Zombie Strippers (2008)

zombie_strippers02

I can’t tell you how many people recommended tonight’s feature, Zombie Strippers, to me. Nearly everyone I know made it a point to mention the film to me. All usually using the same hi-faluting claims: it’s cheesy bad in a good way, it has zombies, it has strippers, and Robert Englund. What’s not to love?

Zombie Strippers - Test Zombie X

Lots, apparently. Granted, Zombie Strippers came out before the zombie meme had run its course – there’s been a zombie rom-com (Warm Bodies) come through the theaters, and everyone and the Walking Dead is beloved by all who watch television. But even ignoring my jaded, at times genre-purists eyes, there’s still a lot to dislike here.

First off, who thought it was a brilliant idea to make the movie so topical. Zombie Strippers opening with a news sequence that’s trying to do South Park-level topical humor, and failing brutally. Not that I imagine the lame George W. Bush jokes were amusing back when he was President, at least they made sense then. Nowadays it just underlines the fact that the team that dreamt this movie up really wanted you to like it. And were prepared to hit you with every trick in the book until you agreed that they’re smart. And funny.

Zombie Strippers - Best Sequence

And the sad thing is, once the bloated yet somehow extremely short intro is over, the movie hits its (short) stride. There’s a beautifully shot sequence where the government’s “best of the best” military squad attempts to stop a zombie outbreak. Once you ignore the fact the “best of [our] best” apparently wear paintball gear into combat, you’ll be pleased to see that cinematographer (name) is at the top of his game.

Until a shit script destroys everything. Okay, the squad’s equipped with paintball armor, yet still decide to take it off. That I can accept, as people make dumb decisions in all movies all the time just to move the story along. But trying to kill zombies with a electromagnetic pulse blast makes no sense. Unless these zombies are actually cyborgs or easily confused into believing that they’re not biological creatures.

Zombie Strippers - Jenna Jameson, this Should've Been the Poster

The shit script is a shame, because it does have moments where it shines. Kat (Jenna Jameson) is shown reading Nietche before her transformation. Afterwards, she exclaims, “[this] makes a lot more sense now!”

That’s a clever critique of both Nietche and his fans. It almost erases the bad taste in your mouth established by the zombie virus being spread by a soldier named “Byrdflough.” Yes, a bird flu “joke.” See what I’m getting at here? It is as if the script was written by one, unfunny, writer, and then immediately passed off to another, occasionally witty, writer.

Zombie Strippers - Men Love Zombie Strippers

The idea of the strip club using their zombi-fied strippers as cash cows is straight out of the zombie history book – White Zombie to be exact. Unfortunately this condition is also too flimsy to base an entire film on; you need more to a plot than just: girl dances, gets naked, gets bitten, starts eating audience members.

The movie’s awkwardly paced too. The whole soldier attack sequence lasts less than ten minutes, but the following 40 minutes in the infested strip club is only supposed to encompass one night. Which, if this is supposed to be a remark on the isolating features inherent in strip clubs would be perfect, but I suspect that someone just screwed up the pacing.

Zombie Strippers - Fantastic Zombie Makeup

I mean, with all the exaggerated bad-mouthing the film throws against George W. Bush, you’d think they’d have remembered an important point such as “he (also) made it perpetually nighttime.”

Is too vapid a valid criticism about a movie dedicated to zombies and strippers?

Zombie Strippers - Jenna Jameson gets Bit

Unless this all is a big convoluted, condemnation of the adult flesh industry. The zombies signifying how the industry feasts on the young, while also portraying in putrid detail how quickly these stars fade away. In which case headliner Jenna Jameson really deserves an Oscar, for completely laying waste to the industry that spawned her.

In a role that had her shooting billiard balls out her vagina.

Zombie Strippers - Okay, I Liked this Sequence

[POST NOTE: a quick look at the credits shows Zombie Strippers had three producers which explains a lot about the film’s thematic confusion.]

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