Chattanooga Film Festival: Bitch Ass (2022)

When a movie starts with Tony Todd asking if you know your hood horror, then name drops BlaculaBonesTales from the HoodThe People Under the Stairs and Candyman, it has a lot to live up to.

Luckily, Bitch Ass more than succeeds.

Director Bill Posely, who started his career as an actor before writing episodes of Cobra Kai and directing several shorts and the TV movie Culty, has co-written (with Jonathan Colomb) a pretty intriguing idea for a movie: four young wannabe gang members must rob a house to get their colors. That house, however, is no normal house. It belongs to the hood legend Bitch Ass (Tunde Laleye) and they must all play games for their lives.

One of the gangsters, Q (Teon Kelly), truly wants to be a doctor but his grades aren’t enough for a scholarship, so he hopes that he can make enough money from the gang life to escape the hood and take his hard-working mother Marisa (Me’Lisa Sellers) with him.

However, his mother has a secret. She once ran with the gang, specifically its leader Spade (Sheaun McKinney), and she knows exactly how Bitch Ass become a scarred and angry killer of urban youth. He was once the bullied Cecil (Jarvis Denman Jr.), burned by his grandmother for the slightest bad behavior at home and routinely abused at school and on the streets before being shredded with a razor blade.

Now, on 666 Night, Q and his fellow initiates — Cricket (Belle Guillory), Tuck (Kelsey Caesar) and Moo (A-F-R-O) — enter the home, they soon must match wits with the first black masked slasher, playing him in games similar to Connect Four, Operation and Battleship. It’s a ridiculous idea done beyond well, which makes this movie work. In fact, I’d go so far to say that this movie wouldn’t just fit on to the shelves of your dearly departed mom and pop video store. I dare say that it’d be checked out every time you looked for it.

Even the title cards in between each sequence look like they come from a board game and the editing of the film slices and cuts the screen like a comic book and at times a quickly spinning Rubik’s Cube. It’s kinetic and makes the movie fly while allowing it to rise above its low budget.

It’s not perfect, but it has a ramshackle direct to video charm that makes it a worthy successor to the urban horror that has come before. I just can’t wait until the sequel, because this movie needs to be expanded and its unique slasher methods further explored.

Want to see it for yourself? It’s now playing as part of the Chattanooga Film Fest. Virtual tickets are available at www.chattfilmfest.org/

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