Main cast: Karissa Lee Staples (Amber Clarke), Tyler Johnson (Hunter McCain), Mark Hapka (Owen Mathison), Rachele Brooke Smith (Taryn Belle), Lisa Ann Walter (Margot Mathison), and Krystal Joy Brown (Danielle Sellers)
Director: Jake Helgren
Don’t be fooled by the title of this movie like I was. Despite my reservations about this being a Lifetime movie, I thought, ooh, Psycho Stripper. That sounds awesome. Let’s just give this a try… okay, so that wasn’t such a good idea. This movie is as dull as can be – the title is the only thing remotely memorable about this one.
Amber Clarke is about to marry Owen Mathison and she is happy, even when Owen’s mother is an unlikable control freak. Her friends throw her a bachelorette party before the big day and bring in some male strippers. Not that anything untoward happens during that evening, as Owen’s mother shows up to break up the party, but one of the strippers, Hunter McCain, decides that he and Amber are meant to be and starts to plot in order to make her his.
Despite its Fatal Attraction-like premise, there is no cheating and Owen is soon in on the whole thing as Amber, he, and her friend Taryn attempt to figure out Hunter’s real identity and motivations. In a way, I like that Hunter has a motive than goes beyond crazy fellow in love at first sight, but his motivation is linked to a series of events that happened prior to this movie and are revealed in a rushed and hence eye-rolling manner.
However, the biggest failing of this movie is the overall dullness of the majority of the cast member. Rachele Brooke Smith is the only one who looks like she isn’t held on set with a sniper aiming at her back at all times – everyone else has this awkward stiffness in their line delivery and acting that makes me wonder just whether they are trying to blink some kind of SOS code to the viewer. Tyler Johnson, as the villain, is neither sexy nor interesting in his role – Hunter is just blah and bland through and through – while those folks playing Amber and Owen are forgettable.
The pacing is also off. For a thriller, the movie moves at an implausibly idyllic pace, with much of the actual dramatic moments crammed into its last twenty or so minutes, and even then, these moments only happen because everyone in the movie is being an idiot. The “climactic scene” is so badly executed, I actually laugh out loud in an embarrassed manner, although I’m still not shame whether I’m ashamed for myself, for having watched it, or for everyone involved in this movie for being so bad in it.
Psycho Stripper is another one of those generic movies telling women not to do bad things, although given that Amber really didn’t do anything to get Hunter’s attention, I’m not sure what the bad thing here is. Is this one saying that women shouldn’t be within twenty feet of a male stripper? It doesn’t matter, the real lesson here is that folks shouldn’t be within twenty feet of this dud.
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