“A Maniac is Killing Strippers. Detective Sheehan Has One Weapon to Stop Him. Her Body.”
What a classic tag line. At a time when “grind house” films were disappearing from movie screens, the burgeoning VHS market allowed young Directors to tackle provocative subjects like this!
“Stripped To Kill!”
This is one of the last great grind house films: released in 1987, this terrific thriller stars Kay Lenz and was directed by Katt Shea.
Check out the trailer:
When Detective Cody Sheehan discovers the body of a stripper from the Rock Bottom dance club, she wants the case. Her partner, Detective Heineman, is equally anxious to make the jump to the prestigious homicide division, but the only way Cody can get the assignment is to go undercover – uncovered – at the club.
The film’s star Kay Lenz has well over 100 acting credits in her career, from major TV projects like “Rich Man Poor Man” to high profile films like “White Line Fever”.
In “Stripped To Kill”, Lenz bares all as the undercover Cop who gets a crash course in stripping to solve a murder. She really commits to the role, especially considering that many of her co-stars were real strippers in Los Angeles!
Lenz gives a very believable performance as the under cop who enters this exotic world – putting herself on the line in order to catch a killer…it’s a really good, gritty thriller…
Director Katt Shea got the idea for this film after her then husband Andy Ruben made her go to a strip club after she lost a bet with him. When Shea realized that stripping was a valid form of artistic expression, she decided to make this movie in order to show the more artistic aspects of stripping.
Some great trivia about the Director: this film was Katt’s directorial debut, and she went on to direct other films such as the terrific “Poison Ivy” starring Drew Barrymore – also giving a much more provocative performance than before in her career:
Shea was also an Actress – she had a small role as the “Woman at Babylon Club” in “Scarface”, and was in the cult film “Barbarian Queen” as well!
Shea also directed the sequel “Stripped To Kill 2”, which had a great poster!
Lenz didn’t appear in the sequel, but she has continued acting in TV and film ever since.
She had another nude scene in the film “Fast Walking” as well.
Fans can now enjoy “Stripped To Kill” even more, thanks to some terrific remastered editions that include a couple of great bonus features, according to a great review on the Mondo Digital website – for example, they note:
“The first commentary with director Katt Shea finds her needing very little prompting from moderator Walter Olsen as she chats extensively about getting the project approved (by basically ambushing Roger Corman on his way to lunch), casting real strippers for roles in the film (complete with acting lessons in Shea’s living room) and admiring their creativity and enthusiasm, and the intended color scheme for the film. She also talks about how MGM’s support for the script led them pay more for the video rights and ensure a slightly longer shooting schedule than normal. The second commentary puts Shea in more of a moderator role as she’s joined by Kay Lenz, who talks about doing this hot on the heels of a Rod Stewart music video and shares memories about all of the women she worked with in the film, not to mention the joys of wearing clothes made by Trashy Lingerie (who also designed Shea’s wedding dress!).”
I love that great cult cinema like this is being updated for new fans to enjoy…and Mondo Digital covers all of them.
Here’s the whole writeup from this terrific website:
Kay Lenz wasn’t the only mainstream Actress who was willing to take it off for a role:
Did you see Sybil Danning and Linda Blair in the shower together in this classic slice of exploitation in the 80’s?
How can you top the title of “Chained Heat?” By putting these two together in a shower!
Linda Blair did a lot more than turn heads in “The Exorcist” – see her topless photo spread in Oui magazine by clicking on my story here:
Sybil Danning also turned heads as one of the most empowered female stars of the 70’s and 80’s:
She was fearless in many ways – see some of her most provocative films and photo shoots here:
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