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Now in our eleventh calendar year!
PCR #546 (Vol. 11, No. 37). This edition is for the week of September 6--12, 2010.

MOVIE REVIEW
"The American"by Michael Smith
LA FLORIDIANA
Miami Memories: Part One of Twoby William Moriaty
RETRORAMA
Nearly Almost Famousby ED Tucker
FANGRRL
DVD Review: Strip Club King:The Story of Joe Rednerby Lisa Scherer
THE ASIAN APERTURE
Nothing on the Horizonby Jason Fetters
MIKE'S RANT
I'd Like To Thank The Academy .... Burn Baby Burn! .... .... .... .... .... .... .... Mike's Record Shelf 'by Mike Smith
FANGRRL by Lisa Scherer

DVD Review: Strip Club King:The Story of Joe Redner


PLOT SUMMARY:

Mention ďstrip club kingĒ and most Florida residents know instantly who that is: Joe Redner, the outspoken, opinionated, often-arrested and occasionally-obnoxious owner of the Mons Venus, one of the most famous strip clubs in the world. The people who recognize Rednerís name most likely either love him or hate him Ė thereís not a lot of middle ground on this Ė but probably donít know that much about the man behind the myth that is Joe Redner. Local filmmakers Shelby McIntyre and Chris Woods aim to remedy that with their documentary Strip Club King:The Story of Joe Redner.

Through a series of interviews with Redner, his family, Mons dancers and former dancers, and others, Strip Club King details how Redner got involved with the Mons Venus in 1982 and why this club has the international reputation that it does. The documentary also takes a behind-the-scenes look at some of the major controversies surrounding Redner and dips into his personal, private life.

Itís impossible to tell Rednerís full history in 80 minutes, but Strip Club King manages to cover a great deal, and in a fairly even-handed way to boot. Lawsuits, political campaigns, arrests, fights with City Hall, The Voice of Freedom public access TV show, censorship, obscenity laws, the City of Tampaís lap dance ban, protests, Rhonda Storms, Dick Greco, religious freedom, The Bleepiní Truth, the City Council run off with Gwendolyn Miller...itís all here, along with some yelling, screaming, ranting, cursing, name calling and chair throwing.


ABOUT THE FILMMAKERS:

Shelby McIntyre produced several short films before directing Strip Club King and is currently working as writer/producer of Bloody, Bloody Bible Camp. Strip Club King producer/editor Chris Woods has directed, produced and edited multiple local films and is currently the editor of Herschell Gordon Lewisís movie The Uh-Oh Show.


WHAT I LIKED:

McIntyre and Woods do a good job of presenting a controversial subject in a fair and balanced manner. The tone and viewpoint of the film puts them squarely in the pro-Redner camp, in my opinion, yet they are respectful of all the interview subjects. Rednerís adversaries Ė those who agreed to be interviewed, that is Ė are given the chance to explain their viewpoints on screen without any snarky editorializing by the filmmakers.

Also, I appreciated the filmís straightforward approach. There was no voice-over narration and minimal written exposition. The filmmakers allowed Redner to simply tell his own story, through interviews and archival TV footage.


WHAT I DISLIKED:

The film didnít delve deep enough and left a lot of unanswered questions. Redner is on good-enough terms with his ex-wife for her to agree to an in-depth interview (without trashing him, no less), but no mention was ever made or explanation given about how long they were married or why they divorced. Several of Rednerís children were interviewed, but was that all of his offspring or were there others who declined to be interviewed? And are all of them from his marriage to the on-screen ex-wife or from another marriage? There were several information gaps like this, which made parts of the documentary feel confusing or incomplete.


THE BOTTOM LINE:

Itís fitting that infamous strip club owner Joe Redner lives in Tampa, really, because Tampa is the lightning capital of the world and Redner is a lightning rod for controversy. A documentary on him was long overdue, but luckily Strip Club King:The Story of Joe Redner was worth the wait.


RATING: B+


To comment on this or any other PCR article, please visit The Message Board. "FANGRRL" is ©2010 by Lisa Scherer.   All graphics, except where otherwise noted, are creations of Nolan B. Canova.  All contents of Nolan's Pop Culture Review are ©2010 by Nolan B. Canova.