Fantasia 2013: Pinup Dolls On Ice (2013) – Review – Don’t Look A Gift Horse In The Mouth

Here’s an odd little film. Odd, because I’m not sure how I feel about it: I’m torn between, “Hey! This is fun” and “Hey! This is a little bit darkly disturbing.” Then there’s the thing my partner in crime, King Hazard, brought up: “Was that supposed to be a horror comedy or not? I couldn’t tell.”

Honestly, I hadn’t considered it as a horror comedy at all. Yes, the Clay character (Matt Popoff) is hilarious, but for me he was just comic relief in an otherwise straight-up slasher film. The film should have been fun in the sense that pretty pinup girls were being stalked and killed by a serial killer in a slasher movie, however, because the movie was directed with a somewhat serious tone (such as the necrophilic scene) it came off as disturbing.

Pinup Dolls on Ice succeeds Bikini Girls on Ice (2009), so we have our killer, Moe (William Jarand), moving on from the gas station slaughter of the first film to the second film’s campground. The campground is getting ready to close for the season and the burlesque troupe Pinup Dolls are performing as a favor to their old friend, and campground owner, Joy (Suzi Lorraine). Sounds great, right? Especially when you add pervy Clay to the mix of blood and boobs.

Where Pinup Dolls on Ice fails is in its presentation, its look. The lighting and the color palette look great, as do the special effects; it all looks like a big-budget movie, but it’s not. As a result, the audience gets confused; visually they’ll expect something more substantial in terms of story and character development, which won’t be delivered. Instead, they’ll get low budget cheese and plot holes, which wouldn’t be so bad if the filmmakers had set out to make a B-movie.

pinup dolls on ice nurse

Audiences may get irritated by Moe’s constant grunting and then find it strange that the filmmakers attempted to establish a trademark sound, like Jason Voorhees’, three-quarters of the way through the film. I found that the origin story got thrown in as an afterthought; it literally felt like is was filmed in post and slapped into the film. Moe’s backstory could have easily fit in via a TV news report as Joy and the Pinup Dolls have drinks around the bar. It was cute, but a little odd that the filmmakers also decided to spell out Moe’s name at the end just to make sure we knew his name.

Since we were at the Pinup Dolls on Ice’s world premiere, directors Geoff Klein and Melissa Mira, along with writer Michael Penning and various other members of the cast and crew, spoke to and held a Q&A session after the screening. While it became apparent that they’re work was admirable — funding the film through loans, credit cards, family, etc. — what stood out for me was Klein’s statement about the Hatchet franchise. An audience member had asked if the Pinup Dolls team had been inspired by Adam Green’s work, and Klein said, “Did I mention that I hate Hatchet?” Going on to say that Hatchet has too much “gratuitous gore.” Excuse me? Isn’t that the point of a slasher film? And didn’t Adam Green’s successful franchise spawn the rebirth of the slasher genre? Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth.

Directors Geoff Klein and Melissa Mira discuss Pinup Dolls On Ice at Fantasia 2013:

The Verdict:

Pinup Dolls on Ice has lots of potential. Unfortunately, it didn’t really live up to any of it. In a way, it’s kind of sad that the Clay character, which started out as a very, very small part, grew throughout production and ended up being the star of the film. It’s also kind of sad that the best moment was when Fiona (Karine Kerr) finally took off her shoes near the end of the movie. I missed the first film, Bikini Girls, of this franchise intended to be a trilogy, and I doubt I’ll see the third installment. See Pinup Dolls if you want, you’ll be entertained, but you won’t miss anything if you don’t.

Rock Hard \m/

pinup dolls on ice box cover
Yell! Rating (x/5 Skulls):
Year Released:
23 July 2013
Geoff Klein and Melissa Mira
Karine Kerr, Suzi Lorraine, William Jarand
Horror, Slasher
Official URL:

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