Synopsis by Mark Deming
While strip clubs are hardly an unusual phenomenon in 21st century America, the traditional burlesque show, featuring lavishly attired strippers, baggy pants comics, and dancers without surgical modification, is often believed to be a thing of the past. But The Velvet Hammer Burlesque is a troupe of performers from Los Angeles determined to keep the legacy of classic ecdysiasm alive. Appearing at a variety of West Coast nightspots, The Velvet Hammer Burlesque features women of all shapes and sizes performing in what they call the "pre-lapdance" style, and their tongue-in-cheek, retro-styled show is peppered with comic interludes featuring old-school comedians and parodies of classic low-budget filmmaking. The Velvet Hammer Burlesque is a documentary that offers a look at the performers in action, as well as peeking behind the scenes at what goes into staging a burlesque revue and what is the philosophy behind it all. The Velvet Hammer Burlesque was screened as part of the 2004 San Francisco Lesbian & Gay Film Festival.
behind-the-scenes, burlesque, exotic-dancer, interview, retrospective, showgirl, stripper, theater-troupe, underground [counterculture]