By Jette Kernion (reprint from 3/17/09 -- SXSW Film Festival)
I'm wary of movies that try to be instant cult/camp classics, with intentionally overdone dialogue and outrageous costumes and actors who are metaphorically winking or even non-metaphorically mugging for the camera. When the characters are in on the joke, it isn't all that funny. And when I learned that the writer-director of Women in Trouble also co-wrote Snakes on a Plane, I grew even more skeptical. But the actresses who populate Women in Trouble tend to play it straight, even when they're wearing assless spandex pants or smoking invisible cigarettes, and that's what keeps this film fun instead of tiresome.
Women in Trouble has a multi-story, anthology-like structure. Writer/director Sebastian Gutierrez said before the SXSW screening that he originally had one ten-page sequence that he wanted to shoot, then thought it might be easy to shoot several of them, all with different actresses, to make a good movie quickly. Apparently it wasn't all that easy, but the result is a large cast of mostly actresses playing a variety of the traditional exploitation "women in trouble." These include porn stars, tag-team hookers (one in a Catholic school uniform, natch), stewardesses (they're not flight attendants when we're poking fun at the exploitation genre), unmarried-and-pregnant women, and a very understanding masseuse.