A young woman starting a new life is forced to take extreme measures against those around her after things go violently awry.
When in doubt about “Strip Club Massacre,” keep repeating “blood and boobs” to yourself and you will find the experience quite rewarding. The first-time effort by director/writer Bob Clark (not the Bob Clark who made “Porky’s” and “A Christmas Story”) and screenwriter Bruce Kilroy, “Strip Club Massacre” is a twisted little film that offers the audience a snapshot of one demented world. The movie lives the type of exploitation promised by its title and that’s high praise from coming from this critic. I haven’t seen this type of debauchery in a recent film in a year or two.
“Strip Club Massacre” follows the story of Megan (Alicia Watson), a customer service representative who gets fired from her job and discovers her boyfriend is cheating on her with the landlord, all in the same day. Megan moves in with her best friend Amanda (Courtney Riggs) who is dating Bobby (Stefan Rollins), the manager of a strip club. First starting as a bartender and quickly becoming a stripper, Alicia Watson in her first starring role carries on the long line of powerhouse women in revenge films. There is a strength in Watson that reminds me of Camille Keaton in “I Spit on Your Grave,” perhaps the most famous lead role in these types of film.
Megan becomes involved in the violent and slimy strip club world almost by pure accident. There are a handful of other denizens in this world including the violent strip club owner that befriends Megan, and a vindictive cocaine-addicted stripper who turns tricks on the side. The film builds towards Megan (and ultimately Amanda), teaming up to take revenge on the strip club’s workers after Megan is violently raped.
There are some strange scenes in the film that will likely take some time before you can forget. Two of the best scenes occur towards the end of the film. In one scene, a man’s penis is bitten off and tossed around like a hacky sack. In a second scene, a man is anally gruesomely penetrated with a metal bar. The film ends with Megan and Amanda hellbent on a path of destruction. “Strip Club Massacre” is one long dark night of the soul.
I get the impression that this movie will be viewed as “just” another low-budget, strange horror film by many. But that type of dismissal does a disservice to how truly strange and peculiar the movie is. I would go so far as to say that Clark and Kilroy are two of the promising hopes for these types of sick and twisted little horror films. I’m interested to see the second project that the pair puts together. With a knack for casting strong female roles and an ability to come up with jarringly violent scenes, there’s no telling what type of horrific tale this duo will cook up together (or separately) in the future. Within the conventions of the genre, “Strip Club Massacre” is a massive success.
In theaters and on VOD May 2nd