“Stripped to Kill II: Live Girls” is a disappointing sequel that isn’t as sleazy or entertaining as the original.
THE PLOT: Shady (Maria Ford) is a dancer at a strip club called Paragon who suffers from nightmares of murder. She wakes from her nightmares covered in blood and soon the victims in her dreams, fellow dancers from the club, start turning up dead. A sleazy detective tries to solve the mystery and begins an affair with the unstable Shady.
“Stripped to Kill II” could have been good…any film involving a psycho killer stalking dancers at an 80’s strip club has potential to be sleazy and cheesy fun. But Katt Shea aims for a more serious and edgy tone this time around and the film fails miserably. There is zero tension, no bloodletting, and the dance routines are almost too bizarre to be erotic. Almost.
“Stripped to Kill II” still features plenty of T&A but the acting this time around is TERRIBLE! Now don’t get me wrong, the original didn’t have academy award worthy performances but at least the characters were likeable and the acting was solid for an exploitation slasher. Kay Lenz was the shining star in the original and made for a fine protagonist. This time around we get Maria Ford (Slumber Party Massacre III) as our lead girl and she has zero charisma and no acting talent. Her performance is laughably bad and almost KILLS the film. I mean, she could be one of the worst lead actresses I’ve ever seen in an 80’s horror film. Her character isn’t the least bit likeable and I kept rooting for her to be the killer so she would die in the end. Her lion taming strip scene is memorable though. And Ford's hair is god awful! She single handedly depleted the ozone layer styling with hair spray for this movie.
The identity of the killer is easy to spot as well. So there isn’t much mystery or intrigue to the film. The first film had an epic twist ending that I kind of saw coming. In “Stripped to Kill II” the ending is abrupt and anti-climatic. The dancers aren’t as attractive this time around and why is there never any patrons in the club?
The film has a few positives though…like Jeannine Bisignano (Michael Madsen’s ex-wife) who does a great striptease and has a killer rack. And the film features a lush, neon palette. But the body count is low, the excitement is lame, and the exploitation elements are downplayed. I’d say pass on this turkey. But it’s hard to pass on a film that features 80’s chicks dancing topless.
“Stripped to Kill II” features sex in an alley, a throat slashing, falling corpses, terrible music, a school girl striptease, a red herring DJ, and razor blade kisses.
New Horizon/85 mins