I can’t believe that it’s already been 2 years since the release of Frankenstein Created Bikers, the last film made by Atlanta native James Bickert. That film – and I mean film, it was shot on 35mm – was damn near perfect and embodied the spirit of a bygone era, without being some cheap “rehash” made by someone who thinks that digital grain equals grindhouse. Frankenstein Created Bikers was a love letter to the drive-in movies of yore and helped to push the limits of good taste and southern sensibilities. Bickert combined all the nudity, gore and sleaze he could and formed an epic piece of celluloid that may not ever be fully matched. I say all this to remind everyone reading of what kind of movie this is and what to expect. Foxy chicks. Brutal violence. And beer… lots of beer.
Jimmy’s follow up – set to release soon – is no different, regarding its content. What is different is his approach. His last two films had chuckle-worthy moments but never really delved too deep into the comedy. This time around, he does and does it incredibly well. When I walked into Amazon Hot Box, the last thing that I expected was to laugh as much as I did. The writing was impressive and felt natural and funny, fucking brilliant at times. Don’t worry gore hounds, it’s got all the red stuff you could ask for but that isn’t what this movie is about. Bickert and company have crafted a smart send-up to one of my favorite sub-genres of all time… the “women in prison” movie.
Every pubescent boy remembers the days of ogling over Pam Grier in Big Doll House or staying up late to see lesbian scenes in 80s classics like Caged Women or Vendetta. I say all this, because Amazon Hot Box serves as a form of reverence to these films, instead of lampooning them or winking at the audience. Everyone involved respects this dark little corner of cinema and resists that urge to just recycle everything that you have already seen these types of film do.
Holy shit, I should probably tell you what this fucking movie is about… An innocent college student is tossed into a jungle hellhole where she must fight for her life against an evil wardress, psycho inmates, voodoo experiments and the incredible torture machine.
It’s no secret that I loved this film and feel like Jimmy and his cast/crew are growing into a powerhouse of low budget filmmaking. The choice to shoot this movie on digital seems like the right move. You can see the pressure being lifted off of the actors and the special FX, giving more chances for the best takes to be in the film. It’s also much leaner than his last film, with the runtime right under 90 minutes. Keeping the film short really lends to its pacing, allowing nothing but an hour and a half of laughs and action for the audience to enjoy.
Genre fans are always bitching that nothing original ever comes out, here is your chance to see something new and original! This film is chocked of gals, guns and pure excitement. Every year, I watch tons of movies that boast “you will never see anything like it”. Believe me, there is nothing out there like Amazon Hot Box and there never will be. This is pure fun made for the movie going audience that rarely gets this kind of treat. Its blend of humor and sleaze is both exciting and charming… don’t miss your chance to see your favorite movie of 2018.