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Stripped to Kill 2: Live Girls
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by Jack Sommersby

"'Stripped' of Common Sense"
1 stars

Went straight to video, deservedly dying a home-video death.

Say what you will about the Roger Corman-produced B-movie Stripped to Kill, which involved a gutsy Los Angeles policewoman going undercover as a stripper to ferret out a serial killer targeting women of this profession, but at the very least it was a functional police procedural and boasted a strong lead performance by the underrated, boisterous Kay Lenz, whereas this dreadful, in-title-only sequel is incompetent right across the board, with an actress in the starring role who’s to acting what Edsel was to the automobile. Katt Shea Ruben wrote and directed the original, and she’s done double duty here, too, minus any semblances of cinematic savvy – it’s as if a brain-dead simpleton had been put behind the camera and uttered “Duh” at the mere task of turning the damn thing on. An ultra-low-budget production, Stripped to Kill 2: Live Girls is so cheap-looking I managed to spot a total number of two customers in the strip joint where the majority of the action takes place (how in the world does this place stay in business?), with garish lighting throughout coupled with so much smoke you’re reminded of one of those gaudy perfume commercials. Yes, we’re inclined to overlook paltry production values given that the material is worthwhile, but what Ruben has perpetrated onto unsuspecting audiences is pure hoary hogwash that hasn’t enough context to fill out so much as a thirty-minute short, much less this bloated eighty-three-minute running time. The untalented Maria Ford plays the stripper named Shady, who’s been having a tough time of it as of late: she’s recently prone to nightmares of a masked individual terrorizing her when she’s on stage culminating in violence; and upon awakening, she just happens to find on her hands blood belonging to one of her colleagues who’s been slain the night before. Enter Sergeant Decker, played by the terminally bland Ed Lottimer (a former television actor in throwaway roles), who’s one of the most ineffectual gumshoes this side of Frank Drebin– he’s so slow on the uptake he’d have been better off assigned to traffic duty than the deductive rudiments of homicide. (Greg Evigan, who played Lenz’s partner, was bland but at the very least adequate.) The otiose crime plot is strictly secondary to the nude scenes, which wouldn’t be as detrimental if the choreography of the stripteases possessed some verve, but Ruben’s staging is second-rate at best, so there aren’t even any enjoyable exploitative aspects to (for lack of a better word) titillate. The whodunit angle is hopelessly translucent so you can easily guess the culprit fifteen minutes in, the dialogue pure gobbledygook (I lost track of all the groan-inducing lines), and the grand finale has all the suspense of an insurance seminar, making this abomination, to put it mildly, quite unsuitable for human consumption.

Watch the original instead.

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originally posted: 08/06/18 05:30:06
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  13-Jan-1989 (R)



Directed by
  Katt Shea Ruben

Written by
  Katt Shea Ruben

  Maria Ford
  Eb Lottimer
  Karen Mayo-Chandler
  Marjean Holden
  Birke Tan

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