Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Peelers: Zombies in a Strip Club

We know from Train to Busan a speeding bullet train is the worst possible place for a zombie apocalypse. In contrast, a divey roadhouse strip joint ought to be a relatively advantageous spot. It is relatively isolated, with plenty of parking and no spying neighbors. However, its strict “no touching” policy will go out the window when the infected hordes attack in SevĂ© Schelenz’s Peelers (trailer here), which releases today on VOD, from Uncork’d Entertainment.

This was always supposed to be the club’s last night, at least under the management of Blue Jean (don’t call her “BJ,” unless you want some serious bruising). She was forced to sell out to an obnoxious local developer with mysterious plans for the property. Presumably Blue Jean will survive. She still hurls a mean fastball and drives a current issue police patrol motorcycle, but her torch-carrying bouncer Remy will miss seeing her every night.

Of course, personal dramas will have to be put on hold (perhaps forever) when four miners start acting crazy violent. Apparently, they were contaminated with some sort of petroleum-based zombie pathogen. Rather inconveniently, they start acting ultra-aggressive and they won’t stay dead.

Oddly enough, Peelers is a little slow out of the blocks, but it offers a few clever twists on the zombie genre, in accordance with the properties of oil. Obviously, Peelers is tailored-made for VOD, but most of the strip club business is played for American Pie-style laughs rather than erotic titillation (which is probably true of most strip clubs in the boondocks).

Look, you know what you’re getting here, but for what it’s worth, Wren Walker shows real, potential movie star presence as Blue Jean. She also develops some rather pleasant chemistry with Caz Odin Darko’s Remy. Momona Komagata adds a further bit of empowerment to the mix as Frankie, the stripper Remy was teaching martial arts. Unfortunately, the rest of her colleagues are shallow stereotypes, at best.

This isn’t even the first undead exotic dancer movie (hello, Zombie Strippers with Robert Englund and Trump super-fan Jenna Jameson), but the basic concept is pretty bullet-proof. Peelers is often amusing and it is arguably smarter than its predecessors. Recommended for zombie fans in the mood for a meathead movie, Peelers releases today on VOD platforms, including iTunes.