Strippers vs. Werewolves (2011)

I appreciated “Strippers vs. Werewolves” for being just a good enough movie with a lot of fun moments. Surely, it’s not a flawless film, as it aims mainly for cult appeal with goofy comedy, and a meta-format that breaks the fourth wall on occasion. You have to appreciate how writer Phillip Barron tries to inject an interesting story in a movie where you expect nothing but strippers fighting werewolves. To be honest, the fact that there’s an actual story with twists makes up for the fact that a movie with strippers doesn’t actually feature any bare skin at any point.

Set in London, we center on the Silva Dolla strip club, where owner Janette has kept a tight hold on her strippers. On the other side of town, the full moon has set and a group of mobsters that are also werewolves, have begun stalking the night and hunting their rivals. During a strip tease, one of the mobsters becomes over zealous and tries to maul stripper Justice. Having her lucky silver fountain pen in hand, she kills him in self defense, prompting panic from owner Janette. It seems she and the club’s bar tender were in cahoots with the group of lycans at one time, and the mobsters have now become aware that their comrade is dead. As they seek out his body, and try to figure out who murdered him, Janette is preparing to confront the group of vicious predators.

Meanwhile, Justice is still traumatized by the confrontation and is unaware that her boyfriend is a part of the lycan mobster group. To make things worse, he is unaware that Justice is a stripper, and the very stripper that killed his friend. “Strippers vs. Werewolves” gets points for posing an actual narrative and giving as much depth to our villains and heroes as possible. The concept of werewolves in this world isn’t a foreign one, and neither is any other monster for that matter as the strippers themselves garner their own secrets. Stripper Raven, in particular is engaged to a monster hunter, who coaches her on murdering random monsters, and she relies on his expertise to confront the werewolves.

Considering the movie is filled with beautiful women, Barbara Nedeljakova as Raven steals a lot of the scenes, playing a ballsy stripper who uses her relationship with her boyfriend as an advantage. She’s also part of the best scene of the movie, where she stares down the group of lycan mobsters with a shot gun, and slick one-liners. That said, the make up for the werewolves borders on laughable at times, with a lot of focus placed on the face and less on the body, giving the lycans the appearance of bats more than wolves. They only come off as passable villains thanks to the spirited performances by the mobsters. I was also never sure what the sub-plot involving the stripper who wanted to be a magician was leading up to, but it felt like filler. Either that or it was a sub-plot that was abruptly discarded.

Writer Barron builds up to the inevitable war between the strippers and werewolves, testing loyalties, and digging deep in to the club’s history with werewolves. Sarah Douglas has a fine supporting performance as head of the club Janette, who is dying from cancer, and sees the eventual war as a means of redeeming herself. There’s also a surprise walk on from Robert Englund, whose appearance signifies a potential follow-up. Fingers crossed. “Strippers vs. Werewolves” is silly, and is bookended by an inadvertently hilarious final scene, but it’s also fun exploitation with an honest to goodness narrative that builds characters, and momentum for what the title promises.