sneering judgment one normally reserves for male babysitters. Bikini Squad’s view of Baywatch is one of bizarre superiority, making fun of bad acting and horrible plot points while falling victim to those same atrocities itself.
Or maybe that’s the point, and Bikini Squad is meant instead to elevate the view of Baywatch by showing just how hard it is to do the exact same job with a modicum of competence. Usually in Hollywood satires the ‘movie within a movie’ is portrayed as an arch, inept sort of film to distinguish it from the supposedly ‘better’ movie surrounding it. But the acting and plotting in ‘Bikini Squad’ is just as bad as in Bikini Squad. Hmm… If the movie with a movie is just as good as the movie itself, does that mean that the movie within a movie is supposed to be a great movie? Maybe Bikini Squad is kind of genius, when it isn’t awkwardly cutting to montages of bikini clad bimbos oiling themselves for minutes on end to pad the running time.
Bikini Squad also boasts a wide variety of sex scenes, something our previous Softcore Erotica Month movies Depraved and Virgin High somewhat neglected. Boobs are plentiful thanks in part to a cameo by Julie Strain (and mercifully thanks in no part to a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it cameo by Ted Raimi), and shots of bare, musclebound chests are also common… not to mention the occasional buffalo shot from J.C. Palermo, which I suppose offers a little something for the ladies in the audience (or anyone else who might be interested). Bikini Squad may be a bad movie, but it’s a good softcore comedy caper, which of course makes it a bad movie so it’s almost not worth mentioning. New Adventures in Netflix will be back next week as Softcore Erotica Month continues throughout February.