Thursday, October 21, 2010
The important thing about Zombie Strippers is to go past that initial reaction and think about what that title implies. Yes, there are strippers, and strippers get nekked. Awesome. Zombies are gruesome undead creatures that walk the earth, no matter how mutilated their corpses are (unless there's a brain wound, of course). Zombies are awesome, too. Zombie strippers would, logically, be naked women with mutilated reanimated corpses. That is significantly not awesome and not sexy. And it's the premise for an entire movie. Joy.
The plot is pretty stupid, even by B-movie standards. For whatever reason (mad scientist), a small outbreak of zombies is being handled by some government troops; one of them gets bitten and doesn't want to get killed by his teammates, so he scampers into the nearest open building, which happens to be an exclusive strip club run by Ian (Robert Englund). The place is not particularly hopping, but it is midday, so I don't want to judge. Ian's star stripper is Kat (Jenna Jameson), who is attacked and has her throat ripped out by the now-undead soldier. She gets better quickly. Oddly enough, her first instinct is to get back on stage and strip some more. She doesn't clean her blood off, but instead dances...dirtier, I guess. Personally, I didn't see a huge difference in the before and after scenes, but I had the same problem in You Got Served. I'll just agree with the audience and say that the zombie dance was much more exciting. It was so exciting, in fact, that these guys only want to pay zombie strippers, even ignoring total nudity in a G-string establishment. Okay, that's weird. Here's where it gets weirder: one by one, for reasons ranging from revenge to peer pressure to being a Goth chick, each of the strippers in the club willingly become zombies.
That's right, the strippers all became zombies to become better at their chosen craft. While I have met a few strippers and they have tended to be two scoops of crazy, that is some dumb stuff. Luckily, the movie never makes even the slightest attempt to take itself seriously (perhaps you noticed the title?). Unfortunately, writer/director Jay Lee opted for a campier than Crystal Lake movie instead of delving into dark humor. The writing is pretty bad; the script is full of really, really, really easy/obvious jokes and really, really, really cliched characters (an intellectual stripper, one doing it for money, the innocent one, the jealous one, etc., etc.). The acting is pretty awful, too. That's not surprising, but it's so bad that Jenna Jameson (an aging porn star) and Robert Englund (an aging horror legend) are, without a doubt, the best actors in the film.
I can't say that the film is without redeeming qualities. It does have nudity. And...well...oh! They made a clever, if not very attractive, zombie upgrade; since zombies are far stronger than normal people (for some reason), an infamous stripper trick involving ping pong balls gets upgraded to billiard balls. I would never have thought of that. That's really the best thing I can say about the movie.
Since casting had to cover people who would perform nudity and act, the cast ends up being not particularly good at either, with special effects money wasted on these half-talented "actors." The special effects in what should be a gory film are uber-cartoony low-rent CGI; this is also a movie that points out that head shots kill zombies, but manages to contain very few head shots. My biggest problem with the film is the attitude of the strip club patrons. I get it, naked ladies are fun to watch. But undead naked ladies shouldn't be. Isn't finding zombies sexy the stuff of necrophilia? So, a movie that took great individual ideas (like milkshakes and a nice salmon steak) and combined them to make something unpleasant (like a salmon milkshake), which resulted in necrophilia (like having sex with your salmon milkshake). Thanks, Zombie Strippers, you tricked me into watching what I can only assume is a documentary on the phenomenon. I give you one star for not undead nudity and half a star for tricking me.