Jaq's Review: Zombie Strippers - Everything and the Pole!
by Jaq Greenspon
April 19, 2008
I'm gonna start out by saying I loved this film. Let me just get it out of the way now. Zombie Strippers is a fun, frolicking fest of undead female flesh! It is packed with enough laughs, nudity and philosophy to make it required viewing for any college student's weekend late night plans. Not since Chopper Chick in Zombie Town have I laughed this hard at an intentionally funny horror film. For sheer entertainment value, Zombie Strippers ranks among the top films of the year.
Now, don't get me wrong. I'm not saying this is a great film - or even a good one, just that it is a blast to watch and if you go in with the attitude that everyone involved was looking to have some fun and make something for you to enjoy, you will walk out pleasantly surprised and with a huge smile on your face.
The plot, what there is of it, is a simple rendition of about half of the other zombie movies out there: Government developed virus gets loose and turns those infected into the undead. In this instance, of course, writer/director Jay Lee places the blame squarely on the shoulders of our conservative government who, in the not too distant future, have suspended all laws and taken over the country.
The military is called in to stop the outbreak from spreading any further than the top secret lab, located in Sartre, Nebraska, where it started. Naturally, they fail to stop one of their own, Lieutenant Byrdflough (Zak Kilberg), who has become infected, from getting away and hiding out in an underground strip club. Does Byrdflough spread the disease? You betcha! And the first of the girls to get the bug is Kat (Jenna Jameson), a Nietzsche reading, philosophy spouting topless star in the making. She's the girl everyone wants to see and when she goes zombie, the other girls realize she's onto something and one by one decide to come over to the dark side. This all works out to the advantage of Ian Essko (Robert Englund aka Freddy Krueger), the club's owner, who sees nothing but dollar signs in the boobs of his undead dancers.
If the name checking of prominent figures in existential philosophy hasn't clued you in to what kind of a film you're in for, then this may not be the movie for you. For me, though, I was sold when Kat comes back from the dead, resumes reading Nietzsche and laughs, saying it makes much more sense now. In fact, all of the characters, from the bouncer who's afraid if his own shadow (World Champion fighter and Jameson's fiancée Tito Ortiz) to the corn-fed local girl who is just getting into the business and stripping to raise enough money for her grandmother's colostomy operation (Jennifer Holland) to the illegal Mexican immigrant named Paco (Joey Medina), spout first year philosophy concepts and challenge the sheep-like mentality of the mob when faced with zombie-hood.
The filmmaking itself is serviceable, with Jay Lee not only handling the words and action, but also the cinematography and editing. This is a true auteur project and it seems fairly obvious Lee is having a damn fine time with it. At no point does he let the film ever take itself seriously, and yet, he still delivers an interesting message about the price of conformity and the ability of the individual to overcome the strength of the masses. In the end, you'll laugh, you'll... laugh some more, and you'll see things you never thought you'd see outside of a dark theatre in Tijuana.