When a stripper is startled by a randy werewolf (a blink and miss it cameo from Martin Kemp) during a private dance, she stabs him through the eye with a silver fountain pen. Tina Turner may think that the men who come to these places are all the same, but she failed to account for the fact that even lycanthropes get the horn. Despite trying to dispose of the body discretely – difficult due to the corpse's priapic condition – word leaks out and soon the Silvadollaz club attracts the wrath of a pack of bloodthirsty geezer werewolves.
Made, I can only assume, to appeal to lonely horror geeks surfing Netflix whilse drunk (we’ve all been there), Strippers vs Werewolves (SvsW) is not quite as horrid as it might have been. Director Glendening (fresh off serious werewolf film 13Hrs, aka Night Wolf) manages to make the film look decent on a clearly minuscule budget. However, all the split screen effects in the world cannot disguise a very poor script.
A cheesy and titilating idea like this needed a lot more energy and imagination than screenwriters Higgins and Baron muster. The dialogue lacks wit, the lupine gangsters are barely sketches, let alone characters, and there is barely any plot to speak off. So underpowered is the narrative that the filmmakers attempt to graft on a subplot involving a stripper’s psychic boyfriend fighting some sexy vampire brides (including negligee clad Page 3 model Lucy Pinder). This Blade-esque character is played by a Keith Lemon impersonator. It could have been worse, he could have actually been played by Keith Lemon.
Werewolf films are a difficult genre to pull off at the best of times. Vampires are easy, you just need some plastic fangs and you’re away. Werewolves are much more difficult, which isn’t to say that low budget examples are impossible. Neil Marshall managed to conjure up some impressive examples in Dog Soldiers by opting for the classic transformation behind a sofa trick coupled with good beast make up and by using dancers as performers. I’ll give Glendening the benefit of the doubt here, and say he wasn’t given the time or resources to come up with anything this good.
SvsW doesn’t bother with transformations. You get a shot of Kemp, cutaway to the girl, cut back to Kemp in Wolf-man make up. Yep, this opts for a take on the old fashioned Universal monster style of a loup-garou that basically looks like a guy who has lost touch with his Gillette (although they might still exchange emails). These really are the most pathetic looking werewolves in a long time. In fact, they look uncannily like the comedian Dave Gorman.
SvsW follows the example of other films from the stable of producer Jonathan Sothcott by featuring an array of cameo performers, but as ever none of them feel properly integrated into the film. This time around you will spot Englund hamming it up, Lysette Anthony and Steven Berkoff. There is even a fleeting appearance from genre journalist Billy Chainsaw (putting a better performance than some of the professional cast).
The film’s low budget really bites down hard when it comes to the film’s action scenes, which are virtually non-existent. Given the title of the film, I feel duty bound to say that there isn’t a great deal of stripper action either. Ultimately, the film is goofy, unfunny and not remotely scary. It isn’t any more offensive than a seaside postcard display or any more frightening than a ghost ride on a Southend pier.
I defy any genre fan not to groan in pain wthen one of the werewolves fluffs a pool shot and says: “You made me miss.”