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Category:    Home > Reviews > Western > Bad Girls - Extended Cut

Bad Girls – Extended Cut


Picture: C+     Sound: B-     Extras: C-     Film: C



Hollywood was very anxious to revive The Western and The Musical.  They did both, but The Western can only continue to be made in that each film has to reinvent the entire genre.  That is a major obstacle, but Jonathan Kaplan’s Bad Girls (1994) had the chance to be one of the better examples.  Originally released at a scant 81 minutes, this new DVD offers an extended 100 minutes cut.  Instead of improving it, it just prolongs the disappointment.


The Ken Friedman/Yolanda Finch screenplay brings Madeline Stowe, Andie MacDowell, Mary Stuart Masterson and Drew Barrymore together in what should have been a terrific film.  All four are beautiful women who happen to all be underrated actresses.  However, the film is very standard, offering the four as hookers who have to fight the male-dominated society when one has to kill to protect another from an out of control client who happens to be a high-ranking military official.  The fact he was at a “whorehouse” does not seem to faze his stuck-up (and not so attractive) wife, who decides to hire men to get justice of her own.


From there, the film goes on automatic pilot, much more about plot than any character development.  This limits the cast, including all the male villains and potential hero Dermot Mulroney.  Fox, who’s Young Guns in 1988 revived the genre to begin with, seems to have set up a formula this film (to its ad campaign) follows too much.  That film had a better sense of humor and more space for its cast.  It is, at least, an interesting failure and the women continued to show up in other films, so no major harm done.  Ridley Scott’s Thelma & Louise the year prior, though set in modern day, may have got this greenlighted, but this was as tame as all the other films that dared to try and duplicate the Susan Sarandon/Geena Davis film.  Maybe we’ll see a film down the line that finishes what this could have started.


The anamorphically enhanced 1.85 X 1 image is lacking, and the cinematography by Ralf Bode, A.S.C., is as accomplished as it is overly sterile for a Western.  There is some good production design, but it backfires as well.  The Dolby Digital 5.1 mix is not bad, as it was in the original theatrical release and the score by Jerry Goldsmith is one of his last in the genre.  It is not one of his best, especially since we have reviewed better from Film Score Monthly’s FSM CD label on this site, but it is passable.  The only extra are two trailers for the film, which support my point about its promotion.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


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