Strippers vs Werewolves (2012)
Directed by: Jonathan Glendening
Written by: Pat Higgins, Phillip Barron
Starring: Alan Ford, Barbara Nedeljakova, Billy Murray, Lucy Pinder, Lysette Anthony, Martin Compston, Martin Kemp, Robert Englund, Steven Berkoff
Strippers VS Werewolves (2012)
(15) Running time: 94 minutes
Director: Jonathan Glendening
Writers: Pat Higgins, Phillip Barron
Starring: Billy Murray, Robert Englund, Steven Berkoff, Lysette Anthony, Alan Ford, Barbara Nedeljakova, Martin Compston, Sarah Douglas
Reviewed by: Matt Wavish, official HCF critic
If you have picked up this film to rent or buy based on its title, then I imagine you already know what to expect, and any pre-warnings about the films content will probably fall on deaf ears. Basically, no matter what I say here, if the title entices you then no doubt you will watch it anyway. However, be warned that while you will probably be expecting something a little cheesy, a bit rubbish and a bit, well, silly really, I doubt anything will prepare you for how bad this film actually is. I wanted to like it, I really did, but there is only so much bad acting, bad timing and shite effects I can take before I lost patience. See, I love watching B and even Z-movies, so long as the makers embrace the fact they are rubbish and try to have some fun with it. Check out most of the Asylum’s films, or the SyFy originals for proof of how it can be done. Strippers VS Werewolves just doesn’t cut the mustard, and is a painful watch.
The films wafer thin plot see’s a member of a London werewolf clan murdered by a stripper who panics when her client changes into a hairy beast during a private dance. The werewolf is played by Martin Kemp, and this happens in the opening few minutes and to be perfectly honest, I felt physically sick. It was so cringe worthy as Kemp overacts to appear menacing and I quite literally had to look away. The stripper was good looking though, so I had to look back! Anyway, the werewolf clan, lead by Ferris (Billy Murray who for some reason never turns into a werewolf) gets the scent of their members murder and head off hunting the streets of London to find the killer. That is basically it, there are a few love stories thrown in for a bit of help: we have the werewolf member Scott (Compston) who is unknowingly engaged to one of the strippers, who in turn has no idea he is a werewolf. We also have a building love story between a stripper and the clubs tough guy: this is brought to light when she buys him a pair of knuckle dusters, each one engraved with his and hers name, ah sweet! There is other plot devices which are never really explained, like a hatred between Murray’s Ferris and strip club barman Harry (Alan Ford). Finally, and in the films highlight, Robert Englund plays an imprisoned werewolf pack leader by the name of Tapper. He seems slightly unsettled that Ferris is running the pack, however Englunds performance is b-movie gold and he out acts everyone else here. It is an odd thing considering the wealth of talent on offer here: Billy Murray and Alan Ford are considered legends amongst the British film industry, but they embarrass themselves here.
The acting is awful, and feels terribly forced and unwelcome. Each actor does not deliver their lines with any conviction or believability. There may be a few minor moments of good acting (mostly from Compston) but for the most part it was as if the cast just could not be bothered. It is not helped by a dreadful script which attempts to be cool. For instance, a scene where an attack on two strippers is cleverly foiled when one of them uses ultra violet rays to make the werewolves change back to humans, which allows them to shoot a werewolf between the legs, see’s Ferris announce: “I’m gonna kill you so slowly your driving licence will expire before you do” Does that tickle your fancy? Well, how’s this: again involving Ferris as he arrives in a room with some strippers, he announces: “meals on heels” Oh come on now! Another scene see’s Ferris send his pack on the hunt for his friends killer, as he bellows “let the hunt begin” one werewolf begins to walk like a monkey. I presume he is supposed to look like a sort of man-dog, but he just looks ridiculous. See, in the right frame of mind this sort of stuff might be amusing, but I just didn’t get it. The film is played far too serious to ever be taken as simply having fun. Played as a comedy it might have worked, but there are far too many moments where the makers clearly wanted to create a sort of cult film, and failed. The editing doesn’t help either, with any comedy moments usually spoiled by terribly bad timing. The director also employs many 24 type screen edits which do look cool to begin with, but return far too many times and just become gimmicky. The music is painful, with one of the worst examples being when the eventual battle between strippers and werewolves goes ahead, sick bags WILL be needed.
However, saying all that negative stuff makes me feel a little harsh, and there is a small amount to enjoy here. If you enjoy watching beautiful women spending the majority of the film in skimpy outfits or their underwear then you will get your satisfaction here no doubt. If you ARE a fan of awful acting, and cheesy scripts that (in the right frame of mind) CAN make you laugh, then you just might laugh your head off till it bursts. The werewolves themselves look dreadful, however this is the sort of film that if you watch completely drunk, you just might enjoy it. Sadly I watched it sober, and wished I hadn’t watched it at all, sorry about that!