September 5, 2012

ZOMBIES! ZOMBIES! ZOMBIES! (Movie Review)

REVIEW

Zombies! Zombies! Zombies! (2008)

aka. Strippers vs. Zombies

Director: Jason Murphy

RATING:
1.5 / 5 zedheads

 

In a movie in which strippers fight zombies and tainted crack rocks turn hookers into the flesh-hungry undead, I'm not wrong in expecting a certain level of T&A and morally offensive sex and violence, am I?

Well, perhaps this says more about me than it does the makers of Zombies! Zombies! Zombies!, but I think this film suffered for being too conservative. For a film with the alternate title Strippers vs. Zombies, there's very little stripping and far too little nudity. What gory zombie violence there is to be had is buffered by a lot of tedious character development, flat comedy, and a large roster of characters who aren't exactly unlikable but are unforgivably bland.

Hey! I said A LITTLE off the top!
 The action, as it were, centers around a gentleman's club where the new girl Harley (Hollie Winnard) is having a rough first night. Not only can't she dance, but unbeknownst to her, a zombie virus is spreading through a local community of hookers who smoke some experimental crack rocks stolen from a lab. As far as movie strip clubs go, this one's not so bad. The owner may be kind of sleazy, but he seems to run a legitimate business and treats his employees right, and the bouncer Clive (Valensky Sylvain) is probably the nicest guy you'll ever meet. The movie doesn't reduce its stripper characters to their T & A either. There's even a lengthy discussion between a group of strippers and a group of prostitutes in a diner about the legitimacy of each profession. Since the movie clearly isn't going to take the super-exploitative route, I was kind of excited to see some clever, insightful, and genuine character development. NOPE! Despite the superficial attempts to make the characters more than just strippers, hookers, and pimps, they remain shallow, poorly-acted, and wholly uninteresting zombie fodder.

Can someone lend her a hand? And a forearm?
The only clever aspect of Zombies! Zombies! Zombies! is a twist in the beginning that leads the audience to expect a far cheesier movie than we actually get. While good for a chuckle, this twist opener presents us with a movie I'd much rather watch than the one we actually have. How sad is it that the fake tone established in a fake-out opener is more interesting than the real tone in the rest of the movie?

Look! Zombie Hooker tits. Now you don't have to watch the movie for yourself.
Full disclosure time. By the time the action started to ramp up in the third act when a mass of zombies attacks the stripper club, I was spending more time on Twitter and Tumblr than actually watching the movie. I'd look up from time to time to catch a head shot or gory gag, but I completely missed some character deaths and whole plot developments. Because of this, I hesitated to even write and publish this review, but in the end I mention this here to fully illustrate how uninteresting Zombies! Zombies! Zombies! is on just about every level. Technically and story-wise, Zombies! Zombies! Zombies! is a clunker. As either a somber take on the lives of sex workers during a zombie apocalypse or an attempt at sexually titillating grindhouse film making, it's also an inherent failure for not going far enough in either direction.

I should have known. After all, the signs are right there on the cover art. It's no coincidence that when you take the title Zombies! Zombies! Zombies! and abbreviated it, all you get is ZZZ.

The only reason Zombies! Zombies! Zombies! gets 1.5 / 5 zedheads is for a handful of somewhat funny scenes and unintentionally hilarious effects, most of which you can see compiled in this video by Youtube user Sawprophet. Watch this and there's no reason to bother seeing it on Netflix.