(2007) Horror Spoof (Triumph) Jenna Jameson, Robert Englund, John Hawkes, Roxy Saint, Penny Drake, Whitney Anderson, Jennifer Holland, Shamron Moore, Jeanette Sousa, Carmit Levite, Brad Milne, Jen Alex Gonzalez, Jessica Custodio. Directed by Jay Lee
Some movies are kind of hard to figure out from their titles. Others tell you right out of the gate what their intentions are. On rare occasions, you’ll get one of the latter that deliver something extra, to your surprise or dismay.
In the near future, George W. Bush is in his fourth term as president and has gotten us into more wars than we have soldiers to fight (that knucklehead!) so it is up to CheyneyCo to develop a chemical enhancement that reanimates dead soldiers so that they can return to the fray over and over again (the depressing thing is that I could see G.W. actually coming up with a strategy like that).
Of course, as such things always do in horror movies, the virus escapes the lab and makes its way into Rhino’s, an underground strip club (in G.W.’s dystopian future, all strip clubs are illegal) and of course lead stripper Kat (Jameson) is the first to be infected. Ian (Englund), the club’s sleazy and greedy owner, is at first appalled but when Kat proves to be more popular than ever as an undead stripper, he quickly determines ways to keep his strippers dancing after death. This leads to the mother of all cat fights.
It’s not often you get a movie that mashes up zombie gore, softcore titillation, political commentary and philosophical undertones but Jay Lee does so here. This is a movie that references Eugene Ionesco unreservedly (England’s character is even named Ian Nessco and his club named for Ionesco’s most well-known absurdist play Rhinoceros) and has a wonderful moment when Kat is found reading Nitzsche post-zombification and exclaims “Now it all makes sense!”
The movie also delivers on the breasts and gore, surprisingly effectively in both departments which is a good reason why it got almost no release in the U.S. which has become effectively paranoid about both. Utilizing a number of adult film actresses, models and actual strippers, the dance scenes have at least some authenticity to them.
So what if the acting is ham-fisted and the story begins to peter out (no pun intended) towards the end? If you’re looking for more than that in a movie entitled Zombie Strippers you are clearly in the wrong aisle of your preferred rental venue, my friend.
WHY RENT THIS: Boobs and gore – the two staples of a horror fanboy’s diet. At least makes an attempt to be a little different.
WHY RENT SOMETHING ELSE: The acting is not so good and the movie runs out of steam by the end.
FAMILY VALUES: As you’d expect, there’s plenty of nudity, sexuality and gore not to mention filthy foul nasty language and a whole lot of violence.
TRIVIAL PURSUIT: The bouncer at Rhino’s is played by MMA legend Tito Ortiz who was also Jameson’s boyfriend at the time of filming.
NOTABLE DVD EXTRAS: There’s a featurette on all the nods to French existentialism and in particular the Eugene Ionesco play Rhinoceros (no, I’m not kidding). The Blu-Ray has a trivia track which is actually surprisingly better than most.
BOX OFFICE PERFORMANCE: Not available.
FINAL RATING: 4.5/10
TOMORROW: Saw V