STRIPPED TO KILL
The plot about the woman going undercover in the strip club posing as a stripper became a familiar one in the various psycho-sexual thrillers of the 1990s; here is (as far as I am aware) the first time it was conducted. As such, Stripped to Kill is not a particularly sophisticated variant. It is largely focused around a series of scenes where the strippers come on stage and take their gear off. Each of the stripper scenes come at regular intervals and go on for several minutes at a time but crucially none of them advance the plot in any way, they are just eye candy for an audience that has presumably been lured by the word strip in the title. What must be said though is that some of these set-pieces are occasionally imaginatively staged one in which a stripper starts off bound in a glowing spider web in the dark and does a dance using glowsticks; a surprisingly sinister sequence in which a stripper appears as a figure in a hood with a noose around her neck.
The police procedural plot takes a far backseat position to these stripper scenes. Occasionally the film remembers to return to the investigation even then, this is half-heartedly developed and mostly seems to consist of Kay Lenz and Greg Evigan trading flirtatious banter. As a police procedural, the film is lacking it only takes the time to create suspects and red herrings in the rudimentary way, nor does the script come with any twists. A psycho film would also have placed far more into the stalking and despatching of the various girls but Katt Shea Ruben never does this in much more than a rudimentary way. Another thing that almost any psycho-thriller that takes up the undercover in a strip club plot would do is place the heroine of the show in some kind of personal peril (either that or would have her seduced by a guy only to discover he may be a suspect) but this never does until one scene right near the end where Kay Lenz wanders into the killers apartment by accident.
The one interesting thing the film does give us is a reasonable twist when it comes to the revelation of the killers identity. [PLOT SPOILERS] Here it is revealed that the killer is actually Pia Kamakhis brother who had an attachment disorder and killed her because she took up with another girl, after which he adopted drag to pose as her. You cannot help but think there are some logic flaws in his plan like if he is wearing falsies as becomes apparent near the end, would this not become extremely evident when he goes to work at her chosen profession as a stripper? Also his one-line explanation for his motivation She was leaving. I had to kill all of you doesnt exactly hold water.
Katt Shea Ruben returned to make a sequel Stripped to Kill II: Live Girls (1989).