The sell for Rick Walker’s action-thriller, The Squad, is easy. Three sexy, bikini-clad killers take on an entire drug cartel that threatens their popular spring break operation. That should be enough, right?

For those needing a convincer, let’s look at the plot. The Squad consists of three gun-toting drug runners, Gina (Meghan Carrasquillo), Bella (Alea Hansinger), and Dani (Grace Evans). They have a smooth spring break operation. Each year, their leader Alpha (Jennifer Ferguson), sets them up with the best dope on the market. Their good looks (I mean, marketing) and shrewd business sense set them up for guaranteed success.

Unfortunately, the local drug cartel’s leader doesn’t like that they’re doing ten times the business he is. So in comes hired thugs Roberto (Ricky Carter) and Url (Clint McGown) to demand they turn their entire operation over to them. The Squad quickly dispatches with Roberto and Url and, in doing so, stirs up a hornets’ nest of action, particularly in a competitor, J.C. (UFC fighter Julia Avila). Naturally, everyone is trying to take down The Squad. Alliances are formed and quickly double-crossed. Nothing about spring break is as it seems, and of course, the body count is high.

The charm of The Squad is purely embodied by its leads, Meghan Carrasquillo, Alea Hansinger, and Grace Evans—almost as if they’re building a franchise around the trio. They first present themselves as fast-talking, street-smart, drug-dealing killers. Right off the bat, a game of Marry, Eff, Kill ends in a bloody mess. We instantly know they are well-connected thanks to a cleaner that instantly arrives on the scene. But does being well-connected mean the three are in over their heads…hardly.

“Three sexy, bikini-clad killers take on an entire drug cartel that threatens their popular spring break operation.”

The Squad works because every time, writer/director Rick Walker allows us to learn about their past and the events leading to their life of crime. It’s easy to fall in love with them, and after an evening with them, getting killed or maimed doesn’t seem all that bad. Yes, you may be the one with the gun to your head, but still, you know death is just a second away.

Much of the film is about our heroes finding themselves in progressive difficult, and life-threatening situations. They are outnumbered, overpowered, and f****d (metaphorically). Their street smarts and sexiness are more than enough to distract and disarm, while their gun skills bring death and dismemberment. Yet, all they want to do is sell their high-quality drugs to the throngs of spring-breakers.

The Squad is the latest in low-budget action, which means that there’s not a lot of actual action. There are not a lot of car chases, gun fights, and hand-to-hand combat (maybe for the sequel). What the film lacks in high-priced stunts and elaborate fight scenes is more than made up in a series of highly tense confrontations that end with a bullet in the head of the one who blinks.

Don’t get me wrong. The Squad is far from the campy, jiggling girl gangs of yesterday. However, the story is played very seriously. The dialogue is equal to the action film genre, and almost nothing is played for a joke. Rick Walker’s The Squad is looking to bring back the return of the gritty, violent, exploitation film that had gone by the wayside long ago.

For screening information, visit The Squad‘s official website.

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