) - As the title implies, "Zombie Strippers
" has everything and more. How many films about strippers who are zombies also quote the bible and Friedrich Nietzsche? This film is loads of fun because it has loads of everything.
Like nudity? Like bodily gore? Like sly political and military commentary? Love Robert "Freddy Krueger" Englund
? Yeah, it’s all in "Zombie Strippers".
The film begins in a shadowy lab corporation where an experiment has gone awry. In the not-too-distant future, the fourth term of the Bush
administration (certainly the scariest concept in the film) has engendered perpetual war.
With the army spread too thin, experiments with a chemical virus to raise the dead have the potential to establish a zombie army. The regenerative effect, though, has been released in the lab. A special unit of military defense is called in – the “Z” squad – as the only hope to destroy the undead before they take over the planet.
One of the soldiers gets bitten by a flesh-eating zombie. Now one of them, he escapes from the lab to an underground strip club (public nudity has been banned by the Bush administration). This is where the fun begins.
Infamous porn star Jenna Jameson
stars as Kat: the featured stripper in the sleazy club run by Ian Essko (Robert Englund).
She’s the first to be “zombieized” through an attack by an escaped army victim. The effect permeates the underground scene like a spreading virus.
Soon all the strippers desire the undead effect because in a sense it frees them for more profit and better revenge. This is intentional “B” movie heaven with absolutely no apologies from the filmmakers.
Stay away if you can’t stomach the bloody entrails of the zombie world, the casual nudity of strippers, stiff acting and laughably bad narrative structure.
On the other hand, do come if you want to have a hysterically good time because this film is also anarchistic, symbolically multi-layered and best of all everyone doesn’t care who they piss off.
There are some incredibly audacious scenes. The inside joke, of course, is that all strippers have the look of zombies. When they actually become the undead, they are free to be what their customers supposedly want.
The first strip dances after the viral effect takes over are comically saucy. Of course, this leads to dollars flowing and lap dances desired, which in turn leads to more zombies. Writer and director Jay Lee revels in this outrageousness.
Aside from the political commentary, the relationship between the sexes is explored through the army “Z” squad. One of the busty soldiers can’t seem to keep her shirt on, and in turn through the customers in the strip club, they are oblivious to the flesh-eating nature of the strippers beyond their own prurient desires.
The centerpiece of the action is old-horror professor Robert Englund who chews on every line with passionate gleefulness. He’s more amused than anyone. The Vincent Price of this generation, he’s able to add spice and honor to the cheapest of roles. “Zombie Strippers” allows you to love the skin you’re in.
By PATRICK McDONALD
© 2008 Patrick McDonald, HollywoodChicago.com