Blue Jean (Wren Walker) is the responsible, self-assured owner of a cosy little strip club on the outskirts of a small town. People come for a night of boozing and entertainment, and leave satisfied. It's a chilled setup, but Blue Jean is no-nonsense when it comes to certain males breaking the rules.
It's an otherwise typical evening, only it's the last before the building is sold off to an eager new proprietor (Al Dales). Business as usual, however, as the bartender serves and the girls prepare to stun; newcomer Tina (Victoria Gomez) is visibly anxious to perform as she watches the earlier dancers of the night.
An altercation over a motorbike and the sudden arrival of police officers searching for a Logan (Madison J. Loos); who has already made an appearance and is hiding in the back; are in fact the least of Blue Jean's worries...
Four laddish Latinos enter the club, keen to drink and celebrate a recent work event. One of them has a large, bloody cut on his knee, but nothing is made of it. Appearing unwell, he rushes to the nearest toilet having felt blood run down his nose; we next see him hallucinating in the mirror. Soon after, he is vomiting violently all over the place, and the next minute, people elsewhere start dying.
As Blue Jean and her workers start to notice the carnage, a contagious virus is believed to be infecting people and turning them into mindless zombies. The only option? To fight back, with anything and everything at their disposal: knifes, baseball bats, chainsaws etc.
The blood spreading and the babes dying, this is a fight that Blue Jean and the staff do NOT want to lose.
Seve Schelenz's zombie flick PEELERS is very fun indeed. It's directed well, has excellent production values, and looks great; the cast are attractive, too. Infrequent use of CGI in place of traditional blood-splattering effects is poor, but fortunately the film has a preference for practical gore (make-up is decent), which renders the aforementioned aspect a small issue that can be overlooked.
Walker is an engaging lead, very sexy and played strongly. A twist to her character shared late on is cool, though totally unsurprising (and it's never brought up again...) There isn't an actor worth criticising here, the mediocre few being saved by Lisa DeVita's tight, genuinely funny script. The laughs are very crude and vulgar (an old lady knits in the audience as her husband enjoys the show; a stripper called 'Thundercunt' farts into a microphone) but never offensive; I had a good time. I was surprised that there were some emotionally-driven scenes scattered here and there, which drifted nicely from the light-hearted climate that dominated. Just shows how well-written the characters were; I cared about them!
Nevertheless, PEELERS is a comedy at heart and sometimes there are moments that aim for higher intelligence than a film with this kind of energy should have; the return of a certain character bringing a revelation about the 'virus' is pure silliness and a waste of time.
Something happens at the very end (literally the last 10 secs) that feels too dark, a quick slap in the face devoid of humour after everything that had come before. It was one way to finish things off, I guess, and certainly daring.
Stick around for a little pre-credits sequence that returns welcomely to this film's roots of tits, ass and humour.
We were sent an online screener of PEELERS for reviewing purposes. PEELERS came to DVD and Blu-Ray on July 4th via Uncork'd Entertainment.
No extras were on hand but I may have to grab a copy myself... it's loaded! Behind the scenes featurettes, gag reel, deleted scenes, a trailer, teaser, a director/writer commentary, and more.
The Blu-Ray release features all of the above as well as: special effects video, festival intro, another behind the scenes vid and a second commentary, this one hosting director Schelenz with his actors.
Flawed but fun, PEELERS is still a great slice of entertainment. Don't take it too seriously and you're in for a good night.
This is one to enjoy.
Review by Elliott Moran
|Released by Uncork'd Entertainment|