Directed by Kate Robbins
Produced by Suzanne Lyons and Kate Robbins
Written by Jill Garson and Kate Robbins
Director of Photograpy Geoff Schaaf
Music by Vincent Gillioz
Cast: Brian Llloyd, Tori White, Deanna Brooks, Nicole Rayburn
2006/89 mins/Color/Dolby Digital 5.1
1.78:1 anamorphic/English/USA/NTSC Region 1
Review from the Sony Pictures Home Entertainment DVD
As a rule, horror films tend to address universal fears and archetypes in order to appeal to the widest possible audience. Thus we have movies which deal with unnatural deaths, animal attacks, violent killers, etc. In a similar vein, it's my understanding that erotic films explore common themes and one of the most popular male fantasies involves sexy nurses, or so I'm told. Thus, we have the film CANDY STRIPERS, which wants to be a horror film that also has sex appeal. Unfortunately, the movie is D.O.A.
As CANDY STRIPERS opens, two young women come across an auto accident and are attacked by an unseen entity. They are taken to the local hospital where one of the women spits a green thing into the mouth of a candy striper. The scene then cuts to a high-school basketball game where a fight breaks out, injuring several of the players. Matt (Brian Lloyd) suffers a broken leg, while Brian (Kevin Thomas Fee) hurts his hand. Both are admitted to the hospital, where they are visited by Matt's girlfriend, Krystal (Nicole Rayburn) and Brian's sister, Cherie (Tori White), who has a crush on Matt. The teens immediately notice the odd behavior of the staff as the candy stripers pass the bizarre infection from one staff member to the next. The candy stripers have a voracious appetite for sugar and for men, and the hospital is soon filled with dead bodies. Matt and his friends realize that they must find a way out of the hospital if they hope to survive.
CANDY STRIPERS is one of the most consistent movies that I've ever seen. That may sound like a compliment, but it's not meant to be one. You see, CANDY STRIPERS is consistent because it fails in every category.
I assume that since the movie features alien creatures who are attempting to kill everyone in sight that the movie is intended (on some level) to be a sci-fi/horror film. Well, there's nothing scary about this movie and other than the mention of alien creatures, the sci-fi is left out in the cold as well. There are several murders in the movie, but they aren't shocking and the evil candy stripers are never intimidating or scary. The movie does feature two gory murders, but they are shot in a very amateurish way and the movie, which lacks in momentum to begin with, makes the mistake of stopping to linger in the visceral exhibitions.
OK, so it's not scary, but it's got those sexy candy stripers, right? Sure, I guess. I mean, there are candy stripers in the film, but if you go into this movie expecting it to be a R-rated envelope pushing sex romp, then, once again, you'll be disappointed. I counted two very brief bare-breast scenes and that was it. The only people who would find this movie sexy are immature boys and maybe men in prison who never get to see women.
When I saw that CANDY STRIPERS was directed by a woman (Kate Robbins) and co-written by women (Robbins with Jill Garson), I expected the movie to be a tongue-in-cheek farce of the gender roles in horror films. But, again, the movie fails to satisfy. Perhaps the joke or twist is meant to be the fact that the killers (and thus the ones in power) are women, but we've seen this in dozens of other movies. And there's nothing feminist about a movie where the women (aliens or not) are forced to use their sexuality to get what they want. No, there's nothing intelligent or cerebral going on here, as evidenced by the inane dialogue and the lack of any true plot twists. The solution that our heroes concoct to rid themselves of the aliens has been done in several other movies. Oh, did I mention the central joke? The candy stripers crave sugar. Isn't that hysterical?
I don't know where Sony Pictures Home Entertainment finds movies like CANDY STRIPERS (there are no extras on the DVD to provide this info), but it seems odd that a movie this pointless would receive national distribution from a major home video company. (My assumption is that they picked it up at a film market). As I've mentioned before, Sony isn't necessarily to blame, as they've introduced us to hidden gems such as DEAD BIRDS, but CANDY STRIPERS is definitely bargain-basement filmmaking. When the set decorations look like a PA was sent to an after-Halloween sale at Spencer's Gifts to get as much fake cobwebbing as possible, you know that you're not dealing with a great movie.
CANDY STRIPERS gets a DVD check up courtesy of Sony Pictures Home Entertainment. The film has letterboxed at 1.78:1 and the transfer is enhanced for 16 x 9 TVs. The movie was digitally shot, so the image is free from grain or defects from the source material. Still, the transfer shows some issues, as there is some noticeable artifacting and video noise on the picture. Also, apparently the lighting in the film wasn't always top-notch, as the image is sometimes dark and the action bathed in shadows. The DVD carries a Dolby Digital 5.1 audio track. For the most part, the track provides clear dialogue, but there were some times when the sound came across as muffled. The stereo effects here are good, but the surround sound effects are very discrete and limited to musical cues and crowd noises. I didn't notice any overt subwoofer effects.
As noted above, there are no extra features.
This Film Features:
Review by Mike Long. All Right Reserved. 2006. ©