Zombie Strippers (2008)
Starring: Jenna Jameson, Robert Englund, Roxy Saint, Penny Drake
“Let’s see if I got this straight. Our best stripper is a reanimated corpse who is feeding off the living flesh of our customers, who in turn reanimate, even if they’re just a fucking head? You don’t see this as a problem?” (Ian, Zombie Strippers)
Usually when a film has such a blatant and exploitative title as this it’s using that title to draw people to a film that in reality can’t live up to the name (hang your head, Alien Terminator). Zombie Strippers however not only successfully does what it says on the tin, but crams so much of both aspects into said tin that you’d need some sort of special spatula device to be able to scoop out the tightly packed contents. What I’m basically saying in a needlessly elaborate way is there’s a lot of zombies in here, and a lot of stripping.
It begins, as so many zombie films do, with a secret government research facility making an arse of things. They were trying to create a bunch of super soliders that could come back to life after being killed, but naturally what they made instead was a bunch of zombies. After a failed attempt to destroy them, one escapes and makes his way to a strip club where he attacks Kat – a stripper (Jenna Jameson) – and bites her neck out. And if you think I’m going to stoop to the obvious “deep throat” joke there, then I’m frankly stunned.
In most movies when a zombie victim then turns into a zombie and comes to life (well, unlife) they’re a slow, shambling wreck of a thing. Here though that only happens to the male zombies (since the government’s virus is tied to X chromosomes or some such bollocks) so when Kat comes to life she instead becomes a better erotic dancer. As you do. Feeling the urge to dance again, her freaky-deaky undead strip has the crowd of pervs at the strip club LOVING her (despite the ripped-out neck and her blood-soaked baps) and chucking money at her like confetti.
There are a couple of problems, though.Since she’s a zombie, Kat still has a craving for human flesh. So each night she picks a “lucky” chap to take to a private room for a lapdance, which ultimately ends with a different kind of climax than he expected. One scene in particular has enough bite to make any male viewer wince, if you catch my drift.
The other issue is the other strippers, who aren’t impressed that Kat is getting all the attention and, crucially, all the punters’ money. So one by one they decide to become zombies too, turning the stripclub into an ungodly concoction of fannies and flesh-eating.
Zombie Strippers knows it’s a ridiculous idea and it relishes it. It’s mainly a bunch of ridiculous set-pieces interspersed with slightly overlong strip sequences. Maybe I’m just a prude in my old age or maybe it’s because Playboy models don’t do it for me though, because in fairness you’ve got to imagine most people buying a film called Zombie Strippers will be expecting some stripping and in that respect it does at least deliver.
Still, the aforementioned set-pieces make it worth sitting patiently through the nudity. There are some real crowd-pleasingly silly moments here, whether it’s two zombie ladies tearing each other’s limbs off, a poor lad having the top of his head ripped open (leaving a neck with a comedy flapping tongue inside) or the grim experience of one hapless individual receiving a “face dance” from one of the rotting ladies – a face dance being, as the movie so eloquently puts it, “one of our lovely ladies sitting on your face and giving birth to your head”.
Meanwhile, Robert Englund puts in a wonderfully campy performance as Ian, the club’s owner, chewing the scenery in ways that feel at times like his classic Freddy Krueger roles of old, and the rest of the cast put in a decent shift too (even Jameson, believe it or not).
If you can find someone willing to watch a film that mainly consists of corpses pole dancing in the buff without thinking you’re a bit wrong in the nut, Zombie Strippers is a remarkably fun and genuinely hilarious film and one that deserves a larger cult following. If the subject matter doesn’t make you uncomfortable go for it.
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