There's a Suicide Girl weeping in the back of the van on the way to yet another venue. She's just gotten off the phone with her boyfriend, and he was none too happy about the fact that she had been engaging in a fair amount of extracurricular sexual activity while out on the road. She is saddened by his disappointment, yet his outrage perplexes her.
"What's the difference between one guy and 15 guys?" she asks, completely without guile.
The answer comes from the front of the van (completely without mercy): "Fourteen."
This scenario happened, but unfortunately, it didn't make it into this excellent documentary of the Suicide Girls' first tour around North America. You can't, after all, have cameras rolling all the time. Nonetheless, the movie created by Mike Marshall (University of Central Florida grad, director of The Last Days of the Hatebombs and other projects) manages to cram the intense debauchery, stunted maturity and hyper-fun sexuality of a 60-show tour into a compelling two hours of film.
Oh yeah, there's some good rock & roll, too.
Orlando rockers Bloom were musical guests for the duration of the tour, though their presence was augmented for brief runs by other bands like The Mooney Suzuki, Pilot to Gunner and others. This made the entire affair run like an indie rock tour, filled with the same numbing boredom, requisite distractions (see the "Van Attack" bonus segment) and interpersonal quarrels. The big difference here was that every night of this tour, there was a stage full of mostly naked punk-rock girls, slippery with whipped cream and chocolate sauce.
Yet, regardless of the rock & roll atmosphere, this was a tour that was all about seeing tattooed girls take their clothes off, and the film is amply filled with just that. A series of one-girl bits that function as video equivalents of the "photosets" on www.suicidegirls.com are mixed with in-the-van shenanigans and, most importantly, onstage performances, beginning with a three-girl striptease at Orlando's Back Booth (then managed by Youngman and Marshall).
Although a history of the website and the surrounding phenomenon finds the Girls (especially co-founder Missy Suicide) attempting to add some "meaning" to what they're doing, the lofty explanations and sordid backstories don't add a lot to the DVD. Despite Missy's somewhat grandiose position that SuicideGirls is a "community of outsiders," the best summation of the SG performers and this film comes from one of the girls who was actually part of the touring entourage: "We're just a bunch of girls acting like assholes."
Which makes 'em rock stars after all.