Strippers vs. Werewolves (2012)
Director: Jonathan Glendening
Writers: Pat Higgins and Phillip Barron
Starring: Adele Silva, Sarah Douglas, Nick Nevern, and a cameo by Robert Englund.

The Plot: Strippers vs. Werewolves is the story of Justice (Adele Silva), a young stripper trying her best to make a living. While giving a private dance for some random goon, her vision of the world is completely turned upside down. The vagrant who has paid to watch her dance begins to transform into a werewolf. A small tussle ensues and Justice stabs him in the eye with a silver fountain pen. Her boss, Jeanette, quickly figures out that this man was actually a werewolf. Due to her experience with werewolves in the past, Jeanette realizes that the body needs to be dumped asap. She uses Franklin, the muscle of the club, to bash out this dead man’s teeth and dump the body without leaving any clues as to how his life came to an end. At the same time that this happens, we are introduced to a group of werewolves who live only to cause absolute chaos. Roaming around town like a gang, we see this group cause a decent amount of mayhem while searching for their now-deceased werewolf brother. They do eventually find his body, but from here their search has only just started. They are now deadset on fighting the person responsible for the death of their friend. However, one member of this gang might have a slight conflict of interest. As it turns out, the gang-member named Scott also happens to be Justice’s very own boyfriend. She doesn’t know that her boyfriend is a walking dog monster, but after biting into him during a voracious afternoon quickie, it seems that she may have accidentally infected herself with the curse. What will happen as this situation escalates? Will the werewolves discover that Justice was the one who killed their friend? Will Justice be turned to a creature of the night? Only time will tell!

The Review
To be completely honest, I never expected that I would be covering Strippers vs. Werewolves here on Varied Celluloid. It isn’t a typical selection for me, but typical isn’t always the correct choice to make. Ever since Zombies vs. Strippers first hit the home-video market, there have been numerous other movies that have attempted to bring together the worlds of erotic dancing and horror cinema. This strange concoction should be moderately expected, as it appeals to the requisite nudity and gore found in modern horror, but at the same time it is quite the bizarre little idea. Sure, the movie gives the perfect setting for a horror movie. The dancing and the bare breasts are perfect ways to appeal to horror movie fans, but then when you throw in a moderate amount of bloody violence you come up with something that should be a guaranteed success. In the case of Strippers vs. Werewolves, the movie throws in a few extra variables that makes it stand out from the rest. An English film with a hint of stylish pizazz, this is a title that certainly doesn’t look to make its name by being wholly dedicated to genre archetypes. It isn’t a game changer, but Strippers vs. Werewolves is a fun film that certainly has its own positive merits.

Being a British film, Strippers vs. Werewolves was destined to have a very unique aura surrounding it. Simply being from the UK gives the movie its own look and feel that differs from the American counterparts that have attempted to fill out this “genre.” I know that I won’t be the first or last person to make the comparison, but there are certainly a few moments throughout the film that exude a very “Guy Ritchie” vibe. Primarily, the only valid comparison comes from the fact that the movie travels at a ridiculous pace and it features some editing that can certainly be seen as Ritchie-esque. The opening for the movie, where the camera pans over various characters inside the club while subtitles pop up featuring their names, is certainly familiar to those who remember the epic introduction to Snatch. There are numerous other stylish moments throughout the movie that seem as if they could at least come from a point-of-inspiration that harkens back to Ritchie’s work. In another larger, albeit very general, similarity, Strippers vs. Werewolves does feature some fairly smart dialogue. Similar to Ritchie or even Keven Smith, the movie dishes out some very snappy dialogue. Unlike the American counterparts that I have seen, there is a definitive focus on quality within this movie and thankfully it does not rely on its role as a “b-movie” in order to make a generally poor piece of work.

For those who keep tabs on this website regularly, you may have picked up on the fact that I am not a “sex for the sake of sex” kind of viewer. As odd as it may be for a fan of exploitation cinema, simple nudity is rarely a reason that I will search out a movie. However, I am a red-blooded male, so I do appreciate the female form. While it may not play a massive part in the way I rate a movie, I do appreciate looking at a beautiful woman. Particularly in a state of undress. However, unlike some viewers who walk into a movie named Strippers vs. Werewolves, I won’t be completely bummed out if I don’t get a fair number of naked females. At this point, you can probably imagine what I am going to say next. Indeed, Strippers vs. Werewolves is far from the sleaze-filled classic that its title seems to elude to. Sure, there are numerous nude sequences throughout the movie, but for the most part they are provided by secondary cast members. The leads remain clothed for the most part, and there are very few sex scenes during the course of the film. Most cast members do wear some fairly revealing clothes, but when one sees a title featuring the word “stripper,” the viewer’s mind probably doesn’t go to “skimpy clothing.” For the most part, it seems safe to say that this film is relatively tame for a “stripper” movie.

In many ways the movie is just a retelling of classical genre tropes. The traditional view of lycanthropy is certainly in effect within this movie. Survivors can either wait until sunlight or end the lives of a werewolf by using a silver bullet. The movie also features a subplot where our lead character is poisoned with the disease and we get to see how that will unravel. This is a subplot that is reminiscent to many vampire stories, but it is something seldom seen within werewolf stories of this sort. These genre tropes, for the most part, are not a detriment to the film. I am a big fan of keeping traditions up within these classic monster movies, especially when it comes to the traditional weaknesses. Yet, the movie does try to introduce its own elements as well. For example, the werewolves have the ability to morph between their wolf and human form whenever they wish. The werewolf design is fairly original as well. The design of the werewolves is fairly sparse in comparison to many other titles, and the FX work mostly focuses on facial makeup. There are no elongated transformation sequences and I am kinda thankful for that. This saves us from one more cliche that wasn’t needed, and the werewolves seem slightly more threatening due to the speed in which they are able to transform.

The Conclusion
Despite the movie being a bit low on actual stripping, it does make up for it by featuring the massive battle between strippers and werewolves that the title implies. Despite all of the silliness, Strippers vs. Werewolves is a relatively fun piece of genre cinema. Although there are painful moments throughout, the inclusion of a fantastic Robert Englund cameo during the back end of the movie, as well as the actual strippers vs. werewolves battle, is enough to win over any audience members looking for mindless fun. For all intents and purposes, this is genuine b-moviemaking, but it should prove to be a fun viewing for most horror fans. I give it a three out of five. There’s nothing amazing to be found here, but there’s nothing wrong with a little harmless fun.

Strippers vs. Werewolves has been released on DVD and Bluray via Wellgo USA and should be available in most major retail outlets.