Blue Jean (Walker) is a former baseball player who has been eking out a living as the owner/proprietor of an unremarkable strip club on the outskirts of a small town that’s seen better days. Things ain’t what they used to be and there’s no living to be made for Blue Jean, so she has decided to sell up and get out of the business. It’s closing night at her club, as Blue Jean’s handing over ownership to someone else, and it’s the usual run of booze and boobs until she can clear out. That is until a group of dirty miners turn up, celebrating a discovery of ‘oil’ and bringing with them a disease that turns its victims into violently crazed murderers. From that point on, those that are not infected must do whatever it takes to survive and escape.
There are a lot of fluids in Peelers, especially from the oily killers, the copious blood and a few effectively gory-on-the-cheap set-pieces. It’s full fat hard cheese, too. The absurdity of what takes place is not lost on the filmmakers, and the movie knows exactly what it is, with humour (most of it very much on purpose) sprinkled liberally throughout. We spend a little bit of time with the girls that dance and the guys that watch over them as the night initially plays out. It has got strippers as main characters, and there’s a few dance routines, one with an ending America’s newest president would certainly not approve of. We don’t really get to know anyone though before things kick off, because while it seems about the breasts, Peelers is also about the gruesome. Once the infection has started spreading, naked flesh is forgotten as one after another meets a grisly end.
This is not a badly made film, competently put together as it is, but it’s not a good film either. It’s not involving in respect of making you care about anyone. Performances range from the level you’d expect to awkward glances at the camera. The writing mixes up its jokes with an over abundance of swearing that gets tiresome. For all the surface gore on display, it’s actually somewhat timid when it comes to showing too much. It ticks every box along it’s way to doing everything you think it will, even adding in a little X-Files conspiracy for good measure. You’re not going to find anything new here at all and it frequently feels at least a little laboured, arguably cynically so.
Still, Walker makes a winning hero and despite it being really nothing special, it’s hard to dislike a film so brazen in its pursuit of a late night audience.
PEELERS / CERT: TBC / DIRECTOR: SEVÉ SCHELENZ / SCREENPLAY: LISA DEVITA / STARRING: WREN WALKER, CAZ ODIN DARKO, MADISON J. LOOS / RELEASE DATE: OFFICIAL UK RELEASE TBA