Directed by: Jonathan Glendening
Written by: Pat Higgins, Phillip Barron
Starring Robert Englund, Steven Berkoff, Billy Murray, Lysette Anthony, Barbara Nediljakova
The North American premiere of the UK horror comedy Strippers Vs. Werewolves capped off the screenings Saturday night at Texas Frightmare Weekend. After the awful dreck that was Father’s Day and the ‘I feel like I need a shower’ dark creepy feeling of The Infliction, I was ready for some laughs.
SvW absolutely paid off in that regard. It doesn’t fall in with other British horror comedies as it’s not really a satire, and that works well for the film. It’s silly fun, and never pretends to be more.
Crime boss Mickey happens to be a werewolf, and he gets all worked up and hairy during a private dance at Vixens, a posh strip club in London. The dancer in question, Justice, grabs the nearest weapon and lands a fatal blow: her silver fountain pen right through Mickey’s wolfed-out eye.
Thus begins a small-scale war between Mickey’s group of werewolf mobsters and the crew of Vixens. Before long, Mickey’s death is found out, and his mob wants revenge. Thankfully, the manager of the club has run into lycanthropes before, and knows that retribution is coming. To complicate things, one of the dancers is dating one of the wolfen gangsters, leading to inevitable problems for both parties.
Strippers Vs. Werewolves never forgets what it is: 100-percent B-movie fun. The script is far more clever and funny than most movies of this caliber, but the acting and FX are about what you’d expect. Characters are fleshed out and unique, which I greatly appreciated, especially the different werewolves and their completely over-the-top personalities. Do they chew the scenery as much as they chew flesh? Sure, but all in good humor.
Some great cameos (Spandau Ballet legend Martin Kemp as Mickey, Robert Englund as werewolf elder Tapper) and some fun kills during the final battle add to the party.
The second act does drag quite a bit, as there’s a lot of talking about strippers versus werewolves, but not a lot of actual versus-ing going on. Director Glendening has a few things to learn about pacing.
Still, this is exactly what you’d expect: a silly, funny, lighthearted good time with plenty of action and grue. Don’t go in expecting a masterpiece, bring along some friends and some alcohol, and you’re in for a good time.
3 1/2 out of 5