The sophomore film from Sevé Schelenz is an insanely fun and bloody good time
PEELERS is the follow-up film from Sevé Schelenz, who made his writing and directorial debut with the independent cult horror feature SKEW (2011). As we previously told you, PEELERS made its world premiere at the Palm Beach International Film Festival in April. Although I can’t say for certain what the audience reaction was to the film at that time, I can tell you this…I really dug this flick!
The film’s press release describes it as a movie that “destroys the cliché stripper horror sub-genre by giving us a story packed with exciting twists, baseball, strippers of unusual talents and a strong female lead.” From my point of view, that description is entirely spot on.
PEELERS was an extremely enjoyable romp in the realm of boobs, booze, bucks, and inevitable bloodshed. The production value was nothing short of impressive, and it has no shortage of laugh-out-loud moments. Paying tribute to Indie Horror and Women in Horror, in much the same way we strive to do here at Morbidly Beautiful, this micro-budget genre gem was written by Lisa DeVita, from an original story created by her and Director Sevé Schelenz.
It’s the last night of business for this particular strip club, apparently in the middle of nowhere, with its lovable regulars and influx of troublemakers. The tough yet secretly tender owner, Miss Blue Jean, seems to reluctantly sign over the deed to some dipshit in a suit, needing a long overdue hiatus from the skin industry. We are introduced to the clubs employees: the bouncer Remy (Caz Odin Darko), who has a long-standing infatuation with Blue Jean, the smart ass Bartender Tony (Cameron Dent), plus a handful of very colorful and talented dancers — one whom is VERY pregnant.
PEELERS doesn’t just deliver the staple strip club atmosphere, but rather far exceeds it. It’s almost as if DeVita and Schelenz worked in the Industry before, seemingly giving us a first-hand look at the crazy — often hilarious — behind-the-scene club antics. It’s a magnificent blend of blood and humor that rises to damn near CADDYSHACK-like comedy, with a remarkable list of memorable kills and brilliant one liners.
The movie follows the uncompromising study of stripper bar that is clinging to its small town atmosphere, while suffering from the growing infection of the large metropolis that is spreading like virus all around them. A joyful group of miners, who are celebrating their clandestine find, venture to the exotic dance club. Unfortunately, they bring with them much more than high spirits.
The first to succumb out of the group, of course, doesn’t know he will be Ground Zero for some epic gore. We see him escape to the restroom and note his eyes are becoming entirely black. He wretches violently as he spews jet black liquid over a massive portion of the bathroom (bonus points for making me dry heave during this scene). It’s now game on for the individuals within the strip club, as they have to fight for their survival and attempt to keep this violent sickness from spreading out into the rest of the world.
The film has beheadings, newborn baby tossing, stabbings, multiple gunshot wounds, and injuries inflicted by baseballs and baseball bats. Not many are left alive by the end of film, and this is how I like it. PEELERS lovingly reminded me of such ‘stuck in a bar’ horror classics as FEAST and FROM DUSK TIL DAWN, expertly capturing the charm of the witty banter between patrons and employees suddenly stuck in a life and death situation. If you’re not easily offended and enjoy somewhat off-kilter humor, I believe this very well may be a must watch for you.