Review: Seve Schelenz’s Peelers

My mind is kind of blown right now, just like it and other things would be at a strip club. I was excited to receive my digital screener of Peelers the other day because I really liked the movie poster. Peelers takes place almost entirely inside a strip club and I’ve seen titles with similar plots before including Strippers vs. Werewolves, Zombie Strippers and Zombies! Zombies! Zombies! So, I went into this particular viewing thinking that I wasn’t going to see anything new, but let me assure you… Peelers is a sleeper hit and it’s the best strip club horror film out there! There’s several reasons why it blows the competition out of the water and I’ll address those in my review below.

Peelers is written, directed, produced and edited by Seve Schelenz with co-writer and co-producer Lisa DeVita. Todd Giroux and Brendan Smith also served as producers with Lindsay George as director of photography and Keir Vichert on special effects. Lead and supporting cast members include Wren Walker, Caz Odin Darko, Madison J. Loos, Cameron Dent, Al Dales Momona Komagata, Kirsty Peters, Nikki Wallin, Victoria Gomez and Rafael Mateo. With my introduction and basic information out of the way, it’s hard for me to dive into my review of Peelers because I enjoyed it so much I don’t know where to start. So, I’ll go with that – the start. From the opening sequence of Peelers, I knew I was in for a wild ride. A hospital patient violently throws up blood and oil before viciously attacking the nursing staff. It’s gory, it’s twisted and it poses the questions of how and why. It’s an effective opening that’s sure to keep viewers interested enough to make it past the starting credits, but wait – there’s more!

As I mentioned, Peelers takes place in a strip club in the middle of the desert. A once thriving establishment, tonight is Titty Ball’s last night of drinks and dancing as its owner, Blue Jean (Wren Walker), sells it to a wanna-be crime lord. The camera work and picture quality continues to be far beyond the titles I previously mentioned and I was impressed by the work the production crew put into this horror flick, and then I was impressed by the script that didn’t lend itself to typical strip club pitfalls. First and foremost, Blue Jean, her bouncer (Caz Odin Darko) and the rest of the staff are far from sleazy. They’re intelligent, witty and endearing – they just happen to work at a strip club! Not only that, but all of the strippers are fairly classy and have attitudes and personalities of their own instead of the “I’m a dumb stripper” personas we see time and time again. Blue Jean is extremely protective of her staff and strippers and it has a low key family atmosphere behind-the-scenes, which makes it harder to see them get torn apart…literally.

And that’s another fucking awesome aspect of Peelers. Peelers doesn’t really fit the zombies because it’s not like they’re peeling off people’s skins. Sliders, perhaps, would have been a better name due to baseballs and a baseball bats being Blue Jean’s first means of defense, having previously been a minor league player of sorts. The zombies in this movie are a cross between the monsters in Stakeland and the people in The Crazies. They’re definitely zombie-like in appearance, but they have the ability to think, they’re quicker and they will kill you with weapons and by any means necessary; though they don’t aim to feed off you. They’re savage and calculated and they’re the perfect zombies without actually being zombies. When you throw them up on the screen with beautiful women in the nude performing exotic strip teases, you get a movie that’s the perfect choice for high school and college aged boys, and anyone who’s looking for a gory, action packed, sexually charged skin flick.

I can’t gush about this movie enough. it completely blew away my expectations. Same as with the camera work, the acting performances from the entire cast were phenomenal. I’ve never seen Wren Walker before, but she was the perfect bad ass that this movie desperately needed. I’ll be looking for her in future films for sure. Wren, along with Caz Odin Darko and Madison J. Loos, were the three leads in Peelers and they did a superb job of carrying the movie. They were also involved in a semi-love triangle, and it is important to know that Peelers has bits of comedy, drama and romance included in the action and violence, but I wasn’t very moved by any of it when you have zombies and boobs on the screen. These strippers are bad ass, the villains are blood thirsty, and this movie is fucking amazing. It’s the best strip club horror film of all time and it raised the bar in this emerging subgenre. You need to see it for yourself. I guarantee you won’t regret it. Final Score: 9 out of 10.

Written by Michael Therkelsen

(Senior Editor)