All the cult film references in ‘Bitch Better Have My Money’

Rihanna explosively channels Thelma and Louise, Carrie and The Doom Generation in her cinematic new video

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Rihanna in BBHMM
via YouTube

Shit, this Rihanna video is good. Somebody has already said to you "Have you seen the new Rihanna video?" You have. The premise of Bitch Better Have My Money: RiRi and her kidnap squad go on the rampage in a blaze of abduction, assault and arson. Does it make much sense? No. Is it wildly entertaining? Yes.

For such an overtly cinematic watch, it’s no surprise that the seven-minute Rihanna and Megaforce-directed blockbuster doesn’t shy away from paying homage to cult film. BBHMM relentlessly throws out references across the spectrum, making for a full-blooded visual spectacle and a music video that wears its grindhouse and slash horror influences on its sleeve.

While BBHMM certainly draws on the blood reds of Dario Argento’s work or the comic horror of 70’s B-movies, we’ve aimed for the big screen and decoded RiRi’s reverence for Hollywood.

CARRIE

Blood. Hair. Everywhere. This scene also bears similarities to Uma Thurman in Kill Bill, but the otherworldly, demonic focus of Rihanna's stride has more in common with Sissy Spacek's Carrie, Stephen King's telekinetic prom killer, brought to the big screen by Brian de Palma.

THE DOOM GENERATION

Traditionally, motel rooms aren’t happy places in film, they’re hovels for hedonism or hideouts for hoodlums. Gregg Araki's 1995 film The Doom Generation has his three, wild protagonists hideout in a dingy, rouge-neon motel room to avoid arrest. While Rihanna and her two sidekicks have more fun, getting stoned and swigging liquor, the rooms and situations bear striking similarities.

INDECENT PROPOSAL

Rihanna finishes her journey lying still in a trunk of cash in a resplendent "I’ve got too much of this shit" position. And she still wants to make sure the bitch has her money? Another onscreen heroine who has also cavorted around in heaps of dollar bills is Demi Moore in Indecent Proposal, after having been paid $1 million to spend the night with some rich dude who owns a yacht. Rihanna is smoking weed and covered in blood as well though, which gives her extra points.

THELMA AND LOUISE

Arguably film’s most famous feminine runaways, Thelma and Louise needed some wheels to get around – a 1966 Thunderbird convertible no less. Similarly, Rihanna and her squad need some assistance to go the distance. The similarities between the cars (and the situations) are undeniable – sky blue, open top, American vintages required for speedy getaways. True to most other things that happen in BBHMM, Rihanna sets hers on fire.

BOOGIE NIGHTS

BBHMM, a dark tale of money, luxury and reckless abandon gone wrong features a dead blonde in the swimming pool of an opulent L.A (?) apartment. Boogie Nights, a dark tale of money, luxury and reckless abandon gone wrong features a possibly dead blonde being carried from the swimming pool of what is definitely an opulent L.A apartment.

FASTER PUSSYCAT! KILL! KILL!

“Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to violence.” So opens Russ Meyer’s famous 1965 exploitation film, where a gang of outlaw go-go dancers (yes, really) kidnap an innocent girl and drag her across the desert in the back of their sports cars. It’s arguably most notable for its unapologetically strong, sexual trio of female characters, led by the inimitable Tura Satana. Bold, brutal and feisty, this gang is surely a reference for Rihanna’s band of bad girls.

WEEKEND AT BERNIE’S

Readers and Dazed employees (pretty much everyone) were annoyed that this one got omitted, so it’s getting added in by popular demand and ’cause really it should be in there. Weekend At Bernie’s is the 1989 black comedy that involves an overdose and a big party – two guys throw a shindig at their dead boss’s house while trying to convince everyone he’s still alive. Rihanna and her crew do exactly the same thing with their hostage when the cops roll by, waving her limp hand at an officer while she’s out cold.

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