I have a weakness for cheesy, "so bad they're good" low budget horror, sci-fi or action movies. I watch'em so you don't have to!
"Zombie Strippers" (2008)
Directed by: Jay Lee
Starring: Robert Englund, Jenna Jameson, Tito Ortiz, Penny Drake, Roxy Saint
Let's see if I got this straight - our best stripper is a reanimated corpse who is feeding off the living flesh of our customers, who in turn reanimate, even if they're just a @#$%-ing head?
— Robert Englund in "Zombie Strippers"
I was totally unaware that Zombie Strippers existed until a friend loaned me the DVD, with a warning that it was "almost unwatchable." This opinion seems to be supported by the film's less than encouraging rating on IMDb (where it currently holds a 4.1 out of 10). Unlike many film fans, however, I tend to take reviews like these as a challenge. If I hear that a particular movie is "terrible" or "the worst ever," my immediate response is usually, "Awww c'mon, it can't really be THAT bad...can it?" and I have to find out for myself. It's a severe character flaw that I've been working on correcting (unsuccessfully, I might add) for a number of years now.
...but I digress. After watching Zombie Strippers, I found myself in agreement with my buddy... it was bad. VERY bad. I did make it through the entire movie but it was a pretty tough slog.
Zombie Strippers takes place in a not-so-distant near future where George W. Bush has been set up as President-For-Life - a concept which, quite frankly, is more frightening to me than anything else that happens in the movie. Under this new, comically iron-fisted Republican rule, all adult entertainment has been outlawed, which has created a thriving "black market" of underground strip clubs and porn palaces which operate in secret, similar to the liquor-slinging "speakeasies" of the 1920s Prohibition era.
Meanwhile, the United States is also in the midst of fighting wars on a dozen different fronts, which has resulted in a massive amount of American military casualties. In order to replace the soldiers who are dying in battle faster than new ones can be recruited, the U.S. government has developed a top secret chemical compound which re-animates dead tissue. If the formula is a success, the government hopes that they will be able to "recycle" those dead soldiers and send them right back out into battle again. That sort of thing ALWAYS works, right? Suuuuure!
Unfortunately, the formula has one bummer of a side effect: the dead soldiers re-awaken with a burning desire to - you guessed it! - chow on living human flesh. Yup, I hate when that happens.
In Zombie Strippers' very Resident Evil-esque opening scene, a crew of military types invade a lab where the zombie compound has turned everyone on the staff into ravenous flesh eaters. One of the soldiers gets bitten and since he knows this means a bullet in his head, he escapes from the inevitable by crawling out a window and winds up in an underground strip club run by the sleazy Ian (Robert "Freddy Krueger" Englund). I guess if I only had a few hours left to live I'd want to run them out in a strip club, too.
Chomp, scream, splat!
From there, things start getting silly fairly quickly. The bitten soldier boy eventually "turns" and takes a chunk out of the club's star attraction "Kat" (former adult film queen Jenna Jameson) while she's onstage. Following the timeless Zombie Movie Protocols laid down by George Romero, Kat is quickly zombie-fied and begins attacking the club's patrons during her spotlight dance. You'd think this would be a cue for mass panic but inexplicably, having a Zombie stripper around turns out to be GREAT for the club's business. Suddenly Ian's club is packed with curiosity seekers, so he merely shrugs his shoulders and locks up any bitten customers in a cage in the basement to keep them secret.
Soon the other "human" strippers become jealous that Zombie Kat is getting all the attention - and all that sweet, sweet tip money - so they start volunteering to become zombies themselves. Eventually, things achieve Critical Mass. While the undead strippers are having flesh-flinging, blood splattering catfights with each other on the club stage, the caged zombie customers bust loose from the basement and overrun the club, so Englund and his few remaining human staff members try to escape with their interior organs intact. I will leave it up to the reader to decide if you want to find out if they're successful...but trust me, you really don't want to bother. This is truly Z-grade stuff, made on a budget of about six bucks and a broken cracker. There are some occasionally nice, sick gore effects here 'n' there but the "comedic" parts aren't funny, the attempts at political/social satire fall flat, and the acting is atrocious by all involved, even the usually-dependable Robert Englund.
Side note: Jenna Jameson may have been one of the hottest stars in adult film during her heyday, but time has definitely NOT been kind to her. She looks like hell even BEFORE she gets turned into a zombie!
Read More From Reelrundown
More Strippers! More Zombies!
Zombie Strippers wants it was a go-for-broke, balls to the wall grindhouse style bad-taste splatter comedy ala Peter Jackson's Dead Alive or Robert Rodriguez's Planet Terror, but its no-budget look, lack of likeable characters and mostly-incoherent storyline doom it from the get-go. It isn't worth your time or hard earned money.
You can safely avoid this one unless you simply must see every movie with the word "zombie" in the title, you're an obsessed Jenna Jameson fan, or you have a severely high tolerance for B-Movie pain!!
On a related note, Zombie Strippers is just one of a multitude of zombie T&A comedies involving strippers that have popped up over the past couple of years. (Who knew?) A quick Amazon search reveals such additional blood splattered delights as 2008's Strippers vs. Zombies (which isnot to be confused with 2012's Zombies vs. Strippers), 2012's Girls Gone Dead (starring long time scream queen Linnea Quigley), 2013's Stripperland! and 2015's oh-so-tastefully titled MILFS vs Zombies. Japan is even getting in on the fun with the irresistibly-titled Big Tits Zombie ...which, with a title like that, has got to be the Gone With the Wind of the zombie/stripper sub-genre! (It's even in 3-D, because of course.) I haven't seen any of the above flicks but hey, if they sound like your kinda thing...have at it.
© 2015 Keith Abt
Insane Mundane from Earth on May 23, 2015:
Jenna Jameson isn't a very good actor, for starters. I've seen her "act" in several movies over the years and I've never really felt that she ever plays a very convincing role in a hardcore fashion. She is like an ongoing "money shot" getting splattered upon a giant billboard promoting cheap Sukarne beef for America's most desperate carnivores. Ha! I can think of more than a "handful" of actors within her beloved genre that would totally blow her away! LOL!
Keith Abt (author) from The Garden State on May 06, 2015:
monia ben saad from In my Dream on May 06, 2015:
i love zombie movie so much thank you for this grateful hub
Lana Adler from California on May 06, 2015:
Your description was so vivid, I feel like I've actually watched the movie! And I agree, it was pretty awful. Some might say: how can you go wrong with Zombie Strippers, blasphemy! It's like the best of both worlds. Yet you've convinced me it was utter crap not worth my time. Thank you! Very well-written, btw. Voted up
John Hansen from Gondwana Land on April 29, 2015:
Hi Keith, I actually saw this on late night tv about 6 months ago. May have seen Strippers vs Zombies as well as there was a run of Zombie movies. I remember seeing Simon Baker (from the Mentalist) actually in one of them. What was he thinking? Very low- grade stuff, good for a laugh and some bare and bloody flesh.