Monday, 12 November 2012



Deep down, you know it. You know going in that it isn't going to pretty, it isn't going to be pleasant, it isn't going to be funny or scary or sexy and it sure as hell isn't going to be any good. Look at the poster. Look at the title. Do you see Judi Dench anywhere in the cast? Has there been talk of Academy nominations or a Royal Film Performance? How much lower can your expectations go? But to say that these factors don't apply with what is in essence a trashy, jokey exploitation movie is to miss the point. We're still being charged real money for this: to see it in a cinema (the UK box-office take was reportedly just £38, but then the cinema release was merely a publicity stunt for the DVD), to rent it, stream it or (insanely) to actually purchase it, yours to keep forever. It doesn't matter whether it's the RSC doing Lear at the National or the Bognor Regis Amateur Operatics Society doing The Mikado in a scout hut: if they're charging money then some semblance of professionalism is demanded.

Strippers Vs. Werewolves is a cheap and shoddy piece of unprofessional rubbish that couldn't be more blatantly moronic if it was wearing a beanie hat with a propeller on it; it's made by people who haven't the faintest idea what they're doing and who, for the good of the horror genre (and humanity in general) need to be slapped and told not to do this kind of thing again. Essentially we're back in Dead Cert territory (that wasn't a good idea then, and it sure as hell isn't now), except that it's werewolves this time: a pack led by Billy Murray and Martin Compston and their halfwitted associates (usually found wanking over naked women through the two-way mirror in the lingerie shop next door) come up against the performers at Sarah Douglas' (!!!!) strip club when one of them kills a punter (Martin Kemp for twenty seconds) with a silver pen in the eye. And one of them - Compston's girlfriend - might be turning into a werewolf herself....

Steven Berkoff and Lysette Anthony turn up for pointless cameos, Robert Englund has a bit as a convicted werewolf banged up in HM Chaney Prison. That might be an injoke on the original Wolf Man Lon Chaney, as might the music score being credited to one Neil Chaney (although he also did the music for Martin Kemp's Stalker). And apparently there are references to An American Werewolf In London and The Monster Squad (though I missed them) as well as a clumsily shoehorned mention of producer Jonathan Sothcott's Airborne, which to be fair was rather fun. But namechecking other, indisputably better movies is a risky proposition unless your own movie is pretty good in its own right and Strippers Vs. Werewolves really isn't. Rather it's one of the most depressing unlikeable and tiresome movies of the year.

Acting is terrible, writing is really terrible, and the directing (Jonathan Glendening, who'd already done a more-or-less passable werewolf movie in 13 Hrs) is all over the place, with fadeouts between scenes, pointless split screen effects, drawings instead of shots and repeated use of a "Meanwhile..." caption - in Comic Sans no less! The final confrontation in the strip club is artlessly staged, and both the horror and smut lack any kind of impact throughout. Most of all, it's boring and it's tiresome and you just want the sodding thing to end so you can get on with something more rewarding like punching yourself in the face. Strippers Vs. Werewolves genuinely gives horror cinema, British cinema, and movies in general a bad name: it's stupid, it's not funny, it's not even competent. If this sort of tedious wank fodder for the undiscriminating halfwit is the best Sothcott and his cronies can do, maybe they shouldn't bother.


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