In case you’ve been living in a cave without a wireless connection, you know that Magic Mike XXL opens July 1, and you better believe we’ve got our tickets. We’ve been dying to see even more skin from Channing Tatum, Matt Bomber, Kevin Nash, Joe Manganiello and Adam Rodriguez than we saw in the original film three years ago.
It’s been a long time since male strippers have captured the cinematic zeitgeist. Too long, really. Partially it’s because women realized how cheesy it was to have Zorro shake his blade in your face. And partially because of the death of that campy pop-culture staple, the made-for-TV movie.
But back in the 1980s, when male studio heads finally realized women possessed sexuality, they green-lighted some real gems for fans of male pulchritude. These flicks were usually thrillers — the idea being danger is sexy — and always aimed at red-blooded American women. (Us fags had to appropriate them for our own use.)
By the turn of the new millennium, society was so comfortable objectifying men, that the admitted corny genre became unnecessary. Still, we have our memories — and blessed YouTube. After the jump, check out Queerty’s roundup of seven of our fave male-stripper movies.
For Ladies Only
Though this made-for-TV movie originally aired in 1981, it’s all about the Disco Era, with Trapper John hunk Gregory Harrison playing a wet-behind-the-ears actor from Iowa looking for fame in the big bad city. He gets a job as a waiter at an all-male stripper palace, Club Max, and ends up on stage. (Do they ever not?) Stardom, such as it is, enables Harrison to embark on a series of wild adventures, including romances with Lee Grant and Louise Lasser. Yes,
One Flew Over the Cuckoo‘s Nest Nurse Rached. Mary Hartman herself.
A backhanded insult to feminism, Ladykillers features Marilu Henner as a ballsy police detective whose hunky boyfriend/lieutenant (Melrose Place‘s Thomas Calabro) goes undercover at a male strip club to find a sadistic killer.
This made-for-TV clunker from 1988 never came out on DVD, and VHS copies are rarer than a chest hair on Matt Bomer. An episode of Murder She Wrote has more erotic tension, but Calabro was quite fetching in a g-string. (Apologies for the lousy image quality—take our word for it, he was fine.) Campy turns by Susan Blakely and Lesley-Anne Down (as the delightfully named “Morganna Ross”) are just icing on a big slab of beefcake.
The Chippendales Murder (2000)
Most people associate Chippendales with gyrating himbos and screaming housewives, but there’s blood on that g-string: This based-on-true-story flick reveals how Indian-American businessman Somen “Steve” Banerjee (Lost’s Naveen Andrews) started the wildly successful revue and then hired someone to knock off his troublesome choreographer. Heavy stuff — but this raunchy striptease by Victor Webster will soothe your troubled soul.
Just Can’t Get Enough (2002)
This 2002 drama, and we use the term loosely, treads the same territory as The Chippendales Murder, but focuses more on the partying lifestyle the dancers were seduced into. Think of it as Boogie Nights meets The Thunder From Down Under.
Granted, this Mark Harmon vehicle isn’t really a stripper movie — it’s more like Fast Times at Ridgemont High meets Mr. Holland’s Opus. But we just had to include this scene with criminally hot Ken Olandt as Larry Kazamias, a student whose nocturnal activities are killing his academic life.
The Full Monty
We included this 1997 British flick—which inspired a successful Broadway musical—because it’s a damn good movie. But, really, would you stuff bills in any of these guys’ pants? Here ecdysiasm is just a plot device to get the guys — out-of-work British steel workers emasculated by their failures—to emotionally reveal themselves. Great movie, but when it comes to the stripping, fellas, you can leave more than your hat on.
A Night in Heaven
We saved the final slot for the Citizen Kane of stripper movies. It’s 1983 and The Blue Lagoon‘s Christopher Atkins is Ricky, a lithe college student who moonlights as an exotic dancer. When his teacher (Lesley Ann Warren) accidentally catches Ricky’s provocative show, it sparks an attraction that leads to erotic passion, loss of innocence and tragedy. (Well, that’s what happens to cougars!) Would you believe director John G. Avildsen also helmed Rocky and Karate Kid? Watch Atkins seduce Warren below.