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All Strippers Must Die! (2012)

DVD Cover (Wild Eye Releasing)
Genres / Traits:
Haunted House Film, Horror, Sex Horror, Supernatural Horror, Strippers, Cinéma Vérité
Director:
Charles Webb Charles Webb
Starring:
Ed Bowers Ed Bowers
Genna Darling Genna Darling
Mike Gleason Mike Gleason
Debra Lamb Debra Lamb
Trevor O'Donnell Trevor O'Donnell

3.5 / 10 - Overall Rating

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A group of young horror filmmakers decide to film in a strip club that was once a famed movie palace, with a deadly and haunted history. Soon, the spirits that inhabit the building possess the unsuspecting dancers and all hell breaks loose on the dance floor as the strippers seek fresh blood and souls. --IMDb
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Review by Chad
Added: August 23, 2014
Once again, we find ourselves with another movie that I picked up solely based on that title and DVD cover. The G-String Horror. Monstrous, well-endowed strippers with a taste for blood. I mean, how bad could it be, right? I soon discovered that this was not just a cheap exploitation piece, as those details may lead one to believe, but that it actually had a little substance going for it. It's another one of those mockumentary horror flicks purporting to be "real" footage of ghosts and spirits and such, and it takes place in a theater that is supposedly haunted in real life. Oh, and it has strippers in it. If that doesn't sound like a recipe for a fun movie, then I don't know what is.

Taking place in a Sid Grauman movie palace turned strip club in San Francisco, now known as the Market Street Cinema, the film is a "documentary" put together by director Charles Webb, who has heard the legends of ghostly occurrences at this place. A stripper named Baby Doll (Natasha Talonz) was murdered there in the seventies, a fire broke out and killed another stripper (Genna Darling) and a janitor, and there have been all sorts of weird events in the building ever since. We get interviews with the various people working in the building, including numerous strippers, members of management, maintenance men, and of course, owner Big Mike (Mike Gleason).

What follows is footage of what Charles and his psychic friend Lady Zee (Debra Lamb) found over the course of the next few days, and as expected, it quickly ramps up in intensity. It begins innocently enough: the various interview subjects discuss things that they have seen and heard in the building, such as strippers who appear and disappear, weird sounds in the basement, ghostly footsteps, that sort of thing. They then learn about Baby Doll's fate, they discover that she may be the one haunting the place, and then they find that she's not exactly a nice spirit. And then there's something about a gypsy spirit living in there with magic crystals, which... yeah. I don't know, either.

The G-String Horror follows the Paranormal Activity style of storytelling, which should be a strong starting indicator as to whether or not you'd enjoy the movie. It's slow-paced, with a lot of it taking place through the lens of a shakicam, and the starting scares are nothing to brag about - just a bunch of little, spooky things that set out to create an atmosphere rather than scare the shit out of you right off the bat. It's a method of telling a story that has been done before, and - good or bad - you'll enjoy it about as much here as you did in those other movies.

What did shock me about the movie was the lack of exploitation sleaze found within. Given the title and concept, I sort of expected this to be a softcore horror hybrid, perhaps with more of an emphasis on the former than the latter. That's actually pretty far from the case. Yes, there are strippers, and yes, there are some boobies on display - though not as many as you'd expect. Some of them do come from leading lady Natasha Talonz, who I will admit was the one who drew my attention to the film in the first place. With that said, the film focuses much more on the horror side of things than the sleaze. There's just enough exploitation material to establish that, yes, this is a strip club with working strippers, and that the main ghost was a stripper back when she was alive, but that's all that is given... and truthfully, that's all that was needed.

Now, onto the horror side of things. I thought that the storyline as presented here was alright. It's supposedly based on true events, but I have no idea how much of that is legitimate and how much of it was movie marketing fluff. It's a real theater with a real history, but as for the supernatural side of things... I have no idea. Regardless, it's an interesting story, and that's all that matters, right? Well, I will say that I felt that it moved a little too slow at times. Now, keep in mind that I enjoyed the slow-burning nature of the aforementioned Paranormal Activity and the various sequels and knockoffs, so it's not the style itself that bothered me. It's just that there are stretches of film where nothing much is going on and the story is not being progressed. I'm fine with the filmmakers starting out with "small" scares and working their way up, but that escalation moved a little too slow in my eyes.

On the positive side of things, I felt that most of the actors were great in their roles. They are supposed to be average, ordinary people recounting tales of things that they have seen in this building, and for the most part, they all seemed perfectly natural. There were very few instances where it seemed like somebody was reading a script or rehashing lines that they were given, and it genuinely seemed like these people were talking about things that they themselves had witnessed. That added a nice layer of believability to the film, even when things were moving along at a slow pace. I did think that some of the stuff with the psychic and the gypsy spirit were a little cheesy, but the former was required to move things along and the latter wasn't a huge part of the movie, so those are minor gripes.

Overall, I thought that it was an average enough film. I can't really sit here and gush about it or recommend that you rush out to purchase a copy, but I'm not going to slam it as garbage either. The more dedicated fans of these types of movies will get some degree of enjoyment out of it, there's no denying that, but the casual fans and haters will probably want to pass on it. It's pretty good, but it's certainly not going to be the one to convert you into a believer. Personally, I'm going with a 6/10. It's slightly above average and possibly worth a watch, but it's not an essential viewing either.
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