- No picture shall be produced that will lower the moral standards of those who see it. Hence the sympathy of the audience should never be thrown to the side of crime, wrongdoing, evil or sin.
- Correct standards of life, subject only to the requirements of drama and entertainment, shall be presented.
- Law, natural or human, shall not be ridiculed, nor shall sympathy be created for its violation.
These were the major tenets of The Motion Picture Production Code (or Hayes Code) that governed all films made between 1930 to 1968. But in the mid-1960’s filmmakers began to test the rules and slowly they began snubbing their nose at the code, releasing films with nudity, sex and the kind of violence that was strictly forbidden. Like children running every which way on the playground, the MPAA couldn’t catch them all, so they abandoned the system in favor of a rating system fairly close to the one we use today.
It was like giving the kids the keys to the liquor cabinet while mom and dad vacationed in Hawaii. It was the era of the exploitation film and if you think Quentin Tarantino is over the top, you should watch a couple of flicks from this era. I Spit on Your Grave, Ilsa – She Wolf of the SS, The Candy Snatchers and now there’s Bitch Slap!
America Olivo stars in this crazy homage to those exploitation films of the 70’s and in honor of the film’s DVD release, I’ve got an interview I did with her just after she wrapped on both Bitch Slap and the new Friday the 13th.
Let’s talk “Bitch Slap.”
America: The film is paying homage to the 70’s exploitation films but not making fun of it. It’s not a spoof, its not Naked Gun but it is self aware and in that its very clever. When I got a call from the director who had seen me in another movie and he’s like, ‘you’re my Camero.’ I’m like, ‘is this porn?’
He says, ‘we have no time, I need to see you like today.’ So he says he’ll send me the script and I get this email called Bitch Slap. I open it up and I am cracking up 20 pages in, dying of laughter calling him, begging him please let me come. He’s like, absolutely! Great! I’m so excited!
Tell me more about your character Camero.
America: The three leads in this movie have major push-up bras and as much skin as possible exposed, but at the same time my character is basically a man. I mean, what men get to do in movies, you know. I get to drive muscle cars and motor bikes and beat-up everybody! And I’m tough, I’m in prison, I’m a street fighter. I’ve got tats all over me, my fist says pain on it and I’m just beatin’ the crap outta people for the whole movie and with the funniest lines! The dialogue that they’ve developed for Camero is just absolutely hilarious. They wanted a man in a woman’s body and I had a great, great, great time every night when I came home washing off lots of dirt and grit and fake blood and real blood, doing this movie.
Sounds like a tough shoot.
America: We were filming in the desert and everyday we’d get picked up and I’d be a different ethnicity from the dirt all over me, from head to toe and just bloody and gross and sore and he’d be like, ‘so how was your day guys?! Did’ya have fun?’ And I’m like, ‘aaah, ahhh, uhh, shooower!’ But then it was so, so rewarding when we actually got to see footage playback. It was worth every bump and bruise and cut.
The film company was so nice, they gave us spa packages as gifts after the film because they knew that we needed to turn back into girls.
But you didn’t get to relax, because you walked straight on to the set of Friday the 13th.
America: I got a call saying Michael Bay’s movie Friday the 13th needed somebody now or they were going to lose their location. I’m tired, I’m dirty, I’m not a girl, I’m black and blue from head-to-toe. . . I’m a creature. They say they want me anyway but Michael Bay has to approve it, so I put my stuff on tape with blood and charcoal and everything in my hair, fingernails missing and when I say missing, I’m not talking about ‘ow! I just broke my nail when I picked up my purse!’ I’m like ripped out, and the casting director is like ‘oh dear god, what happened to you?” I was Bitch Slapped!
A day or so later that I got a call; I went to the airport, got on a flight, earliest one. I thought I was going to be dropped off at this five star hotel too which sounded really, really, really nice but I just went straight to set and they kept me there because they needed to shoot all my scenes out because they were going to lose the location. I don’t think I got to sleep really or unpack my bag and then I was told to get back on the plane and that’s it. They had already done all the coverage on everybody else and I just popped in and do all close-ups on me for a couple days. I’m like, this rocks! I love this! It felt like it was just going to be my close-up, the whole movie.
It was kind of a wacky phase and now I’m sitting at home waiting for that next random call! Can you be on a plane to Dubai? Okay, sure.
AMERICA GETS ABSURD
What’s something that you’ve saved since you were a kid?
America: I have little good luck charms I’ve picked up or were given to me. I put them on a necklace and then I put them in a little pouch and they each represented something that I really liked or something that I dreamt about and cared about, you know—people in my family or what I wanted to be when I grew up and god and things like that. So, I have my little representation of those things.
You have $200 and you have to spend it tonight. What are you going to do?
America: I would invite my friends out to have a drink and hang out all night on me, in a happy hour so I could invite more friends, ‘cause $200 might not go far.
Captain Kirk vs. Captain Jack Sparrow?
America: Oh man! Wow. Totally two different captains here. I mean, Captain Kirk is like straight up good—good boy versus bad boy. I mean, to marry? Captain Kirk. To go to bed with, Sparrow. Or to raise a family with? Cause Captain Jack Sparrow would not be good with the family, I don’t think. And I don’t think he’d stick around and Captain Kirk would! He would, for sure. Even if he were in outer space, he’d find a way to beam himself around.
Click here for Bitch Slap on DVD and check out America in Friday the 13th.