Crazy Bitches is in dire need of many things, like a focused direction, decent dialog and especially an editor. Someone really needed to step in a tame this overly long film, cut out the many unnecessary scenes and whittle the movie down into a manageable (and watchable) story. Unfortunately, the film ended up being torn between being an ensemble comedy and a slasher flick. As such, there’s very little to redeem Crazy Bitches, and watching it will test any viewer’s endurance.

A group of college friends get together for a girls’ weekend away at a remote cabin to celebrate one of the friend’s birthdays. Unfortunately, the cabin they chose has a grisly history of murder; it was the site of a mass killing 15 years ago where a group of teenage girls was slaughtered. The killer, however, was never caught. Now, 15 years later, with this new group of women, each with dark secrets and desires spilling from their bosoms, the murders begin again.

The plot is trite and the budget is low, but that shouldn’t stop anyone from watching Crazy Bitches. Skilled writing, direction and cinematography can certainly elevate any film beyond its budgetary and creative limitations. Unfortunately, writer/director Jane Clark wanted to do too much with this film and turned Crazy Bitches into something more than it should have been and ended up diluting any of the impact the film had.

Ostensibly, Crazy Bitches is a slasher film, starting off well in this regard with an immediate show of violence. But then the film drags on and on as characters get introduced and reacquainted, arguing about who is higher on the race victimization chart, lecturing about animal cruelty or outright sexually assaulting each other. Because all of this is going on, all of the tension of potentially being murdered gets sucked out of the movie. It doesn’t matter how many times the camera switches to a POV shot from the bushes. Moreover, the characters do not react believably to the situation they are in. Once they have proof that someone is trying to kill them, they do not switch into survival mode. They don’t grab any weapons. They don’t barricade entrances. Instead, they still sleep in separate rooms with a lot of windows, and they even take the time to change into their silk pajamas before going to bed! Obviously, the slasher plot is a distant second priority.

A character-driven ensemble piece, ala The Big Chill, could have been compelling here, but there is very little exploration of these characters’ relationship with one another except for the plot-related ones. For instance, everyone seems to dislike one character so she’s the first to die, which is convenient, because the rest of the group has little motivation to go looking for her when she goes missing. Beyond that, the histories between the friends is hardly shared. Furthermore, as a viewer, it’s difficult to get invested in the bonding the friends do as they comfort each other with secrets and revelations when there is the omnipresent threat of murder.

Surprisingly, Crazy Bitches is politically charged. When two friends who are different ethnic minorities get into an argument as to which race is the bigger victim, they both end up agreeing that white people don’t understand what being bullied is like. The cast is also heavily loaded with LGBT characters; at least 50% of the group of friends is gay, lesbian or bisexual. A good portion of the film is dedicated to one character’s struggles with creating sexual encounters with two of her “straight” friends. In fact this character actually sexually assaults one of her friends, who has to essentially fight her off. What’s interesting about this particular scene is that it’s only politically accepted because of this specific gender dynamic. Change one gender and the scene has a high potential of veering towards misogyny or homophobia. Whatever the political intentions of the film are, while not necessarily bad for any movie, they do feel very out of place for this movie.

Finally, Crazy Bitches exhibits the lack of polish that unfortunately plague many low budget productions, including too much telling, not enough showing, action moving out from beneath flags or actors with mike boom shadows on their bodies. It’s oversights like these that make a low budget feature seem cheaper than necessary. Obviously, there is some talent here. The actors especially deserve some praise for staying committed to their roles and dialog. It’s just a shame that they didn’t have a better film to showcase their abilities.