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 dominatrix.
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.
--Pete Vonder Haar