Candy Stripers (2006)

Starring Brian Lloyd, Scott Aaronson, Sarah Ball, Brianna Berman, Deanna Brooks, Monique Cooper, Nicole Rayburn

Directed by Kate Robbins

I wanted to like Candy Stripers. I really did. It’s a fun concept, and it should have made for a fun film. Sugar-addicted aliens begin taking over the bodies of the hot babe nurses (AKA “candy stripers” due to their candy cane striped outfits) at a small town hospital and begin screwing the males to death as part of an insidious invasion plan. Unfortunately, that’s about all I can tell you about the plot, the aliens, or their invasion plan. The film is all concept and no plot. If that concept sounds somewhat familiar, it’s probably because this could be a companion film to last year’s Decoys. At least Decoys attempted to flesh things out. The only fleshing out in Candy Stripers are those few scenes where the Playboy Playmates cast as candy stripers for reasons that obviously have nothing whatsoever to do with their acting abilities strip.

Who are these aliens and what exactly is their agenda? Again, those are two questions the movie has no interest in asking or answering. Two girls are driving down the road, come across a wrecked vehicle, and the next thing you know they’re being attacked by an alien life form of the Night of the Creeps variety. At least at first the aliens appear to be of the slug-like, mouth-to-mouth transporting variety, but by the end they’re revealed to be humanoid-like creatures of the Species variety. Everything else about these aliens and their scheme is left for us to speculate about because the screenplay can’t be bothered. I know it involves a need for multiplying, an insatiable lust for sugar, and seducing males that end up cocooned in webbing. That cobwebby stuff eventually starts hanging from the hospital ceiling and brings to mind a Halloween decoration someone went overboard with.

One of the girls that got alien body snatched from stopping to check on that roadside accident winds up at the local hospital where the alien creature begins multiplying by taking over the bodies of the hospital candy stripers. The nurses’ behavior grows increasingly erratic and strange things begin happening, in particular to certain male patients and orderlies, but the hospital’s reaction is to chalk it up to an unexplained infection and quarantine the place. A couple of local jocks from the town’s basketball team have already ended up in the hospital following a rough game and, well, you can pretty much guess where it all goes from there.

I’m sitting there watching it and thinking, “The aliens are addicted to sugar, that one basketball player’s sister is diabetic; I’m betting these two things are going to intersect at one point. And since she’s a cute tomboy with a crush on the top jock, I’m betting something bad is going to happen to his snotty girlfriend in order to make sure these two get together.” Correct on both accounts. I also sat there amazed that none of their parents could ever bother to come check on their hospitalized children.

It would be one thing if Candy Stripers was just bad in the usual sense. It’s senselessly bad. It’s aggravating in its badness because things keep happening that are clearly the result of some seriously piss poor screenwriting, often leaving tremendous gaps in basic logic that can’t even be overlooked in the conventional B-movie sense. You just saw a nurse turn into a hideous alien creature while trying to seduce your friend and yet you’re still functioning under more of a Scooby-Doo-ish “something’s not right in this place” mode? Nurses are acting bizarrely and mass consuming anything with sugar in it like zombies feeding on brains, people keep disappearing right and left, and strange cobwebs are forming on the ceiling; does this really strike you as a medical infection for which the only logical protocol is to lock down the hospital? I also can’t help but think that once the alien candy stripers have begun openly slashing peoples’ throats in the hospital lobby in front of everyone else, the remaining survivors would be in more of a full-blown panic mode. Not really. They’re still a little too level-headed and a couple of others appear to be completely aloof to the situation.

There are some nice prosthetics on display in the movie, and I’m not just talking about the Playboy Playmates’ boob jobs. The aliens are perfectly fine creations and the gore is handled better than the plot, but it’s still all for naught. I don’t even think there’s a single original moment in the entire film. Between the barely explained premise, the poorly constructed plot, all the stereotypical characters, some pretty weak acting, lousy dialogue, and repeated failed attempts at humor, not even Candy Stripers‘s often breakneck pacing could save it from being a frustrating bore. The horrible ending didn’t help matters either.

The tagline for Candy Stripers is “They’re running out of patients.” I ran out of patience long before the closing credits rolled.

1 out of 5

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