By Paul Parcellin | January 15, 2009

College senior Carla Knight (Regan Deal) learns the scholarship she was counting on has been denied. So she does what any red-blooded American girl would do when hard up for cash: She becomes a stripper and drops her drawers in a dive bar to entertain drunken ne’er-do-wells.

Miraculously, Carla saves thousands of bucks, one slimy dollar tip at a time, over the course of about two weeks, and pays off her college tuition.

One night after leaving the dive, she gets raped by what seems like the only patron in the bar – the producer obviously didn’t splurge on extras. But Carla eventually exacts her revenge when she kills the rapist in one of the movie’s many poorly staged scenes of violence. The strip club owner decides Carla has a future doing more than just running around bare-assed, and recruits her as a contract killer for the mob.

“Dollar Girl” wants to be a hip sex-ploitation flick but comes off like a community theater re-staging of Russ Myers and Quentin Tarantino.

About every aspect of this production is weak, from acting, to directing and editing. The dialogue is painfully bad. We know that Carla was used and abused by her family, because she tells us, “I was used and abused by my family.”

All of these weaknesses could have been excused, however, if the movie had a decent story and if the characters were developed beyond the most obvious clichés that they all are.

Although we’ve seen it all before, the idea of a sexy girl turned hired assassin could have worked if the producer used some restraint. The repetitive assassination scenes, for instance, do nothing to advance the story or make us care more about Carla and her plight, or even make the film more entertaining.

If “Dollar Girl” was handled with a more deft touch it might have been decent cheesy entertainment instead of the soft-core bore that it is.

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