When a tough lady cop goes undercover and gets undressed to catch a nutjob who’s bumping off strippers at the Rock Bottom Club, all the dirty old men had better button up their raincoats, because this dirty dancer is definitely Stripped to Kill!
“Entertaining, low-rent sleaze with an overload of ‘80s attitude and lacy lingerie … the director clearly knows what perverts want.” – House of Self Indulgence
In this jiggle-rific “erotic thriller” from producer Roger Corman, a bevy of bodacious dancers with names like Angel, Cinnamon and Dazzle shake their respective moneymakers nightly at the sleazy Rock Bottom Club, owned by the even sleazier entrepreneur Ray (played by Normal Fell … yes, Mr. Roper from Three’s Company owns a strip joint!). But these limber ladies don’t just lay out your standard stripteases… oh no, the Rock Bottom gals like to “keep it classy” by performing weird routines involving motorcycles, fireworks and giant spider webs, all pumped up with pounding ‘80s synth rock, flashing pink lights and overworked smoke machines. But the fun times come to an end when the dancers begin to turn up dead, victims of a mysterious psychopath. Enter Detective Cody Sheehan (Kay Lenz, Death Wish 4), who has obviously seen too many episodes of Charlie’s Angels, since she decides the best way to catch the killer is to go undercover as a stripper. Trouble is, Cody is a tough-as-nails tomboy will all the rhythm of a drunken camel. Naturally, she hits the Rock Bottom’s Amateur Striptease contest, and inexplicably wows the crowd with her awkward flailing and clomping around the stage, thus magically transforming herself into a sassy stripper named Sonny. Soon, as so often happens in your finer erotic thrillers, our undercover angel is exploring her simmering sexuality by baring her “soul” for hordes of horny hound dogs, all while testing the boundaries of her implausible relationship with her policeman boyfriend Heineman (Greg Evigan, from TV’s My Two Dads). Oh yeah, and she also occasionally remembers that she’s supposed to be tracking down the killer by using herself as bait, leading to a truly twisted finale involving flaming strippers, airborne lingerie and a few shocking revelations. Filled with an almost annoying over-abundance of topless gyrating, a lot of violence, horrific Flashdance-inspired choreography and some very unconvincing stabs at feminist subtext, Stripped to Kill is good dirty fun from the (female!) director of Poison Ivy.