A deadly government-controlled virus strikes a small Nebraska strip club, where the head dancer is quickly infected and transformed into a flesh-eating zombie — and becomes an instant hit with customers. To be or not to be a zombie: That is the question facing the remaining jealous strippers in this outrageous horror comedy, starring slasher icon Robert Englund (best known as Freddy Krueger) and adult-entertainment icon Jenna Jameson.
Director: Jay Lee
Writer: Jay Lee
Jenna Jameson … Kat
Robert Englund … Ian
Roxy Saint … Lillith
Penny Drake … Sox
Whitney Anderson … Gaia
Jennifer Holland … Jessy
Shamron Moore … Jeannie
Jeannette Sousa … Berengé
Carmit Levité … Madame Blavatski
John Hawkes … Davis (as Johnny D. Hawkes)
Brad Milne … Dr. Chushfeld
Zak Kilberg … Byrdflough
Jen Alex Gonzalez … Lt. Ryker
Jessica Custodio … Kwan
Laura Bach … Sassy Sue
Dr Zombie’s Review:
Zombie Strippers was certainly everything I expected. Bad Acting and Bad writing. I find horribly bad movies entertaining to watch, so I enjoyed it for what it is. The three things it had going for it was the make up, gore and nudity. All three were surprisingly well done. The movie could have done without the political satire, it wasn’t funny and seemed forced into the script. The movie was intentionally campy, but at times just seemed poorly written. Overall the movie was just inconsistently executed.
If you enjoy watching bad movies this is a must see. The make up, gore and nudity are a nice reward for having to sit through the bad writing and acting. Otherwise stay away from this movie unless you like watching porn with no sex scenes.
Voracious D’s Review:
There are some things in life that are such individual paragons of all that is awesome and cool that putting them together makes so much sense that the idea of not putting them together seems retarded. This is what I like to call the Reese’s principle of hybrid greatness. You may know its corelative, the Hegelian dialectic, but you’re probably more familiar with the premise itself than you think: Chocolate= good, Peanut Butter= good, chocolate+peanut butter= incredible. If an object is just the sum of its parts, then adding inherently great parts should produce inherently great objects. When a movie comes out with a title like “Zombie Strippers!”, it should be patently obvious that this is the best idea we all should’ve thought of years ago. Add in the most downloaded porn star on the internet, Jenna Jameson, the man who turned Elm St. into a living Hell a scant twenty-five years ago, Robert Englund, and MMA legend Tito Ortiz and you have a bulletproof concept. Not only should it be bulletproof, it should catch bullets in its teeth, and score a headshot each time it spits one out.
However, just as Dane Cook taught us that putting on a Superman shirt doesn’t make you the Man of Steel, “Zombie Strippers!” director/writer/every other goddamn job Jay Lee teaches us that it is possible to turn potential gold into crap. All you need to do is take every good ingredient you have going for you and dilute it until there’s only a handful of clichés left. Shovel in a bunch of on-the-nose political satire with a mix of pretentious philosophic stew ranging from the existential (seriously, Sartre, Nebraska?) to questions of morality, ala Nietzsche, and you’re not sure if you’re watching a movie made by adults or reading the journal of an anti-social teenager.
To digress for a moment, I’d like to discuss what made Romero’s original Dead trilogy (Night of the Living Dead, Dawn of the Dead, and, to a somewhat lesser extent, Day of the Dead) the iconic films that they are. Rather than go with a strictly B-movie approach and produce another story about flesh eating monsters, Romero did two things that changed the game completely. First, he established a mythology for his zombies that differed from its roots in Carribean voodoo lore and which has now become so pervasive that the term “Romero zombie” (and subsequently, the “post-Romero zombie”) has been coined to recognize the discourse specific to the zombies either in Romero’s films or which operate under the same principles (headshots, the shambling gait, the radioactive comet theory, etc., etc.). Second, Romero’s zombie films are very much politically charged, but don’t fall into the trap of criticizing specific world leaders or issues. Rather they cover issues that, unfortunately, still exist such as racism, rampant capitalism, repression of female subjectivity and other problematic issues of society at large.
The reason I bring this up is because the archetypes that Romero built with his Dead trilogy not only allowed for the emergence of a subgenre of zombie films in the horror genre, but also set a pattern by which even the greenest of filmmakers could follow and produce a reasonably entertaining movie. Yet, Jay Lee tries to reinvent the wheel and the end result is decidely far from the Romero standard. Yes, Lee’s zombies still go down with a shot to the head, but after that, there’s little comparison between the two. In fact, there’s a vast inconsistency between zombies in the film itself. Some talk, others grunt, some have super human strength, others are easily subdued behind gates of dubious stability. Then there’s the political aspect, which has some potential as a comment against the absurdity of the achronistic, Arms Race-esque militarism that the filmmaker conflates with the (W) Bush administration. The problem is, Lee so overtly conflates his commentary with Bush that it becomes A) preachy and B) topical to the point of irrelevance. As hard as it is to believe, there will be a time when the name George W. Bush isn’t a four letter word in the mouths of any person with common sense. When that time comes, a film like “Zombie Strippers!” will suffer from outdated material criticizing an outdated regime.
One of the great things about this movie, however, is the casting. Even with absolutely atrocious writing, the cast of “Zombie Strippers!” manages to salvage what would be an otherwise unwatchable flick. Robert Englund has made a career out of one-liners and gallows’ humor and he continues that trend in this movie. Let’s just say that when bad writers give him lemons, he throws them away, pisses in a cup, hands the cup to you and you’ll prefer it over lemonade any day. And as bad as the script is for this, I’m sure Jenna Jameson gets handed dump trucks of worse material every day. The rest of the cast don’t turn in standout performances by any means, but they do what actors in a movie about zombie strippers are supposed to: act. Really. Bad. Also, the production values are surprisingly impressive, given the history of low-budget directing/editing behind the zombie movie genre as well as the comparative quality of the rest of the movie. It should be unsurprising that costuming and special effects are two things that Jay Lee doesn’t do.
In a final summary, “Zombie Strippers!” isn’t a horrible movie. Well, it is, but it’s watchable. At the end of the day, the worst part is not so much how it turned out, but how much better it could have turned out. If Jay Lee wasn’t trying so hard to play in George A. Romero’s sandbox with excess philosophical and political verbiage, then this movie could have had the potential to be a bonefied cult classic. As it is, “Zombie Strippers!” is a mostly mediocre movie that manages to be kitsch-y enough to merit a rental..