Peelers started out strong but lost some momentum towards the end. Still, you will see things you probably haven’t before. At least in any horror movie!
Maybe my expectations were too high for Peelers. I thought the trailer looked pretty damn interesting with elements of crude comedy and being an all-out slasher flick. However, while Peelers does deliver on these points, there are a few issues.
Mainly, my issue with this movie is the fact that the female characters keep changing their base persona. One moment they can take on the world and the next they need some guy to save them. I loved the powerful and no-nonsense way the characters acted in the beginning. If this had continued throughout the story, I would’ve loved Peelers.
Also, the humor was spot-on in the beginning. I especially loved the Mexican work crew, who were great friends and teased one another in a great way. The kind of tough love where they clearly care about each other.
Peelers has some very memorable scenes
There’s this drive in Peelers that seems to push it to be more than what the story can deliver on. When the focus is on delivering funny moments and crazy scenes, then it absolutely shines. Those scenes make you think that it could have cult potential.
But towards the ending, there are just too many “bleeding heart” moments and it takes away from the good stuff. It’s hard to enjoy crude and funny humor when suddenly love is professed and the deaths are tragic.
Well, not normally, obviously. However, when ten minutes early people are dying in grotesque ways to make you laugh, then it does send mixed signals, to say the least.
And I have to admit; While Peelers is damn funny and entertaining when is goes rogue, it’s also infuriatingly predictable. You see the stereotypical lines and scenes coming a mile away. You end up just going through the motions and wanting it to be over.
This is a damn shame because there are some awesome moments in between!
The women are the heroes
While women are clearly in charge at first, this seems to change a few times during the story. It’s almost as if someone thought “We better let the men be the heroes as well” about half-way through. And fine, go ahead and let them be heroes. But you do not have to make them strong by making the previously strong women turn into weak and helpless characters.
Even Wren Walker, who plays the main protagonist Blue Jean, is temporarily reduced to a damsel in distress. And let me tell you, Wren Walker does a damn good “badass lady” performance, so there’s absolutely no need for that!
I felt like women were being championed one second and then the next, they were incapable of performing the most simple tasks without help from a male character.
I especially took offense to the clear setup of making the Logan character a hero. He almost took over as the protagonist of the movie despite his role in both the strip club and the story being a decent supporting one at best. No offense to Madison J. Loos who played Logan, but the character was all over the place. Not due to his acting, but because the storyline kept changing who this Logan character was as a person.
And really, everything takes place during one night.
If only Peelers was as awesome as its trailer
Sevé Schelenz directed Peelers and co-authored the story along with Lisa DeVita. The actual script was written by DeVita and while it had some great elements – including various deliciously crude moments – the overall story should’ve been tightened up quite a bit.
If the movie had been a good 15 minutes shorter, it would’ve been a lot stronger. Peelers would have been such an awesome movie if only it has been more like the trailer. The first half almost manages this but the second half definitely isn’t.
This is the writing debut of Lisa DeVita and it’s not without promise, but a good editor would go a long way. The ideas are clearly there. Ironically, Lisa DeVita has been working mostly in the editorial department of quite a few productions. Also, she portrayed a police officer in Peelers, so she’s clearly ready to immerse herself completely into the production.
The ending had me torn. The explanation for what was going on was just stupid. As in it didn’t really make sense. At all. However, the final scene was a great twist. Worthy of the cult status this movie could’ve had, but doesn’t actually deserve in its current state.
Peelers has been playing at genre film festivals for the past year and was released via VOD on March 28, 2017.
Director: Sevé Schelenz
Writer: Lisa DeVita
Cast: Wren Walker, Caz Odin Darko, Madison J. Loos
A small town strip club owner is forced to defend her bar, her strippers and her life when violent infected patrons show up on the closing night and Hell breaks loose.