In spite of the horrific dialogue, and even worse acting, there’s actually something to be said for “Zombie Strippers!”, which ends up (accidentally?) as an interesting statement about beauty and how the business of sexual pleasure is always looking for a new gimmick and fad to break every taboo until it’s gone too far, eventually inspiring conformity rather than individuality among its performers.
Thus is the case with the local speakeasy in Nebraska, where owner Ian (played with giddy insanity by Robert Englund) discovers his top stripper Kat has turned into an evil flesh-eating zombie. The necrophilia she encourages becomes the accidental rage of the strip club, where Kat uses the bites to initiate her co-workers who all become dancing, seductive walking dead that chomp on h***y customers, and then hide their re-animated remains. Ian will do anything to retain his fame, and is more than happy to sacrifice loyal patrons in the process.
Jay Lee’s tongue in cheek, often cringe inducing horror comedy is quite boring when it intentionally attempts to garner laughs from the audience with sight gags and bland one-liners, so by coincidence the best comedy is all mainly inadvertent as Jameson’s performance is horrible enough to prevent any confusion with Linnea Quigley (still looking for B movie stardom, Jenna?), while she glimmers on screen as a stripper.
The draw here is the top notch gruesome make up that turn these gorgeous women into horrendous monsters, while the sexual arousal this collective transformation garners from the male customers (who may or may not be aware these women are the living dead) is uncomfortable. The supporting cast provides a majority of the laughs with Carmit Levite as manager Madame Blavatski (who often sounds like a bad Lugosi clone), while Joey Medina is hysterical as the disgruntled Mexican janitor Paco, who is forced to clean up the grue left by the lap dancers.
When the gag has effectively run its course, Lee sets us up for a blood soaked zombie surge on the strip club, and an ill-conceived war between zombie Kat and her on-stage rival, involving bad one-liners, and a lot of undead dancing.
A few torn limbs, and many bitten private members later, “Zombie Strippers!” is far from a classic. Instead it is a serviceable horror comedy that will ride well on Jameson’s name recognition until the gag wears thin. It’s far from a perfect movie, or a model cult classic but I had enough fun and chuckles to consider it worth the price of admission.