Main cast: Ben Sheppard (Idaho), Maren McGuire (Virginia), Ileana Herrin (West Virginia), Jamison Challeen (Frisco), Daniel Baldwin (Double D), Boyd Banks (Maestro), Hank Cartwright (Guy Gibson), Thom Bray (Dr Logan), and Linnea Quigley (Grandbo)
Director: Sean Skelding
Three weeks ago, a virus spreads across the land, turning women into stripper zombies. We’re talking about zombies who dress in “slutty clothes” (it’s Sean Skelding’s script, not mine, so don’t look at me like that) and eat guys. They also can’t resist stopping at whatever they are doing to dance to hip-hop music. Anyway, right in the madness that ensues is Idaho, our socially awkward geek who lives by his prized book, How to Pick Up Strippers (now a survival guide, given the circumstances). When the movie opens, he is rescued from a couple of zombies by Frisco, a gun-totting cowboy who insists that everyone is called by the state they come from. They eventually meet two uninfected women, sisters from Virginia, who want to travel to Portland to be reunited with their Grandbo. Frisco is not keen on this plan, until he learns that Grandbo makes heavenly pastries and Frisco really wants some fresh pastries. So off these four go on an adventure of their lives – Portland, after all, is the stripper capital of the USA, so the welcoming reception is going to be fabulous.
Stripperland is actually a parody of Zombieland, with Frisco obviously a riff of that guy played by Woody Harrelson in the other movie. The structure of the script also follows Zombieland in a noticeable manner, although it has enough of its own stuff to make this movie more substantial than a typical parody. Also, for a parody, this one doesn’t shy away from gore. Lots of ripped body parts and dragged-out entrails here, for a start, and there are some over the top darkly humorous scenes of gore played for comedy as well as homage to the Evil Dead franchise.
Even better, the cast members play their role very well, the only clunker being a pointless and unfunny cameo by Daniel Baldwin. Ben Sheppard is hilarious as the key protagonist whose horribly awkward basement-dwelling conversational methods drive everyone else crazy, while Jamison Challeen and Ileana Herrin play their crazy-violent characters with relish. The script can be pretty funny at many places too, although the punchlines are often unoriginal and occasionally cheesy. It is the delivery and timing of these punchlines that seal the deal. Being what it is, the movie doesn’t have a strong plot or vivid characterization, but it does its job more than adequately.
Stripperland starts out a parody, but it soon becomes a pretty amusing comedy-horror flick in its own right. More importantly, it can be funny and gruesome at the same time. All things considered, it’s worth a watch.