Saturday, September 29, 2012

They're No Ladies, They're Killers: "Girlfriends" (1993)



Pearle (Lori Scarlett) and Wanda (Nina Angeloff) could be a normal loving couple. They are struggling financially, and companionship is not going to pay the bills. Good thing they hang around bars, pick up rich men, then rob and kill them.

Watching Pearle rub her crotch and give some leering construction workers the middle finger gives the viewer a sense of what they are in for. The plot is wandering and simple. Pearle and Wanda live together, Wanda is the bread winner, making people think she is homeless in order to collect cash. They try to stop killing men for money, but cash is tight. They barhop and meet Gil (Mark Wilt), a loud racist who fancies himself a stand-up comedian. After killing him, and finding well over a thousand dollars on him, Wanda and Pearle decide to stop killing (again) and make some money honestly.

The girls have another lesbian friend, Lulu (Sara Showman), over. Lulu is shocked at the girls' lack of involvement in the lesbian community. We find out Wanda is the only divorcee in the group, and flashback to her horrible marriage to Carl (Tom Pettis), which ended in murder, too. Lulu invites them to a play about a divorcing woman who is a lesbian and trying to keep her child. Wanda hates the play (her threatening behavior toward another audience member is great), but Pearle is enthralled. She decides she wants a baby, and Wanda reluctantly agrees. Pearle picks nerdy librarian Tom (Marc Andreyko), takes him home, and has sex with him. She ends up pregnant, and Wanda begins turning tricks in order to make money. That is when she picks up lawyer Howard (Ian Maclennan), and the movie has a twist the viewer will not see coming.

This was shot on video and runs just sixty-nine minutes. I was shocked at how much I laughed through the thing. Pearle is not the sharpest knife in the drawer, and Wanda's over the top hatred of men is funny. If John Waters had shot "Thelma & Louise," you would have "Girlfriends."

Both lead actresses have good Southern accents, and wallow in their white trash existence. A behind-the-scenes documentary follows the video, and the two actresses are not Southern but do talk about preferring film work to stage work, something refreshing coming from a performer. The language is crude, there is some sex and nudity, and many will find enough to be offended at. The editing is choppy because of the video, but the camerawork is interesting. Check out the scene where we see what happens to Tom. I wish the special effects had been heavier on the gore, but I also think this was budgetary.

"Girlfriends" cannot be called politically correct, especially now when Ellen DeGeneres and Rosie O'Donnell, among others, are fighting to make this country see same sex relationships in a different light. "Girlfriends" shines that light in a whole other corner of the room, but I was entertained by what I saw, and I am more shocked than anyone. (* * * *) out of five stars. Get this movie now!: Girlfriends