When a liquid drop falls on a solid substrate, the air layer between them delays the occurrence of liquid–solid contact. For impacts on smooth substrates, the air film can even prevent wetting, allowing the drop to bounce off with dynamics identical to that observed for impacts on superamphiphobic materials. In this paper, we investigate similar bouncing phenomena, occurring on viscous liquid films, that mimic atomically smooth substrates, with the goal to probe their effective repellency. We elucidate the mechanisms associated with the bouncing to non-bouncing (floating) transition using experiments, simulations, and a minimal model that predicts the main characteristics of drop impact, the contact time and the coefficient of restitution. In the case of highly viscous or very thin films, the impact dynamics is not affected by the presence of the viscous film. Within this substrate-independent limit, bouncing is suppressed once the drop viscosity exceeds a critical value, as on superamphiphobic substrates. For thicker or less viscous films, both the drop and film properties influence the rebound dynamics and conspire to inhibit bouncing above a critical film thickness. This substrate-dependent regime also admits a limit, for low-viscosity drops, in which the film properties alone determine the limits of repellency.