There was a time in 70s cinema, and then again in 80s video, when putting the word ‘strippers’ in the title made for a guaranteed moneymaker. Competition from the super-pornography-highway of the internet has put the kibosh on such suggestive marketing ploys, but in the head of your average novelty/cult filmmaker these techniques still carry their own retro cool logic. Such is the case with Jay Lee’s Zombie Strippers, a soft-headed, softcore film starring porn superstar Jenna Jameson as Kat, a zombie stripper who doesn’t let being undead stop her from undressing.
Lee’s film revolves around a government-created virus that accidentally alters the metabolism of the inhabitants of a gentleman’s club called Rhino’s. Attempting to cash in on the Shaun of the Dead splat-core comedy vibe, the gags involve exploding heads and body parts, and nothing more exciting to offer horror-genre sophisticates than the paltry bonus of an appearance by Robert Englund, (Nightmare on Elm Street’s Freddy). Still, Zombie Strippers does have a few incidental pleasures, not least through the conscious homage to Eugène Ionesco’s absurdist 1959 play Rhinoceros (Englund’s strip-club boss is called Ian Esko). But if you want zombies and strippers in the same movie, Robert Rodriguez’s Planet Terror segment of Grindhouse is considerably sexier, gorier and funnier