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Review: Zombie Strippers! (2008)

Directed by: Jay Lee | 94 minutes | horror, comedy | Actors: Jenna Jameson, Robert Englund, Roxy Saint, Joey Medina, Shamron Moore, Penny Drake, Jennifer Holland, John Hawkes, Jeannette Sousa, Whitney Anderson, Carmit Levité, Calvin Green, Zak Kilberg, Catero Colbert, Jen Alex Gonzalezd

As can be deduced from the title, ‘Zombie Strippers’ is a film about scantily clad female undead who feast on their patronage. The film is set in the near future which does not look too bright for the United States. President George W. Bush is now in his fourth term, a development that has resulted in America not only having to worry about the hot spots of Afghanistan and Iraq, but is also at with Syria, Lebanon, Venezuela, among others. France and even the state of Alaska. To keep the US military up to par, the government has created a research lab to resurrect dead soldiers and create a division of undead super soldiers. It will come as no surprise to anyone that this experiment goes horribly wrong when one of the zombie soldiers manages to escape and takes residence in the nearby strip club Rhino’s. His first victim is stripper Kat, who quickly transforms into a bloodthirsty, but also extremely lithe and popular undead pole dancer.

As the title and description above suggest, we are not dealing here with a film that will compete for the favors of the serious and more sophisticated film critics. In many ways ‘Zombie Strippers’ is just a cheap pulp film with ditto dialogues, acting and storytelling developments. However, the makers are well aware of this and have clearly never intended to make a quality print or make tons of money. The result is a film that is somewhere in between a black comedy, a (sometimes hilarious) parody of the zombie genre and a very plastic spectacle. The great strength of ‘Zombie Strippers’ is that the print never takes itself too seriously. This is evident from the fact that ex-porn star plays a prominent role. In terms of acting it is of course all very thin what this lady shows, but she does manage to put down a nice parody of the profession of stripper and her own person. For example, the character played by Jameson fills her in-between hours reading and quoting from the collected works of the German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche. In any case, it is striking that the makers regularly refer to philosophers or philosophical phrases, among other things by situating the story in the (probably fictional) town of Sartre in the state of Nebraska. However, the show is stolen by veteran Robert Englund, who seems to feel like a fish in water in this production. He plays the cynical owner of the strip club Rhino’s, who is afraid of blemishes (!). Englund plays an incredibly wrong character,

Yes, ‘Zombie Strippers’ also has a more serious political undertone that is packed in various jokes and subtle and less subtle references. For example, President Bush and the Republicans get hit hard, especially in the beginning of the film. Not all jokes about the president who will step down in 2008 and his conservative supporters are equally successful, but the more subtle witticisms in particular work wonderfully. An organization such as the NRA (National Rifle Association) is also heavily fooled in a scene in which Englund shows his impressive arsenal of weapons, but then does not know how to use his guns in practice. He justifies this by stating that membership in the NRA gives you the right to own weapons, but does not mean that you actually have to know how to deal with it. After all, the Mexican cleaner Paco is a welcome coat rack for a large number of jokes about Mexicans.

If you want to see a high-quality film, you better skip ‘Zombie Strippers’. However, if you are in a corny mood and have no trouble with the necessary liters of splashing blood and spicy dressed, gut-hungry pole dancers, this film could possibly guarantee a nice viewing experience. Really a film for ‘enthusiasts’.

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