Monday, October 25, 2010

Zombie Strippers! (2008)

Zombie Strippers is yet another frustrating horror foray into an idea that just might, with some level of consistency, have borne fruit. Tits and ass, zombies, moron fratboys and other strip club attendees being slaughtered in ghastly displays of gore, and Robert Englund playing yet another of his career twilight loony asshole roles (similar to his stint in the "Dance of the Dead" Masters of Horror short) would seem a little difficult to botch in capable hands. But oh, like so many genre efforts written and executed in the 21st century, long on shock and short on enthusiasm, it provides only a few visceral thrills among the eye rolling moments of nonsense that really have no place in such a film.

***SPOILERS AND LAP DANCES AHEAD***

The plot is pretty simple, like a shitty Resident Evil film gone askew. A crack mercenary commando team (half of which ignore the conventions of wearing a uniform, while the other half wear them with pride) consisting largely of awful actors and actresses is called into a secret 'Cheyneyco' (haw haw) lab to clean up a zombie outbreak, but they're really setup, as the generic corporate evil white science guy is attempting to actually spread the infection. The new recruit ends up bitten and escapes next door to an underground strip club, and bites the most popular dancer (played by porn diva Jenna Jameson who's as plastic as ever). Seeing how her zombie status improves her stage moves and throws the audience of stereotypical shitheels into a frenzy of raining currency, the club owner (Englund) decides to keep it under wraps, and most of the other strippers decide to get bitten themselves to reap the...benefits. Of course, this plan gets out of hand, the crowd gets murdered, jealous zombie strippers battle one another by poling off or firing golf and pool balls from their festering vaginas, and the commandos show up at the end for a final 'purge'.

Sounds like a riot, and at least for a brief few moments, it actually is. There are a lot of one liners and movie quotes in the script (including a nice nod to Aliens), but unfortunately the movie sees fit to incorporate crass political commentary leveled at George Bush, his vice president, and the Republican party spelled out like so much typical Hollywood liberal drivel. It's not exactly a prevalent theme here, but honestly, no one gives a fuck about your politics if you're writing a movie about zombies assaulting a strip club, ESPECIALLY a movie that incorporates racial stereotypes like the Mexican janitor. Give me a break! Another thing is that the movie falls apart every time it attempts something existential, like the 'goth' stripper girl talking about her death experience. These were probably placed in the script to offer some semblance of ironic versatility, but really, they just get in the way of what is a horribly obvious exploitation film.

The gore is thankfully enough to satiate the avid blood guzzler. The first few zombie take downs were 'bite and pull away', so I had few expectations, but we're given some great makeup and fun special effects here that ultimately function as intended. The stripping scenes are actually well versed, with some decent industrial and metallic music for the 'undead' dancers that actually somewhat stir the libido for destruction. One nasty scene even has the gothic stripper peel off her bikini bottom, smeared in rotting paste, and force undead cunnilingus on the crooked club owner Robert Englund, which made my girlfriend and I gasp in disgust. Excellent! I can't say much for the actors, though, the script is lousy, and while Jameson and Englund both seem competent in their roles, and Shamron Moore decent as the jealous 2nd stripper Jeannie, the rest of the cast phone in their lines with abandon (the strippers) or dorky machismo (the commandos).

Like the fake chests worn by several of its actresses, Zombie Strippers is ultimately ineffective, nothing more than mindless entertainment for gore-whores. However, it's not the worst of these sorts of parody flicks I've seen, and there is enough bloodshed and cheese to watch at least once if you're into special effects and pole dances from beyond the grave. It's bad, but not so bad that it becomes good, which is kind of what I had hoped for.

Verdict: Fail [3.75/10]

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