Okay: This movie is called Zombie Strippers. It features zombies, strippers and zombies who are strippers. It stars porn icon Jenna Jameson and Freddy Krueger himself, Robert Englund. It has wall-to-wall nudity and gore. So why isn’t it completely awesome?
Of course it’s cheap and crude and largely nonsensical, but those aren’t necessarily detriments to a movie like this. The problem is that writer-director Lee takes himself and his movie about zombie strippers way, way too seriously. That doesn’t mean that this is some grim, intense drama—but Lee seems to think that he’s made an incisive social satire, when really he’s just given people a chance to see Jameson’s naked breasts without having to go past the red curtain in the video store.
The political commentary starts with the origin of the zombies, who were created by the government as part of a program to reanimate dead soldiers and get them to keep fighting on the battlefield. One infected soldier escapes and stumbles into a strip club, where he bites star dancer Kat (Jameson) and sets the plot in motion.
Apparently the club is full of necro-fetishists, because when zombie Kat heads back to the stage (because … zombies enjoy stripping?), the crowd goes wild. Soon the other strippers are eager for Kat to bite them so that they too can rake in the tips and chow down on patrons. The club owner (Englund) short-sightedly encourages this behavior until, naturally, the zombified customers overwhelm the club.
As a movie, Zombie Strippers makes for a great trailer; it would have fit perfectly in the middle of Grindhouse. There are enough amusing one-liners, cool gore moments and exposed breasts to fill three or four very entertaining minutes, but the novelty wears off quickly in a feature-length film. And Lee’s smug insistence on shoehorning in “clever” philosophical references (the story is allegedly inspired by the French absurdist play Rhinoceros by Eugene Ionesco) along with the lame political commentary is tiresome and distracting, and only serves to point out how dumb the movie is at its core. If it had been content to just stay dumb, it might have been a lot more enjoyable to watch.
Jenna Jameson, Robert Englund, Roxy Saint
Directed by Jay Lee