The premise of this film sounds like an elementary school joke.
What was the brain-eating zombie doing in the strip club?
Nonetheless, Full Moon’s latest film is called ZOMBIES vs. STRIPPERS. Putting the two most popular character archetypes in modern B-movies simply has to work, right? On its most basic level, they go together like comedy and tragedy, pleasure and pain, sex and violence; all fundamental elements of taut cinema. Let us dance with the dead as we try to enjoy this hot mess, and find out where a certain rotten familiar fleshy stench is coming from (if experience has taught me anything, it’s that, for once, it’s probably not from the Zombies).
The film centers (sort of) on Spider, owner and proprietor of the “Tough Titty”. Business is bad, and he may be forced to close up shop forever by the end of this very night. Complete with his bizarre-but-dedicated staff, and a few dancers who jiggle more than act, they form a peculiar cast of lovable losers (at least in theory). Unbeknownst to Spider, business is about to get a whole new definition of “dead”, as zombies start filtering in from the street every now and then and kill someone.
I am going to say it right now; this film owes a huge debt to the Robert Rodriquez movie, FROM DUSK TILL DAWN. All the plot parallels are there and immediately apparent. In both films there is a cast of characters with widely different backstories, moral alignments, and motivations, who are trapped in an a crazy bar beset by bloodthirsty supernatural dead things who our heroes must fend off by barricading themselves behind closed doors, working together as an unlikely team, creating improvised weapons, and preparing for the final bloody onslaught at the end where few will survive. Because this is a b-movie, however, you can expect more breasts, less of a budget, and about the same level of blood.
While there is some character development this time around, most of it is stereotypical and based entirely on the stock characters of patrons and staff. Each character's personality is predestined by their wardrobe and, in the case of the strippers, their scant clothing is matched only by their small capacity of intelligent dialogue and reason. Of course, feminists and nitpickers alike (how I hate you both) would be quick to remind me that the strippers actually have the intelligence, foresight, and moxie to not only make some improvised weapons, but also to “potentially” escape the evil dead onslaught at the end of the film. Again I say that, by the time that we as B-movie audience, accept that a women using her own brassiere as a slingshot can shoot bar darts into the heads of the evil onslaught of approaching zombies accurately and with the apparent stopping power of .44 pistol rounds, then I say that all suspension of disbelief for a film has been immediately revoked. Once this happens in any horror film, it forfeits all seriousness and becomes just a parody of itself that can only be judged by tertiary B-movie factors such as its tits, hits, and wits. And in some way, (the first criterion) this flick truly excels.
I struggled a lot to decide what overall rating to give this film. On one hand, it did provide more character development, toplessness, and fun than any Full Moon Feature in memory. Yet, at the same time, there was no real protagonist (beyond the zombies) or likable main characters, the film's nudity grew as boring and unarrousing as that of a real strip club after a half an hour, and the funny bits made me groan like one of the onscreen zombies. Yet, because I somehow believe in this studio, and I am still seeing some continual effort by them to release sexier, more visually compelling products based on people rather than puppets, I opted to give it three skulls . It's not a bad film, but only in the context that a stripper wearing pasties and a tiny thong is not legally “naked” according to the eyes of most public decency statutes for alcoholic establishments wishing to maintain a liquor license.
Special Features include Full Moon Trailers, Promos and a “Making of” Featurette.