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The acting is pretty bad, the dialogue is worse and the production quality as a whole bears that unmistakable ultralow-budget, direct-to-DVD sheen, but “Zombie Strippers,” which bows April 18, could never be accused of failing to live up to its title.
Starring adult entertainment industry queen Jenna Jameson and loosely inspired by Eugene Ionesco’s “Rhinoceros,” Jay Lee’s grotesque little horror film makes up for in audacity what it might lack in finesse.
Set at the start of George W. Bush’s fourth consecutive term in office, the cautionary tale finds the U.S. military, fighting wars on several fronts, seeking to replenish its dwindling numbers with a chemo-virus that instantly reanimates the corpses of its fallen soldiers.
But the virus ends up finding its way out of the lab and into Rhino’s, a small-town Nebraska underground strip club presided over by the obnoxious Ian Essko (Robert Englund). There, it infects its star attraction, the Nietzsche-reading Kat (Jameson), and turns her into a writhing, flesh-eating sensation.
Stripping away all the lame political satire and cutting to the chase, there’s admittedly something perversely effective about Jameson and company strutting their undead stuff against the appropriate death metal soundtrack.
It all serves as a warm-up to the main event — a garish silicone and latex-charged zombie-stripper smackdown that can best be described as George Romero-meets-Russ Meyer with a nod to the 1972 Herschell Gordon Lewis cult classic “The Gore Gore Girls.”
In the process, writer-director-cinematographer Lee (“The Slaughter”) just might have stumbled onto something bankable.
Call it strip-quease.
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