Director - Shelby McIntyre
Starring - Joe Redner (The Daily Show), Joy Redner, and Edie Burns
Release Date - 2008
Genre - Documentary
Format - DVD (Personal Collection) (Screener)
Rating (out of 5):
We just hit the 6th of January and this month I have dedicated my time and reviews to the non-horror films that I have received over the last year or two to review. Several companies like Vinegar Syndrome and Impulse Pictures release sexploitation, sleaze, and vintage porn along with their horror and exploitation releases and send those flicks my way with the normal horror releases. Sadly, I review the horror and toss those others on my shelves until I could figure out what to do with them. A few years back I created my Trashploitation series so I could review my non-horror flicks and decided that this January I would review all those films and avoid the horror reviews aside from the ones I started and never finished. The first one I checked out was the documentary Strip Club King: The Story of Joe Redner. This film was sent to me from Sleaze Box co-creator Chris Woods who served as producer of this film.
This documentary takes a look at the life of self-made man Joe Redner who dropped out of school at a young age and went on to become a successful businessman and a not so successful politician in the Tampa area. Redner is known for being the first to bring the nude strip club into Tampa and for his legal battles that was brought about from owning the club. Over the years he has became very interested in politics and has run for office on several occasions and has created a public access show discussing various topics of the time along with having heated arguments with callers and religious nutjobs.
I love a good documentary. Documentaries can be a very powerful piece of cinema. They can be full of information that is completely new to the viewer. Over the years I have seen so many documentaries. Most of which focus on my favorite horror films or cryptozoology encounters but I have seen some that have nothing to do with horror and the unexplained that were just amazing. Two that quickly comes to mind is Shut Up, Little Man and Winnebago Man. Both were extremely entertaining and takes the viewer behind pop phenomenons and showed the people the folks behind the pre-viral sensations. I was reluctant to give Strip Club King a go because I thought it would be an hour and a half of my time watching a man brag about beautiful women and how much money he makes from them but I was very wrong. The interviews on this one is a little one sided but dives deep into the life of Joe. Most of the interviews, well over 90%, were with friends and family of Redner which only glorifies his character. We do get one or two people that do not share the same views or respect that his friends and family has of him which offer up some variety. However, I would have loved to see more people interviewed from the political aspect of Redner and his life. The flow of the film is great. The doc starts way back before Redner got into the nude business and discusses his anxiety as a kid that forces him to drop out of school to working for a go go bar with no nudity and how he adapted with the times. We then move through the years where he battles the law over nudity only to come out on top. It also discusses his public access show along with a small portion dedicated to his political career. This doc really does cover Joe's entire life and not just his strip club scene. Finally, the film is beautifully edited together with great interview footage along with some archive footage of Joe on various talk shows, political shows, and even some religious programming. The editing flows perfectly with the topic the film is discussing. Overall, Strip Club King is one hell of a documentary. I had no idea who Joe Redner was before watching this film but now I am convinced he is an American hero and should run for president! He is a man that stands by what he says and believes in freedom regardless if the freedom applies to him or not. I highly recommend this one!