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RUNNING TIME: 94 Minutes
It‘s a movie called ZOMBIE STRIPPERS. That‘s the pitch right there.
Cast: Jenna Jameson, Robert Englund, Roxy Saint, Jennifer Holland, Shamron Moore, Jeannette Sousa, Carmit Levite, Joey Medina, Calvin Green
Director: Jay Lee
The government creates a zombie virus to reanimate dead troops so they can carry on the fight. When shit gets out of hand they call in an “elite” team of soldiers to handle the problem. One of them gets bitten, stumbles into a strip club and attacks one of the strippers. Shit gets out of hand.
Have you ever watched a movie that absolutely failed on nearly every single conceivable level? And not in that “well they tried really hard but just couldn’t quite pull it together, A-for-effort” fail – I mean fucking FAILED. The kind of movie that could very easily make a “WORST FILMS EVER MADE” list.
No? Well, then please allow me to present Zombie Strippers.
Well THAT’S classy.
We immediately open with an expositional “news report” about how and why the virus was created. It’s loaded with bottom-of-the-barrel political “satire” that’s more heavy-handed than Hellboy himself and has about as much subtlety and insight as that “I Wanna Fuck You In the Ass” song. However, be that as it may, it does serve to at least set up the story and explain how and why the current situation came to be.
Then we’re introduced to our elite team of experts who are called in to take care of the zombie problem. There’s Badass Leader Guy; Badass Second in Command Girl; Badass Guy with a Knife Fetish; Badass Blonde with Big Tits and Nervous, Squirmy New Guy. They speak in gruff, grunting “OO-RAH” cadence (except Badass Blonde with Big Tits – she’s bubbly. BUT STILL BADASS!) and have just recently returned from ending Armageddon – by killing Satan…with a sharp stick. Now, in all fairness, this was obviously satire. Dumb, shallow, lazy satire – but satire nonetheless. Anyway, Creepy Doctor tells our Squad that the zombies can be knocked out with an EMP. Really? Well, they buy it (best of the best my ass), let themselves be surrounded by the walking dead, fire off the pulse and are subsequently surprised when not only do their communications STOP WORKING but also when THE ZOMBIES GET BACK UP. And this ISN’T satire – this is set up as one of the Big Scary Set Pieces. If these clueless, bumbling idiots managed to actually kill Satan then that guy was never a fucking threat to begin with.
Obviously it’s Nervous, Squirmy New Guy that gets nibbled. He hauls ass (not wanting to be shot in the head for his efforts) and of course ends up in the local underground strip club, where he sits in a chair and quietly waits to die…
“Wanna know how YOU can be covered in blood but still have shiny, silky hair? Pantene Pro-V!”
And now we meet our strippers: There’s Lilith – the Bitchy Goth Chick; Sox – the Bitchy Redhead; Gaia – the Sweet but Stupid Blonde; Jeannie – the Bitchy Brunette Who’s Tired of Not Being the Star; Berenge – the Philisophical Brunette Who’s Trying to Find Herself; Jessy – the Hot-But-Innocent Country Girl Who’s Only Stripping to Raise Money for Her Nana’s Medical Procedure (or so she says!) and, of course Kat – the Wise-but-Cynical Star Stripper Who Quotes Nietzsche (wanna take a guess as to who plays her?). They‘re basically a gaggle of Big-Breasted stereotypes who spend the majority of the film‘s running time fighting, arguing, bickering and bitching (not to mention pole-dancing!) in various stages of undress. Every single word of their dialogue is painfully clichéd, painfully over-written and even more painfully overacted.
Along with the girls there’s also Ian (Englund) – the club’s skeezy owner; Madame Blavatsky (Levite) – the backstage “Den Mother”; Paco (Medina) the illegal-alien maintenance man and Cole (Green) – the club’s DJ.
So, while Kat is onstage, Nervous, Squirmy New Guy makes his return as he attacks her and chews a giant hole in her throat in one of the films few outstanding uses of practical effects (seriously – I’m gonna talk crazy shit about this movie but when the make-up effects worked, they fucking worked). Ian & Co. lock the attacker in some random room and take Kat back to the office to figure out what to do with the body. And then she gets up and walks away…
I didn’t realize until I started doing these grabs that there were oranges in his cleaning cart. Jesus.
Once she reanimates, Kat shambles and stumbles into the backstage area while all the girls look on in horror and shock. One of them whispers “But you’re…dead!” Kat turns to her, smiles and says “But now I’m BACK!” She manages to shuffle her dead ass on stage and when the music starts she somehow becomes a…for lack of a better word – super-stripper. She’s covered in blood, has a giant hole in her throat, is a fucking REANIMATED CORPSE – and she proceeds to pole dance. And not just some jerky, rigor-mortis-infused zombie pole dance, either. It’s full-on acrobatic, gyrating, spread-eagled, back-arching, ass-popping Zombie Action. And it’s important to note that every zombie from the beginning setup was the “traditional zombie” – moaning, shambling…fucking DEAD. Yet somehow, when strippers become zombies they grind poles, give lapdances and pop off one-liners.
What the fuck?
Sort of surprisingly, the guys in the audience go crazy, she makes a ton of money (what the fuck is she gonna do with it!?) and the majority of the other girls, one by one, decide to let Kat turn them into zombies as well. So now you have a club full of steadily decomposing (another nice use of make-up effects – especially on Jenna) zombie strippers who shake it on the stage and take customers back to the VIP room so they can feed (and the customers go willingly! What the FUCK??).
Why does this remind me of Daffy Duck?
That goes on through most of the second act, but once Jeannie (the Bitchy Brunette Who’s Tired of Not Being the Star) actually gets booed offstage because she has a pulse (seriously – what the fuck), she goes and finds the zombie source (Good ole’ Nervous, Squirmy New Guy) and lets HIM turn her into a zombie so she can confront Kat on stage. They talk a lot of shit back and forth and challenge each other to some sort of Zombie Strip-Off Pole Dancing Competition that eventually culminates in Kat’s version of the “Ping-Pong Ball Trick.” But with billiard balls. That she “pre-loads” (complete with appropriate sound effects) FOUR AT A TIME. THAT SHE SHOOTS AT JEANNIE’S FACE. With enough velocity to PUNCH A HOLE IN THE WALL. After dodging three of the balls, Jeannie grabs the metal pole off of the stage and proceeds to Sammy Sosa the third one right back from whence it came, which Kat “catches” (ew) and fires right back at her. It all ends with Jeannie ripping the skin off of Kat‘s arms and legs. Yeah…I don’t know either. Conveniently, our Elite Squad finally shows up and starts killin’ zombies. In the process, Badass Blonde with Big Tits gets her shirt ripped off, so SHE gets to kill zombies while wearing a frilly, lacy bra (it’s like the whole thing was written by a 6th grader). Creepy Doctor makes a surprise appearance as well and explains that it was he who let the virus out and gives some ham-fisted monologue about how the government profits on national disaster. I would have appreciated it more if he would have just twirled his moustache and said “MWAHAHAHA!” while he curled his cape over his face and scuttled away. We’re left with Elite Squad, the club’s staff and the few remaining (non-zombie) strippers standing around evaluating the scene. Someone snaps off a one-liner, a random severed zombie head bites one of them (I can’t remember which one) and the credits roll.
Mr. Bottomtooth from American McGee’s Family Guy
It may sound fun and campy as hell on paper (although the billiard ball assault actually was kinda fun), but it took itself WAY too seriously. Had the entire thing been played for cheap laughs or mindless camp and novelty it would have been a fun little flick. Instead, the metaphors and symbolism and the double entendres were agonizingly obvious and consistently inconsistent, jumping headfirst into ideas and concepts that it wasn’t smart enough to understand. It ended up being an unorganized, lazy, insulting movie that was full of vapid and plastic characters, jokes that sucked harder than Jenna in her porn days and dialogue that was stiffer than a fucking zombie is SUPPOSED TO BE.
Jay Lee can fuck right the fuck off.
I love the cover art. Fucking love it. Great layout, great colors, great text treatment. However – the tagline is balls (“They’ll dance for a fee but devour you for free.“ Ugh…Fuck you, Tagline Guy) and the actual disc has nothing but Jenna’s face. No title, no zombies, none of the other cast – just Jenna all dolled up. Were they trying to make it look like a generic porn DVD? If so – mission accomplished.
So THAT’S how they tricked Sony into funding the movie. Sneaky bastards.
Features section includes some deleted scenes with optional commentary. There are a ton of them and as I was watching I honestly forgot I wasn’t just watching the movie itself. Any one of these things could have slipped right back in to the final cut and wouldn’t have changed a thing. There’s also some talking-head BTS Feaurettes and a Commentary with Medina, Englund, Lee and Jameson. If I was willing to give the movie a pass (which, by the way I wasn’t), the commentary would have killed it. Nothing but a bunch of people kissing each other’s asses, praising a stupid fucking movie and just reinforcing the whole “takes itself too seriously” vibe I got from the movie itself. Englund compared Jay Lee to Stanley Kubrick. Joey Medina compared him to Robert Rodriguez. These people think they’ve made the quintessential zombie spoof movie. Even if we DIDN’T live in a world where Shaun of the Dead existed, they’d still be just as wrong.
And there ya go.
(and that’s only because the ladies were pretty hot)