Stripper [1963]

Get yourself a snappy title and a couple of marquee names (however disreputable) and you might just snag your no-budget movie a national release--as Zombie Strippers colorfully proves. The names in question belong to porn star Jenna Jameson and Freddie Krueger himself, Robert Englund, both of whom look quite comfortable in this sleazy milieu. As the title suggests (well, "suggests" might be a mild word), there has been an outbreak of the undead in a strip club, with strippers actually improving their onstage antics after they've become zombies. (Given the number of implants on display, it's a wonder the zombies didn't keel over from silicone poisoning.) Englund is the proprietor of the place, Jameson is a star dancer, and a couple of actresses in the "nice girl" roles don't have to take their tops off, although almost everybody else does. Writer-director Jay Lee fills the movie with political gags and a bunch of philosophy references (Jameson reads Nietzsche, the locale is Sartre, Nebraska), all of which play like a lame attempt to distinguish his movie as something other than a puerile horror-comedy. Only thing is, when you try to disguise the fact that you've made a puerile horror-comedy, it kind of takes the oomph out of both the horror and the comedy. The political jibes are about as feeble as those in Southland Tales, but at least Zombie Strippers is shorter. Shot on video, it looks atrocious, but perhaps that doesn't matter very much. --Robert Horton

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