Review: Peelers

This week FDTC writer Scream King Tom shares his thoughts on Peelers, the newest offering from director Steve Schlenz.

First off, I don’t get the title. A “living dead in the strip club” ala the far superior (in both story and production) “Zombie Strippers”, does “Peelers” refer to skin peeling from the infected ghouls (I didn’t see any)? Or the exotic dancers peeling their clothes off (which there’s quite a bit of)?? I’m confused.

Confused is just one of the ways Director Seve Schlenz’ “Peelers” will make you feel. The comely Wren Walker plays Blue Jean, the scrappy owner of a strip club who is barely keeping things together on closing night. You see, Blue sold out to a corporate fat cat, setting up an “underdog against The Man” sub-plot that goes absolutely nowhere. To further muddle things up, there’s two romantic sub-plots going on between our heroine and Remy (Cadiz Odin Darko—gotta be a stage name, right?), as well as Blue’s dreamy younger brother with-a- criminal-past- but-he’s- really-just- misunderstood and a local sheriff’s deputy. Are you still following along? Do you care??

Somewhere among all of these loose threads, some infected mine workers show up to drink beers and ogle boobs. Apparently they dug something up that was better left buried and soon devolve into flesh eating infected madmen (or mad women, because, if you are still paying attention, this is a strip club). Hackneyed beyond belief, and unintentionally confusing AF, “Peelers” strives to be something it’s not, good. Missed opportunities and poorly executed jump scares are sandwiched between some surprisingly inspired moments of splattery fun and decent effects, only to be drug back down by soap opera quality acting and dialogue.

The cast and crew probably should have went for some of the comedic elements that made the aforementioned “Zombie Strippers” work so well, but instead, the only funny stuff here is the way this stitched together story works, or fails to. “Peelers” just seems unfinished, don’t say I didn’t warn you.