The strip club video may have been pioneered by renowned nudity enthusiasts Mötley Crüe, but it's gone on to become a firmly established weapon in the film-maker's arsenal. As the latest video from rock’n’roll newbies Little Matador offers a post-modern parody of the genre, we asked famed film critic Mark Commode to trace the evolution of this cinematic trope from girls, girls, girls to, um, goats. (NSFW. The clue’s in the title.)
Mötley Crüe - Girls, Girls, Girls (1987)
(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d2XdmyBtCRQ) The video for Girls is a ground-breaking work of wrongness. It put the strip club on the rock’n’roll map and established a whole new lexicon of leering. A game-changer in more ways than one: after the pioneering success of Girls Girls Girls, Vince Neil was “inspired” to open his own strip club. It lasted less than two years.
Revolting Cocks - Do Ya Think I’m Sexy (1993)
(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z6zqYSezqwo)In which Rod Stewart’s lusty disco romp is turned into an industrial zombie nightmare. The “plot” finds Chris Connelly visiting a strip club staffed by freaks, hustlers, cone-heads and clowns. Inside, it’s grim: the undead wear bikinis, and the lady with the zip-up back isn’t quite what she seems. Eagle-eyed viewers will note a cameo appearance near the end from Anthrax’s Scott Ian wielding a big howitzer. That’s not a metaphor.
The Prodigy - Smack My Bitch Up (1997)
(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZKLSmHqXhzA)This tribute to Soho nightlife ends with a twist, but the rest is more run-of-the-mill: binge drinking, cocaine abuse, violence, property damage, two bouts of vomiting, heroin injection, theft of a vehicle, drunk driving, and a spectacular bout of sexual congress featuring glamour model Teresa May (not to be confused with Conservative politician Theresa May). More tea, vicar?
HIM - Wicked Game (1997)
(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wjGK-LRqAqI)While the original video saw Chris Isaac romp joyfully in the surf with supermodel Helena Christensen, HIM’s treatment is altogether more sordid. As befits a man who worked in his father’s sex shop as a teenager, singer Ville Valo seems quite at home in a strip joint, drinking tea as the silicon sways. Let’s just hope the health inspectors don’t check those filthy toilets.
Probot - Shake Your Blood (2004)
(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T09hBGGpSjk)The ultimate heavy metal fantasy? Dave Grohl drums, Lemmy growls, and several dozen Suicide Girls wriggle and writhe. We suspect this is meant as a cunning reversal of the stereotypical strip club video, where the band (not the girls) become the subject of the lustful male gaze. Although that doesn’t fully explain the hot girl-on-girl action, nor the cages.
Theory Of A Deadman - Bad Girlfriend (2009)
(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XcJU6zsNWyM)The lesson here seems to be that if you work in a strip joint, be open and honest with your partner. Don’t tell him you’re working the late shift at the hospital when you’re actually filling in for Savannah at the Boobie Trap, because there’s every chance he’ll be surprised but fully supportive, and happily clamber onstage to join the fun. A lesson for us all, perhaps.
The White Stripes - I Just Don’t Know What To Do With Myself (2010)(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1_RZAGnFcI4)
Directed by Sophia Coppola. Stars Kate Moss. Pole dancing. In black and white. It’s not smut, it’s ART!
My Darkest Days ft. Zakk Wylde, Chad Kroeger & Ludacris - Pornstar Dancing (2010)
(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c2Fnet0y9Ts)This frisky promo features everything you’d expect from a song that boasts the lyrics, “Stacy’s gonna save herself for marriage / But that’s just not my style / She’s got a pair that’s nice to stare at / But I want Girls Gone Wild.” Fact: the three featured musicians have a combined age of 122.
Texas Hippie Coalition - Turn It Up (2012)
(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=szjQ0VOWl2E)Proof, if it were ever needed, that a religious background is no barrier to entry in the adult entertainment industry. The video is the usual mix of bump, riff and grind, but it’s also a missed opportunity: put man-mountain singer Big Dad Ritch in g-string and stetson, throw in a fireman’s pole, and watch those YouTube views rocket.
Porcelain Raft - The Way Out (2013)
(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BBPHvJITXxY#t=16)It’s a stylish, single shot video with a simple plot (stripper murders sex pest), but we’re puzzled by the climax. With a freshly-throttled corpse adorning the floor of her dressing room, does our heroine panic? Nope, she lights a cigarette and calmly leaves, apparently without a care in the world. It’s certainly not the happy finish the attacker was anticipating.
Mammoth Mammoth - Sittin Pretty (2013)
(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PA1rUSZvcZE)If Smack My Bitch Up showcased London nightlife at its most steamy, we can only assume that Sittin Pretty does the same for Melbourne. Strip club? Check. Cigarettes? Check. Beer, strippers, sandwiches? All check. A charismatic, loose-bowelled goat? Err, yes, that too.
Timber Timbre - Hot Dreams (2014)
(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=En1llevuLQ4)The only video here to suggest that a booze-drenched visit to a strip club at 3am might not be all the fun it’s cracked up to be: self-loathing, loneliness and despair are also in the house. On the plus side, the nudity is artfully rendered in slow motion.
Little Matador - Stitch Yourself Up (2014)
(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6V6jNEOLDDU)If we were smart, we’d argue that this is post-modern parody at its most sharp, taking a tongue-in-cheek stance against political correctness whilst simultaneously questioning stereotypical views on sex and sexuality. But we’re not. And we don’t think it is.