Exploitation Retrospect | The Journal of Junk Culture and Fringe Media
Striptease (1996)
Columbia Home Video | Review by Dan Taylor

In recent years, the "stripper-in-jeapordy" genre has been sadly neglected by Hollywood. Luckily, exploitation filmmakers have gladly trotted down that glorious path and given us glimpses into the world of floor-to-ceiling poles, garters bursting with singles and scary loners masturbating through their pocket.

Given my druthers, I'd rather watch Katt Shea Rubin's STRIPPED TO KILL flicks or Dan Golden's supreme NAKED OBESESSION any day before having to endure this big-budget, big-boob bomb again. Hell, this thing is so inept it makes SHOWGIRLS look like the CITIZEN KANE of stripper flicks!

Let's dispense with the known facts: Demi Moore got a cool $12 million to star in this mess and expose her obviously-enhanced ribcage; audience response at screenings forced a third-act rewrite; this was supposed to revive Burt Reynolds' flagging career like PULP FICTION did for John Travolta.

Alrightee. First, yes Demi got more dough than any broad on screen. That cash cow should dry up thanks to her string of flops (THE JUROR, SCARLET LETTER... am I forgetting any?) and the failures of other "major" actresses like Sharon Stone. Unfortunately, it takes her an hour to take off her top and by that time I was squirming towards the exit. To be frank, at this point in my life, on-screen nudity excites me about as much as an oil change. The internet and writing for porn mags have made me even more jaded than before!

Next! The third-act rewrite is, uh, Scooby-Doo-like in its complexity. The endings to CLUE: THE MOVIE held more suspense than this laughfest. Were it not for the high level of publicity surrounding this mess, STRIPTEASE might've debuted at your local video store. (Like most of Burt's recent body of work.)

Finally, Burt. Burt, Burt, Burt. Don't get me wrong. I like Burt. I might be the last filmgoer that even LOVES Burt. Hell, I was there during the MALONE and STICK days. I saw STROKER ACE a few times. THE LONGEST YARD is one of my all-time favorites. But anyone who thought this asinine cornpone act resurrected from unshot episodes of 'Carter Country' would save him from 'Evening Shade' reunion movies is out of their mind. We all know that Burt can act, and this is an insult to both the audience and a once-great movie star.

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