In concluding our tribute to the recently departed Penthouse Club, and
as a service to future generations who may never know the joys of
spending $9.50 for a Miller Lite or learn what a "bottle charge" is,
here are some of the more memorable movies where strip joints serve as
the main setting.
5. Vamp (1986)
You could produce an entire "Where Are They Now" show with the cast of
this underappreciated vampire flick, including Chris "Rudy the Rabbit"
Makepeace, Robert "The Other Douchebag from Weird Science" Rusler, and
Grace "Slave to the Rhythm" Jones. Parents take note: seeing this in
high school scared me away from strip clubs until I was 22.
4. Striptease (1996)
I can't decide what this movie's biggest offense is: turning a perfectly
enjoyable Carl Hiassen novel into a vehicle for Demi Moore's new boobs,
or forever making me associate Annie Lennox songs with drunken
businessmen (none of whom have apparently seen a woman in a bra).
3. Dancing at the Blue Iguana (2000)
"Improvisational movies" tend to make my extremities sweat unless
they're directed by Christopher Guest or Robert Altman. I'll cut Michael
Radford some slack, however, for giving us Jennifer Tilly as a
2. Lady of Burlesque (1943)
Few people realize this movie is cultural significant as the progenitor
of the whole "you got served" phenomenon, ably demonstrated in this clip
by Barbara Stanwyck's accomplished popping and locking.
1. Showgirls (1995)
Resplendent in its awfulness, gloriously overwrought, and so terrible it
bypasses "so bad it's good" to come right back to bad again. Two of its
leads (Elizabeth Berkley and Kyle MacLachlan) have mostly retreated to
television, and beat-down screenwriter Joe Eszterhas retreated to Jesus'
loving embrace last year. Now that's a legacy.