Strippers Vs Werewolves (2012) is annoyingly dull


I’ve rewritten this intro three times because I’ve been trying to find a way to make the review interesting. This means that I’ve probably put more effort into talking about this film than went into the decision process for its script or direction. I did this because I was trying to be upbeat, and negativity isn’t that much fun, as I want my audience to enjoy itself. Again, this is clearly something the people behind this film weren’t that concerned with.

That basic premise is, all be told, perfectly fine. A stripper accidentally kills a client who is getting a little too handsy due to turning into a werewolf, so their pack decides to take revenge but the strippers fight back. Whilst I personally wouldn’t have considered what is essentially an innocent workers’ vs violent gangsters’ story, with a bit of Romeo and Juliet haphazardly thrown in, the ideal setting for this kind of thing had a lot of potential to be interesting and have some social commentary. Maybe something about two groups living similarly hidden lives, or sex workers facing the dangers of excess, consumptive masculine behavior. But that would have taken some effort so it doesn’t.

She’s in a red hood, like Little Red Riding Hood. You know, who went up against a wolf, and these are werewolves!
Fuck me, I’m a genius!!

What you have instead is an opening so keen to get to the plot that uses captions rather than even rudimentary dialogue, followed by a first act that establishes the werewolves as bad by having them be violent, cannibalistic perverts and the strippers as good by being edgy and gasp showing them as real people doing a job. The girls are all pleasant, with allowances for slight ditzy comedic touches. The boys are degenerate psychopaths and far too stupid to have survived undetected in a forest for three minutes, let alone be running around London in a pack.

Fun fact: That’s Steven Berkoff’s actual agent in that bag

The middle section is painfully, achingly slow, and takes up the bulk of the running time. It has the odd moments when the script allows the cast to do anything interesting, but they are all made frustratingly irrelevant through savage foreshadowing and signposting of how those side plots will work out. Mostly it’s just dull stodge that has any sense of tension or intrigue beaten out of it with precision indifference. We are also introduced to Sinclair: Occult Investigator, who appears to be in a significantly better movie, made by people who give a damn, that we only get to see five minutes of. Bela Lugosi’s Shed Film Club has a maxim about bad movies; Don’t remind us of a better film we could be watching. This film goes one step further and dangles us the bastard thing right in front of us.

Excerpt from the much better film we don’t get to see enough of.

Eventually, things finish pissing away our time and we get to the finale, which is pants and nonsensical. People we are supposed to care about die for pointless reasons, any internal logic heads out of a smoke, and the who thing eventually ends because that’s just an awkward inevitability. Then it starts up again to land on a final, incredibly weak and cringy gag. It also does a post-credits scene to line up a sequel, which you will psychically will into not happening out of pure spite for what you have just seen.

Awwww, cute little puppy

 

The only truly impressive thing about this film, other than how quickly it becomes apparent that they blew all the cash on “Hungry Like The Wolf” for the opening credits and trailer, is how awful a result they get out of the cast. Robert Englund, Sarah Douglas, Steven Berkoff, Barbara Nedeljáková, Alan Ford, and even Marin Kemp have done significantly better work in crappy genre movies, but here they are universally flat and uninspiring. Similarly, Ali Bastian, Martin Compston and Adele Silva can all act and do funny, but the brief glimpses of that seem to be by accident rather than design. When that much talent produces so many consistently bad performances, you can only blame the people behind the camera.

This scene was built up for an hour, then just buggered off into nothingness. Thus it’s a perfect encapsulation of the whole movie

As a horror it just maybe succeeds, if you have incredibly low standards. The effects aren’t bad in themselves; however, they are very poorly shot all the way through. Other films have used worse make-up to great effect by taking care about how much you see of them and for how long. This film couldn’t be bothered to make that effort, so you get fully light, extended sequences of people in masks in the middle of the camera. Similarly, it mostly fails as a comedy, other than a couple of funny bits that seem to have slipped past the editors’ determination to strangle any jokes at the moment of delivery. It has plenty of amusing ideas and set ups, it’s just that none of them land and eventually you give up the will to giggle. The best bits are Sinclair and his occult adventures, but when they finally kick in it’s just rubbing salt into the wound.

“Did I leave the gas on?”

Even anyone who wants a bit of an ogle will be disappointed, as none of the cast do especially convincing jobs as strippers. They mostly stay inside their skimpy costumes, giving the odd gyration and wiggle but mostly looking like they’re going to fall over their stilettos and do themselves a nasty. Props have to be given for recreating the authentic strip club experience though, in that things are desperately unsexy, no one appears to be having any real fun, and you’ll want to wash yourself afterward. Unsurprisingly this was rated Trash, with almost no redeeming qualities to speak of. This is annoying, as there is enough potential in the cast and concept that with relatively minor amounts of actually giving a monkeys, it could have been passably okay. Obviously, no one sets out to make a bad movie, but the complacency and disinterest shown here suggest that some people are utterly indifferent to the quality of end result.

The Raggedyman

1 thought on “Strippers Vs Werewolves (2012) is annoyingly dull

  1. Pingback: Vamp (1986) | Trash or Treasure

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