You may have noticed a new hashtag popping up on moviepilot this week: #SOBIG, aka So Bad It's Good. For every movie lover, there is at least one film that was panned by critics, hated by the masses, and yet... loved by some. Whether it's universally acknowledged as terrible and you just love it anyway, or loved simply because it's so bad that it's fun to hate, we all have them. Me, I have quite a few. I love bad movies. Some I love honestly, some I love with a pinch of irony (although never enough to be hipster about it), and others I'll admit to just not understanding the hate.
However, if there is one single film that fits the #sobig tag, it has to be Zombie Strippers.
First things first: It's actually a really bad movie. Hilariously bad. Perfectly, gloriously, watch-it-again-and-again bad. I have no illusions about the writing, the FX, or the ridiculously constant nudity. I still love it.
Zombie Strippers is a 2008 B-style horror movie starring porn star Jenna Jameson, set in a not-too-distant future where public nudity is outlawed. Because of this, strip clubs operate as illegal underground operations - a plot point that exists here solely to explain how so many characters can die (whether reanimated or not) without public outrage.
The zombies come in courtesy of a failed government experiment to create super-soldiers (and some seriously stupid lab workers). After they overrun the lab, a crack military team (including some scantily clad and incredibly attractive gun-wielders) are called in to deal with the problem, but one bitten operative escapes and finds his way into the Rhino, one of those illegal nudie bars I mentioned earlier.
One of my favorite elements of the film is the "satire", which is laid on with a trowel and a distinctly feminist bent. The super soldier virus turns men into mindless, flesh eating ghouls, but turns women into complete, quasi-rational badasses; take no prisoners, wildly powerful, and with a mostly functioning brain (and an insatiable hunger for human flesh). Welcome to the stage... the Super Stripper! There is absolutely no subtlety to the men-bad, woman-good subtext, and it's kinda awesome. The strippers succumb to the virus (often voluntarily), and the customers multiply as word of their intense and physically impossible stage shows spread, until the inevitable happens, and everyone dies. (Well, almost everyone.)
Subtlety is something that looked at this movie, shook it's head, and moved on. Thank god. Each stripper is an overblown stereotype brought to full technicolor life. The manager, the house mother, even the latino janitor are caricatures, and avoid any real offensiveness because of it. The manager is particularly slimy and odious, and you'll find yourself honestly cheering his ridiculously disgusting (but well-deserved) death. I won't spoil it completely, but if you've never heard of a face-dance...
This is definitely not a movie for the weak-of-stomach, with more gore than tits (which are everywhere. Absolutely. Everywhere. You have no idea how hard it was to find SFW images for this.), and death scenes that test the limits of imagination. Jaws ripped off by hand, flying zombies, shotguns, pool balls as weapons (with a Thai-stage-show flair)...it's magically ridiculous.
Add to all this impressively corny puns at every turn, dismembered heads growling in the office, and dancing to pay for Nana's colostomy bag, and you have a truly hilarious zom-com that is definitely rated R.
Zombie Strippers sets the standard for hilarious zombie B movies, and despite many other attempts to combine dancing girls and the walking dead, this is the only one that I will love forever. Perfection. Awful, terrible, very-bad-no-good-sexy-dirty perfection.