Zombie Strippers (2008)
-Reviewed by Fiona Young-Brown-
How should I begin? There are some movies that are great because they are classics that redefine cinema (think Citizen Kane, Gone With the Wind, Star Wars). There are some movies that are great because they are so awesomely bad and they have fun with that (think Troma). This fell into neither category.
You know how you feel so excited about a movie that you just know it’s going to be good – that’s how I felt about going to see Zombie Strippers. As soon as I heard about it, I thought, “I’m there.” Zombies and strippers. What’s not to love? It sounds like a camp classic. I’d even read quotes from Jena Jameson about how the movie had serious political overtones and was making a statement. Whatever. It has zombies and strippers. It’s going to be awesome!
Flash forward to nearly two hours later and I’m leaving the movie theater in a mood reminiscent of when I learned that Santa wasn’t real but just a dirty old man in a suit. I’ve been duped!
But let’s get back to the beginning. When a movie begins without any previews that may be considered a bad sign – no one else thought it was a useful way to spend their advertising buck. I was the only one in the theater until the credits rolled and two guys came in then looked immediately embarrassed to see me there and slunk up to the back row.
The movie begins with a long CNN style newscast. Bush has been elected for the fourth time, nudity has been banned, etc etc. I see they’ve gone for the subtle style of political commentary. We then cut to a bunch of the worst marines ever (including the buxom blonde who gives a new meaning to the term “Fall out soldier”) as they try to save a facility that has been overrun by zombies as the result of chemical experimentation. OK so we have zombies but still no strippers.
Finally, just as I was wondering how much more bad plot I could take, we get strippers and the movie goes from bad to worse. Put it this way, you know a movie is bad when the strippers come on and the guys in the theater get up and leave!
We begin with Jenna Jameson, (that’s Ms. Jameson now because she’s a serious dramatic actress don’t you know) doing her thing with a pole. Yep, she’s stretching herself with those ultra-challenging post-porn thespian roles. And for the next 10 minutes, bad plot becomes no plot as we have to watch each and every stripper’s routine. I’ve never been so bored watching naked women. To prove that they are more than strippers though, in their dressing room they all quote Nietzsche and philosophy. They’re deep.
I won’t get any deeper into the plot – you can figure it out for yourselves but suffice to say I was looking at my watch after just 40 minutes and hoping it would be a short movie. To keep this review briefer and less painful than Zombie Strippers, here are a few tips:
• Having just watched Robert Englund in Jack Brooks: Monster Slayer a few weeks ago, I was disappointed. He was so much better in that.
• Ms. Jameson – the ping pong balls from the coochie as weapon is so old and overdone, and no, using billiard balls does not make it any more interesting.
• Script writers – writing a script should e more than just copying every other line from another movie. A wee bit of originality please.
• This is the big one. B movies can do political satire and social commentary in incredibly effective ways. George Romero is the master of it is his Dead series. But political commentary requires skill. Throwing in lines like, “I can no longer be blind to the war, I can no longer ignore the killings” do not a major antiwar movie make. And I definitely could have done without the overlong and poorly done commentary at the end about how we’re all puppets, gun control, cigarettes and so on.
• This movie should have had a certain level of camp to it. Where is the camp???
Not enough gore. Not enough camp. Too much clumsy commentary. As I left the theater, my overriding though was that Loyd Kaufman could have done this so much better. If Loyd had made this, it would have been an awesome movie. Unfortunately, he didn’t.