Headless Body in Topless Bar Movie Review

James Bruce's minor cult classic, Headless Body in Topless Bar, is itself a recreation of a cult classic of its own. In the early 1980s, the inimitable New York Post led off one memorable issue with the headline "Headless Body in Topless Bar," reporting a real story about a man found murdered and decapitated in a strip joint.

This film appears to be a rough fictionalization of the tale, though the goings-on inside the joint are clearly made up. A man (Raymond J. Barry, a chunky version of David Caruso, credited only as "Man") arrives in a quiet strip club with few patrons, then promptly proceeds to rob the place, accidentally killing the bartender in the process. Man panics, taking the lone dancer and patrons hostage, then forces them all to spill their darkest secrets, or humiliating them some way or another. By the time it's all said and done, our Man has made off with wallets, watches, and the proprietor's head... and some amazing stories.

Virtually remade in 1997 with Albino Alligator, the plot setup and attention-grabbing title are just excuses to get people to talk for 100 minutes about enema fetishes and lesbianism. Oddly, this works, engrossing the viewer for most of its running time, even when Man is acting inexplicably. Kudos to the outstanding cast, which keeps the story from devolving into schlock -- especially Barry and Jennifer MacDonald, as the stripper Candy, who spends the first 70 minutes of the film topless. Brave girl.

The newly issued DVD features a commentary from Bruce, but it's a little sleepy. With the exception of an explanation about how it came to be, the movie really needs nothing else to cut it with.


Comments

Headless Body in Topless Bar Rating

" Good "

Rating: NR, 1995

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