• Maxwell J.

Bitch Ass (PANIC) Makes a Game Winning Play with New Black Horror Icon

Title: Bitch Ass

First Non-Festival Release: TBD

Director: Bill Posley

Writer: Jonathan Colomb, Bill Posley

Runtime: 83 Minutes

Starring: Teon Kelley, Tunde Laleye, Me’lisa Sellers

Where to Watch: Check out where to find it here


This film’s review was written after its screening at the Panic Film Festival in 2022.


Q (Teon Kelley) is struggling to find a way to pay for college and support his mother Marsia (Me’lisa Sellers). Unbeknownst to his mother, Q has decided to gain membership into the Sixth Street Gang. His final test is robbing the home of a recently deceased elderly woman along with fellow initiates Tuck (Kelsey Caesar), Moo (A-F-R-O), and Cricket (Belle Guillory). The leader of the gang, Spade (Sheaun McKinney) impresses upon Q the importance of following through and being better for himself and his mother. All goes according to plan until the crew breaks into the house. They find themselves playing a series of games with deadly consequences against the elderly woman’s son, the first Black serial killer to don a mask: Bitch Ass (Tunde Laleye).


A fun slasher unconcerned with period accuracy or complex narratives, Bitch Ass sets out to birth a new icon and change the game.

Chock full of style, Bitch Ass knows how to make a statement. Between multiple iterations of split screens, a super wide aspect ratio, and deliciously rich set design, it is easily identifiable from other films of similar setups. It doesn’t all lead to much in terms of developing the story, but it does provide a more unique viewing experience. This is especially true for the game scenes themselves. The framing allows for the otherwise flat games to come to life and feel more artistically integrated into the film.


Its wacky premise is reminiscent of the era of horror it is trying to recreate. Black horror in the late 1990s has a flair all its own, and Bitch Ass attempts to re-frame that nostalgia in a modern way. It largely succeeds, even when it doesn’t adhere to actual 90s artifacts. While the characters are mostly slasher fodder for the villain, Q and Marsia are likable protagonists that possess real character flaws and motivations. They are interesting and easy to root for due to their development.


Even more minor characters make their mark in their own endearing way, as each of the initiates, Tuck, Moo, and Cricket, have a charm or quirk about them that makes it hard to bet against them, despite the odds not being in their favor. This is likely due to the excellent talents of the ensemble cast that make Bitch Ass such a fun time.


While Bitch Ass is a blast for those who enjoy trapped-in-a-house styled horror films, it does fall victim to tedium and familiarity. The pacing is wildly off the moment the initiates enter the home and the film never quite finds its footing later. Deadly rip-offs of popular games earn a quick laugh or two, but only work in short bursts. The longer the games continue, the quicker the action stagnates.

A never-ending series of flashbacks better explains the origin story of Bitch Ass along with many exposition dumps from the older characters who knew him as a teen. Partly it is done to engender sympathy for the villain and offer a compelling backstory, but it has been done so many times before that it doesn’t hit as hard. Hopefully, if there is another iteration, less work will need to be done on developing the backstory of Bitch Ass, and it can focus on other aspects of his personality and menace.


Silly and derivative at times, Bitch Ass has enough heart and deadly takes on games to warm the coldest of horror hearts. Its low budget shows at times but sleek direction and amusing dialogue elevate it to a decidedly entertaining romp. Endearing characters that have genuine relationships with each other and serial killer lore that is familiar make the film feel more nostalgic of the late 90s horror it attempts to emulate. Given the quality of the film and the ample opportunities to expand it, it is my hope that Bitch Ass gets the franchise treatment it deserves. With a lighthearted take on slashers and crowd-pleasing gimmick kills, it doesn’t take a much to see that Bitch Ass is a true winner.


Overall Score? 7/10

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