“Crazy Bitches” is the perfect summer scream

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Many have written and mused over the so-called “rules” pinned to horror films. Perhaps a group of unsuspecting friends are plopped down in a location they’ve never been to before, to celebrate something, unbeknownst to them that many years ago, a horrific crime took place, and could very well happen again—to them, at any moment. Crazy Bitches takes eight crazy bitches—seven sorority sisters and one beauty-conscious gay man, to a remote ranch in the woods for their friend Alice’s birthday. After a trip into town, they quickly learn about the local rumors of a mass teenage murder spree at the ranch fifteen years ago, and their carefree getaway meant for boozing, relaxing and reconnecting is suddenly turned upside down.

Writer, editor and director Jane Clark debuted Crazy Bitches in June at San Francisco’s Frameline Film Festival, and AfterEllen recently chatted up star Guinevere Turner at  the Opening Night Gala for Outfest (the Outfest screening for the film is tonight). Turner plays the very sassy, appearance-obsessed Belinda. Of course, we’re no strangers to Turner who grabbed our hearts in Go Fish—her writing and producing debut, and made us want to yell, “Yeah! Step off, bitch!” for her guest role as the notorious Gabby Deveaux in The L Word. Clark’s film also stars her award-winning Meth Head veterans, Cathy DeBuono as Cassie, who we fell hard for in Along Came Lola, Out at the Wedding, and LOGO’s Ex’s and Oh’s, and Mary Wells as Princess, who played Wave in Elena Undone.

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From the start of Crazy Bitches, it’s clear that these friends have long histories with one another and we get a front row seat to their unfolding drama—some still cope with their longtime rivalries, and others must contend with certain feelings they have. You’ll begin to wonder how these girls could have ever been real friends to each other apart from their fraternizing initiations in college. Some if not all of the characters are hiding some kind of secret, if even simply secrets about their own selves, plagued with insecurities that they mask over with vanity.

“A storm is coming,” warns the young, sex-feigning ranch hand, who Princess takes a special liking to. But little does this gang of unruly friends know that the real storm is brewing, not in the sky, but in their own backyard. Still, why bother fretting over a few murders that happened almost two decades ago? There’s no reason to panic yet, is there? That isn’t really blood on the carpet, is it? Their male tagalong, “B” (played by Andy Gala), uncovers that he knows more about these murders than he originally let on. The girls gather round like they’re spending a rainy night at the Bar None Ranch on Hey Dude for a scary story and popcorn, chalking up the fact that Belinda (Turner) has now disappeared to nothing more than a sour puss in stilettos throwing a fit over roughing it in the woods. (Not that the ranch is at all “roughing it”—their sleeping quarters look more like Jenny and Nikki’s Taj Mahal tent from the camping episode of The L Word.)

Naturally, the case of the mass murders remains opened, the killer still at large. One by one, the group finds themselves face-to-face with death, their own vanities playing a role in how they are picked to die. Suddenly, the margaritas don’t taste so sweet and the car won’t start, and damn it, will someone make sure all the windows and doors are actually locked?

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The film becomes a classic case of a whodunit. DeBuono’s character offering up the most comic relief with her antics and one-liners as the group’s drama remains in motion, despite the frantic, necessary need to get to help. It’d be easy to say their drama is sexy, but it’s also a little bit dirty and awkward. Think: The gang from ‘90s teen horror films like Scream getting together for a reunion in the woods, minus the PTSD of Neve Campbell, plus the gullibility of Rose McGowen.

With such a dynamic cast of LGBT favorites, Jane Clark’s Crazy Bitches gets an A in my book—packed with moments that will make you giggle, cringe, and maybe even jump out of your seat for a second. Make no mistake: Bitches be crazy.

Crazy Bitches screens tonight at Outfest. Watch the trailer here.  

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