In all my days I would never consider the exotic profession of a stripper to be a bad thing. These (sometimes) youthful ladies contribute to society just like the rest of us and perform a gentleman’s entertainment that will forever be the loner’s safe-haven and open ear to deaf, faux sympathizers. Director Sean Skelding sees the pole dancing society to be the evilest place on the face of the earth as his film, Stripperland, has strippers from all shapes and sizes, dolled up in cheesy outfits, run an undead amok eating the guts of the living and mindlessly dancing to hip-hop music.
Idaho is an annoying college kid who lives by a set of exotic dancer rules that help him survive a world of undead, flesh eating strippers. He meets Frisco, a man on a mission to destroy every stripper that steps in his path and to fulfill an obsession for home made baked goods, and they embark on a journey to Oregon, but before they arrive, West and Virginia, two uninfected females, trek with them in search for their Grambo.
Sean Skelding has a vision and that vision is to recreate that vision in a parody. Stripperland parodies Ruben Fleischers’s 2009 Zombieland and, in all honestly, doesn’t do it very well. Having strippers only come back to life to eat the living doesn’t make much sense to me; to have them dance to hip-hop music and crave one dollar bills as a distraction ploy has the same effect. I get it, Skelding, Strippers are the epitome of mindless drones who seek nothing but sparkly objects, a fistful of George Washingtons and just want to dance all night long. This concept could have been done with another storyline; why use Zombieland’s premise? Stripperland isn’t a soul sucker of only Fleischer’s zomedy as it mocks a bit of Zombie Strippers (for obvious reasons) and Romero’s Day of the Dead (with Thom Bray as Dr. Logan).
The cast doesn’t thrill me at all. I’m not a huge fan of Jesse Eisenberg; in fact, I think he is a dick and rips off the hipster kid personalty too much from Michael Cera, but his clone in Stripperland Ben Sheppard nearly pulls off a perfect impersonation of Eisenberg’s clueless attitude toward life while Skelding writes the character as a windbag full of useless information. Tallahassee’s character is turned into Frisco (as in San Francisco) and has been totally raped. Nothing against actor Jamison Challeen, but trying to recreate the character that Woody Harrelson has laid down is quite the feet and giving the character cheesy one-liners aids my case even more. The characters who really do it for me are West and Virginia, played by Ileana Herrin and Maren McGuire. These babes are different from the Zombieland’s con artist duo and while West kicks major zombie ass with her duel machetes, Virginia has the looks of a goddess. Both ladies grace us with a strip performance, but give nothing more past their gaudy clothing line.
With a film that mocks Zombieland, the over-the-top blood and guts routine would be also implemented. There was a plenty of CGI violence; it is a true shame that practical special effects are being obsolete and disregarded from the work bench. What I am impressed with is the amount of extras to play strippers; there had to be quite a few extras as I tried to look for duplicates. Unless the makeup and wardrobe department reworked all their extras for individual scenes, I couldn’t pick up duplicate strippers to save my skin.
This isn’t Skelding’s first rodeo with recreating a hit film. Skelding directed the I Am Legend parody entitled I Am Virgin; I bet you can guess what that entails. What Stripperland has going for it is few and far between, but the film does manage to pull in some high grade b actors to make cameos: Troma’s Lloyd Kaufman, Daniel Baldwin (Vampires), Thom Bray (Prince of Darkess), Boyd Banks (Snyder’s Dawn of the Dead) and Linnea Quigley (Return of the Living Dead). Stripperland lacks humor and originality, but the head severing, shotgun blasting scenes make worthy of our Cheezy Flicks viewing pleasure.