In a private burlesque parlor in Hollywood, performers and VIP clients face off with a zombie attack. Directed by Staci Layne Wilson from her own screenplay based on a story by Lony Ruhmann, Fetish Factory mixes burlesque dances and performers with end of the world and zombie tropes for a fun result. Staci Layne Wilson takes the zombies sub-genre that is all over the place lately and focuses it by bringing her personal touch to it and adding a varied group of beauties to fight them off. Granted, this in and of itself is nothing new (we’ve seen hotties and strippers fight zombies before) but her usage of actual burlesque performers and actresses adds to this in a way that changes from the usual boobs and blood route these films take.
Yes, there are ample bosoms and behinds on display but that is not all the film is about. Her group of ladies works together and brings something extra. She also brings a few newer ideas to the zombie tropes which helps the film not feel stale. Helping this is Fetish Factory’s cast led by Carrie Keagan as Bettie who does well and is charming as can be. Stealing the spotlight when they are on screen are Tristan Risk as Tristan giving the best burlesque performances of the bunch and Jenimay Walker as Rosie who has a great screen presence and gives a fun performance. Also giving a performance worth noting is Diana Ayala Goldner, a regular of Ms. Wilson’s work, as hostess and boss Irma who brings a sass and humor to her part.
As this is a zombie film, the design of the zombies as well as their effects is important. The special effects here are done under the supervision of Vincent J. Guastini and look good on a low budget. The zombies are simple but they work as infected undead people. They do not create a new breed of zombies but have a couple of newer things in their look which brings some originality to an often overdone creature/horror film baddies. The film has two very distinctive looks, one for outside the house, on the streets of Hollywood, and one for the inside of the house where the VIP burlesque shenanigans and zombie mayhem.
Unfortunately, these two looks feel like they belong in two different films with the sequence at the start, with Bettie heading to work, being too dark, making it look as though the brightness was brought way down on shots otherwise perfectly fine. It does have a feeling of doom but it also takes away from the action and set up. Thankfully, this only lasts for a short time before the action is inside the well-lit house and the viewer is allowed to see all the is going on and the pretty ladies in all their, sometimes topless, glory.
The cinematography by Steve Romano makes the most of what looks to be a cramped but charming location, making it look like a house and not a practically built set on a sound stage. This does add to the tension when the ladies and VIPs find themselves chased by zombies. Fetish Factory has some decent zombie action, beautiful burlesque ladies, is fun and entertaining. It takes the tired zombie sub-genre and adds an easily watchable entry that boasts babes, boobs, and butts, but also good performances and some good old zombie mayhem.