Thursday, 12 September 2013

Zombies Zombies Zombies (Strippers vs Zombies) - review

2008 (USA)

Contains mild spoilers.

I'm going to start this review by saying two things that will considerably give away what I think of Zombies Zombies Zombies. The first is go watch Zombie Strippers, it's considerably better in every way imaginable. The second is skip the first 30 minutes. Really, unless you just have to see a few really quite tame topless strip routines and lots of truly atrocious cat fighting between the Grindhouse dancers (the name of the girls' strip joint) and Johnny 'BackHand' Vegas (Anthony Headen), the local total cliché, total douche-bag pimp-daddy, and his gang of hoes.

I've read director and producer Jason M. Murphy's aim was for a zombie comedy with a bit of satire in the vein of Shaun of the Dead. Well, there are zombies in it and I did manage a few chuckles, though mostly these were awkward and as a direct consequence of the bad acting and awful plot; and as for satire, if plastic cookie-cutter centre-page models parading around in next to nothing, all the time being constantly degraded and abused by misogynists, was some big clever meta-narrative poking fun at itself, I think it kind of dangerously missed the point.

Dr. Stewart (Michael Clinkenbeard) plays the overused mad-scientist working this time on a cure for cancer, on the side he likes helping drug addicts and an accident in the lab allows one such nefarious fellow to leave with some zombie-crack. Pamela (Stephanie Miller) one of the local ladies of the night, is the first to indulge her narcotic cravings and finally, some thirty minutes in, as she vomits blood and collapses in the street then returns to her feet with all new flesh cravings does the film kind of get going.

Somewhere in the mix I do believe there was the foundation blocks for a good over the top zombie horror, and cliché and tried and tested can have its place; it's just with a script this dire, and execution this excruciatingly painful it was never going to be able to get off the ground. The first thirty minutes as I've said are hard going. The acting is wooden and painful to watch, but with a cast made up of real playmates and calendar models it was probably to be expected, though the additional male cast are no better.  Overall I felt I was watching some weird and unnatural cross between a preamble to a very poor porn film and some z-list British sea-side pantomime with the regular overuse of multiple people saying the same line at exactly the same time.

The zombies are exactly what you'd expect. Shuffling, groaning extras with their arms outstretched and for ninety percent of the movie whenever the action got interesting, as a zombie finally got to sink his or her teeth in, the camera would shift, just at the money-shot to a silhouette or inanimate object to get splattered with blood. And so the next half hour unfolds. The disparate group hole up at the Grindhouse, the zombies banging on the doors swell in number and a mishap here, a mishap there sees the hoes, strippers and additional ensemble get picked off one by one. There's nothing new, nothing interesting and little to no money spent on effects. It's only with fifteen minutes to go and the final set of sequences that we finally get to see where the entirety of the budget's been spent. Finally there's blood, gore, CG exploding zombies and perhaps the most casual acceptance of being eaten by zombie in the history of cinema and it's actually quite good fun, quite b-movie and dare I say a tad inventive. It really is all too little too late though.

Not a good zombie film, not by any stretch a good comedy and if this is satire I'm a banana. Zombies Zombies Zombies is the worst film I've reviewed and I've really nothing positive to say. A hackneyed incoherent plot that felt like it was being made up as it went along, bad-bad (not good-bad) dialogue and painful forced acting; it's atrocious. Even if you went into it thinking there would at least be a bit of titillation, you'd be severely disappointed with a few limp dances with the merest nudity to satisfy the girls contracts. I'll will try to end positive though; at least that's off the list, 1/10.


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