Written and directed by Jay Lee, this 2008 film has a runtime of 94 minutes and was given an 18 rating in the UK on its release – unsurprising when you mix horror, blood, sex and violence into one film. If the name of the film hasn’t suggested it already, this is a seedy B-movie that puts zombies and strippers in a situation. The title also pretty much sums up the plot, and generally the whole purpose of the film. In a crazy way, the inspiration for this film comes from a play called “Rhinoceroses” by Eugene Ionesco. In that, people begin to turn into rhinos but nobody seems too bothered. The character played by Robert Englund in this film is called Ian Essko – a direct homage to the play writer.
In the not-so-distant future, America is still at war with pretty much everybody thanks to President George Bush and Vice-President Arnold Schwarzenegger. Soon America will slowly lose ground in their war efforts on account of not having enough troops, to compensate for the vast loss of military personnel they have suffered over the years, a research program has been initiated to reanimate dead cells. The hope is that reanimated brains may allow for an army of the undead to do America’s fighting, bulking their army back up in volume. An experiment goes wrong, a crack-commando Z-Team is sent in to clear the place of any zombies. One of them gets bit and manages to escape the facility. The escaped (not yet a) zombie makes it to an underground strip club called “the Rhino” (underground because nudity is banned under President Bush) where he bites one of the star strippers. Far from being distraught, she is happy to have been bitten as it seemingly makes her a better stripper, albeit at the expense of her flesh deteriorating. With her increased stripper ability, she is taking customers away from the other girls, so some of them happily volunteer to be bitten. The zombie strippers feast during private dances; after a short bit of titillation for their client they generally eat them. The virus spreads around the club, but club owner Ian Essko tries to keep everything under control by keeping the zombie strippers in cages. That only lasts so long as one of the strippers opens the cage to allow herself to be bitten, but what she has also done is let the zombie strippers out of their cage to cause chaos. Thanks to a late arrival by the Z-Team the remaining strippers and club patrons fight for their survival.
The main stars of this film are Robert Englund (Freddy Krueger) as Ian Essko, famous porn star Jenna Jameson as Kat, indie-musician Roxy Saint as Lilith, Penny Drake as Sox, comedian Joey Medina as Paco, and a bevy of good looking models and actresses. For what the film is, the cast do an ok-ish job – it’s clear from the delivery who has experience on screen and who doesn’t. The film is of course intentionally cheesy and camp with over the top sequences in it. It looks bad and low budget but it’s supposed to. The satire and jokes miss the mark by a long way at times – but that rarely becomes a massive problem. The CGI is laughable at times and rarely believable. The whole thing is pretty weak and only stands up if you are a couple of drinks into the night already.
For all my negativity, the film delivers with what it intended, there are zombie strippers in the film. Yes this is a super low budget bad film, but it’s unapologetic in being that. If you want a cultured and classy performance then don’t bother with this. If you want exploding heads, t&a, nudity, gore, zombies, rock music, poor acting, laughable effects – then my friend, you have come to the right place. This is never going to win awards, and it might never achieve cult status. You might even wonder why anyone bothered making this and what the point is. I say don’t… don’t try and interpret this because you will give yourself a headache. There is no point, there is no justification to the why – it just is. Nothings explained or wrapped up, there is no social commentary, there is no hidden message about valuing life or the objectification of women. The film just is, because why not.
It’s not the kind of film I could put on with kids in the room, or my granny sat in the corner. It is the kind of film I could put on with buddies from college who are sharing a beer or five with me, who aren’t really watching the film too intently other than for gore, T&A.