Saturday, 22 July 2017

Stripperland (3 Stars)

"Officials are encouraging men to stay indoors and avoid all women in a state of undress. It may seem that they have desire for sex, but really they just want to eat you".

A virus has swept across America. Men are unaffected, but women are turned into undead zombie strippers. After being affected a woman puts on high heels and her sluttiest clothes. If she doesn't have her own slutty clothes she breaks into the nearest mall to steal whatever inappropriate clothing is hanging on the racks. Then she walks around the town eating male flesh.

A teenage boy called Idaho is excited by the developments. He sits at home watching the news reports of strippers walking the streets, and he finds it very arousing. He's less pleased when his mother turns into a zombie stripper and tries to eat him. That's disgusting. Idaho hitches a ride with a zombie killer who is travelling to Portland, Oregon, the strip club capital of the world. That's the only place an answer can be found to the virus.

Luckily, the zombies have weaknesses. Most of them have never worn high heels, so they walk slowly or even trip. They're addicted to rap music, so when rap songs are played loud they stop killing and start dancing. The most effective weapon against the zombies is dollar bills. If you throw money they pick it up and spare you for a few seconds, waiting for more money. As long as you keep paying you're safe; when the money runs out you're dead.

I'll let my readers decide what this film is. Cast your vote in the comments box.

(a) It's a teenage boy's fantasy.
(b) It's a feminist epic.
(c) It's a perversion of a perversion.
(d) It's sensationalist trash.

George Romero
February 4, 1940 – July 16, 2017
The literary history of zombies is very short, compared to vampires. The word "zombie" exists in the English language since the early 19th Century, but it referred to something different. A zombie was a corpse that had been re-animated, whether by magic or science. By this definition the monster in Mary Shelley's novel "Frankenstein" could be called a zombie. Modern zombies that can infect other humans by biting or scratching them were invented by George Romero in his 1968 film "Night of the Living Dead". The word "zombie" wasn't used in the film itself, but film fans applied the word to Romero's walking dead monsters, and it soon became their accepted name.

Since 1968 there have been many zombie films, so many that it can be considered a subgenre of horror films. Notable examples are "Evil Dead" (1981), "Braindead" (1992) and "Shaun of the Dead" (2005). It's common for film fans to interpret zombie films as social commentaries, i.e. the zombies represent the unthinking majority who accept everything that their government tells them via the mass media. This might be the case in politically motivated films, including the six zombie films that George Romero made, but I can't accept it as a generalisation.

"Stripperland" is a variation on the zombie mythology. The infection can't be transmitted. If a man is bitten he's dead. End of story. If there's any social commentary at all in the film it's about the stupidity of men. When they see a sexy stripper on the street they unzip their jeans for a blow job, but they receive a bite job. The strippers have ugly, disfigured faces, but men don't look at strippers' faces anyway.

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