The subtly-titled Killer Bitch, released tomorrow, is being marketed to accentuate the negatives, and its Campbeltown-born executive producer John Fleming revels in promoting the movie’s woefulness.
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It’s part of a strategy which hopes that awful reviews will be a godsend to fire the imaginations of those curious to see it … an attempt to exploit the “so bad it’s good” school of cinephiles.
The movie sees the big-screen debut of Celebrity Big Brother winner, cage fighter and Z-list celebrity Alex Reid, aka Mr Katie Price. He stars in the movie even though he quit halfway through after Ms Price, aka Jordan – model, mother and 21st-century phenomenon – saw a graphic sex scene in which he was involved.
The movie’s promoters, with the Scot at the helm, are happy to stoke the furore: denying that Reid was in a rape scene but explaining that the British Board of Film Classification’s censors were so unhappy about the movie’s sexual content after four separate screenings that the controversial Reid sex scene was at risk of being removed from the film altogether.
In the end the whole movie was passed uncut and given a plain old 18 certificate.
Mr Fleming, who put up all the money for the film, said: “If critics say it is the most appalling film ever made in the entire history of the world, then obviously that’s good publicity. If on the shelf it says this film is ‘vile and appalling’ people will pick it up and buy it.
“I don’t mind if people say it’s great, I don’t mind if people say it is bad, but what I don’t want is indifference.”
Not one to play down any potential selling-points, Mr Fleming says the movie features real violence, real gangsters and real hardcore sex scenes.
Although the film premieres on Thursday – at an event featuring the same real gangsters, real boxers, real “busty babes” but no real Alex Reid – it will never get near your multiplex. It has gone straight to DVD.
Mr Fleming knows his “crap movie” history pretty well. He says his flick cost more than the £45 legend has it was spent making the shockingly bad British zombie movie Colin, and less than £100,000, the usual price tag on the bog-stardard schlock B-movie.
The publicity surrounding Killer Bitch has certainly been unreal.
Reid was signed up for a pittance as an unknown cage fighter, but then the movie Gods smiled on the production team and Reid started dating Katie Price. They smiled again when he entered the Celebrity Big Brother house earlier this year and won.
The resulting publicity, ecstatically spun by the film’s producers, was like blood to a starved vampire.
Then Jordan took exception in the tabloids to outdoor sex scenes Reid shot with co-star Yvette Rowland, and the row made headlines around the world.
One Indian newspaper called it “violent porn”, Australia’s Perth Now labelled it “a vile and degrading movie”, and the New York Daily News observed that “the film’s producers don’t seem bothered by the publicity” … the understatement of the decade, if Mr Fleming’s tactics are considered, as every shameful review is worn as a badge of honour by the producers.
One national newspaper described it as the “shoddiest excuse for a film I’ve seen in my life” while holymoly.com said: “Alex Reid’s film Killer Bitch is the worst film ever made”.
Despite revelling in bad taste and bad reviews, Mr Fleming and his team are happy to take any plaudits that come along. Film magazine Gore Zone gave it five stars, saying it was “Grand Theft Auto meets I Spit on your Grave” while Heat magazine wrote: “The fast-cut sex and violence ... is unexpectedly avant-garde”.
The executive producer, who plays an OAP wantonly slaughtered in the movie, said: “I worked as a researcher on populist programmes like Tiswas, Game for a Laugh, Surprise Surprise and latterly bizarre comedy programmes.
“I think Killer Bitch is populist entertainment sold to the widest possible market. It’s not going to win a Bafta but it is very commercially made, maybe overly commercially made.”
The list of underworld characters who play themselves in the movie is meant to give the film added notoriety. The cast includes Mitch Pyle, son of the gangster Joey Pyle, Roy Shaw, the armed robber turned bare-knuckle fighter, and former drug smuggler Howard Marks.
When Reid, who had the lead role, dropped out, it meant the script had to be rewritten “to make sense of what had become a nonsensical plot”.
And that meant a bigger role for Jason Marriner, former leader of the notorious Chelsea Headhunters, who was jailed for six years for hooliganism.