Zombie Strippers (2008)
Reviewed by Jessica King
Starring Robert Englund, Jenna Jameson, Roxy Saint, Joey Medina
Directed by Jay Lee
Never before has a film so groundbreaking and profound been created. Zombie Strippers is breathtaking, eye opening and delightful. An honest look into the souls of these courageous women with a moving subtext wrought with redemption and self-discovery. Whimsical and inspiring, this film will dance its way right into your heart.
And if you bought a single word of that, shame on you...
That's not to say Zombie Strippers has nothing to offer though it is exactly what it sounds like: a movie about zombies and strippers and, logically, zombie strippers. The film does have its share of political satire and quite a bit of humor, of course. Plus, it bears repeating, zombies and strippers. Zombie Strippers is very tongue in cheek and doesn't try to take itself too seriously; after all remember what the subject matter is. It's a fun flick pairing an unlikely couple with some great comedic and gore-laden moments.
The movie starts itself off right with the title respectfully rendered using a similar type treatment as Fulci's Zombie. Whether or not this was on purpose I can’t say, but it works. Either way it is only a taste of the well-crafted homages and inside jokes this film has to offer. Never once did any of the nods come off as forced, and a couple will certainly surprise you that someone thought to include them.
The plot is fairly simple, like most zombie films: The government has developed a chemical weapon that reanimates the dead. Of course they fail at containing the inevitable outbreak. Jenna Jameson plays a stripper (duh) who’s bitten while dancing at the strip club where she works. The fun doesn't stop with just bringing her back as a member of the undead, oh, no sir. The virus has an interesting side effect that effectually turns her into a “Super Stripper” who just happens to crave human flesh after a good strip tease. One thing leads to another as zombie outbreaks tend to do, and suddenly there’s a whole troupe of undead pole dancers and a stockpile of flesh eating leftovers in the basement just waiting to raise hell.
The strippers aren't your stereotypical fare; they all seem to talk in nothing but high-scoring Scrabble SAT vocabulary, and one of them is even seen reading Nietzsche. I suppose they are all paying their way through college ... Even still, each one is almost a caricature in a way. You have the star, the jealous one, the goth, the wholesome one, etc. I wouldn't have been surprised if one of them was a martial artist and another one was a computer hacker and they were all in some fucked up “Charlie's Angels” spin off. That would make Robert Englund's character the Charlie figure, since he’s the owner of the secret and illegal club. Englund is hilarious as the greedy and germophobic sleaze ball. And the showdown between Jenna Jameson and Shamron Moore in the finale is epic to say the least.
The acting is passable all around, but let's be honest; the effects are what counts here, and this movie delivers in surprising fashion. The zombie makeup is great and evolves throughout the film as the zombie strippers continue to decompose. You may find it wrong that you still think they look hot, but that’s an issue you'll have to work on for yourself. There’s also some fantastic gore in the film and some really hilarious gag effects. Only two of the effects really stood out as being not on par with the rest, and they are forgivable in my opinion.
I understand that a fair amount of good shit was cut from the film for this theatrical release, which will all be on the DVD I should hope. Don't let that keep you from checking it out in the theater though; Zombie Strippers is guaranteed to entertain. It's science after all: Zombies + Strippers = Good Times. And you can’t argue with science. Unless you're religious, but this film has no dinosaurs in it.
3 out of 5
Discuss Zombie Strippers in the Dread Central forums!