One of Svetlana’s most highly regarded movies, Bad Girls is simple in its construction but justifiably renowned for its skilful execution and attractive cast.
The plot itself is coherent without being particularly elaborate or remotely challenging – in fact, it’s little more than a premise. Four glamorous girls venture to idyllic woodland in order to indulge in some camping and outdoor photo sessions. While there, they notice a sign indicating an infamous ‘house of ill-repute’ and decide to pay it a visit, subsequently finding themselves in the clutches of a cult and its sadistic leader.
Like many of Svetlana’s movies, this manages to feel light-hearted and inoffensive despite containing elements of coercion, bondage and discipline. It’s really just a ‘happy hardcore’ in spirit – naked girls frolicking in the sun – and the specific forms of their indulgences are quite typical of the era. By far the most shocking scene occurs when the girls – lost amidst the great outdoors – enlist the services of a local boy scout. The ‘actor’ – who is clearly no more than16 – is teased mercilessly by the girls and even required to help one out of her underwear!
The location photography is very good here and the productive values, akin to your average ‘b’ movie, are perfectly adequate for such a simple story. Like most movies of this period, the sex scenes stem quite naturally from the narrative and are short by 21st century standards. There is nothing especially progressive from a formal point of view but slow motion cinematography is used quite effectively on occasion.
It would be remiss of me not to mention the female cast movie because they are probably the single biggest reason this movie is so fondly remembered. In addition to simply looking fabulous, the four leads look very natural and not remotely like porn stars. None of them (to the best of my knowledge) went on to be a productive or lasting star – unlike the male cast. Ron Jeremy, young and fit albeit already hirsute, features quite prominently as a scout master. John Leslie is relegated to a very minor role – that of a nameless, archetypal rural male – and has very little dialogue despite participating in two scenes. Randy West and Kevin James feature as two of the male cult members, and Richard Pacheco appears as a photographer right at the beginning of the piece.