Screenwriters: Jay Lee
Starring: Jenna Jameson (interview), Robert Englund, Roxy Saint
Running time: 94 mins
To raise an old footballing cliché from the dead, this trashy low-budget horror flick is a game of two halves. Overcome the monotony that pervades the first forty minutes and you may well find yourself lapping up the inventive gore and an unashamedly crowdpleasing plot... once it surfaces.
From the blood-splattered beginning, deliberately bad dialogue and self-consciously corny acting demonstrate that Zombie Strippers is aiming at the 'so bad it's good' market. Special effects that look like they've been created in a teenager's bedroom on a Commodore C-64 serve to reinforce the low budget feel, but the film initially lacks the respectful homage vibe of Robert Rodriguez's masterful Planet Terror.
The plot, which unsurprisingly involves strippers being turned into zombies in a near-future America (and little else), takes too long to kick in and we're subjected to a series of extended poledancing scenes featuring a painfully thin Jenna Jameson gyrating in front of the baying punters. It feels like watching the filler scenes in porno films, the bits usually fast-forwarded to reach the money shot.
Freddie Kruger himself - Robert Englund - pops up as the unscrupulous lapdance club owner who discovers that living dead beauties attract larger crowds, and he still possesses that wild-eyed maniacal screen presence that has chilled many over the years. As for Jameson, her facial expressions are so forced and random it appears that she's participating in a game of 'Simon Says' with someone off camera, who also happens to be holding up cue cards.
Fortunately, after plenty of padding (somewhat ironically given the surgically enhanced mammaries on view) the zombie strippers finally go on the rampage and there's plenty of delicious and inventive gore on offer. The blood-hungry strippers take turns to lure unsuspecting men for a private dance and dispatch them in ways that will make male viewers cross their legs and wince. Best of all though, is when the zombie strippers turn on each other and Jameson hilariously swaps her ping pong balls for pool balls to fire out of her, ahem, undercarriage as lethal projectiles. Great stuff!
The movie's climax involves some neat genre subversion and the mandatory splatterfest as the soldiers movie in (equipped with a few anti-Dubya references). In many ways, Zombie Strippers is sympotamic of the dead rising from their graves, as the film bursts out from six feet under when it appears all hope of a resurrection was lost.
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