No matter what its management may hype it up as, Swinging Richards is just another Strip Club. Albeit an all male one where each night some 72 dancers get totally naked to play ‘helicopters’ with their large flaccid penises right in the faces of their very willing mostly-male audiences. It is evidently the only club of its type in the US after the local authorities managed to close down the Miami branch of the club after a very short time.
This then is a behind the scenes documentary of a few days and nights in the life of the club by the actor turned director Gerald McCullouch. He combines some random interviews with the some of the (fully clothed) straight, gay and ‘questioning’ dancers who explain their motivation to strip naked nightly, and to cut a few long rambling answers short, the answer is always the same. The Money.
One of the dancers explains that they all pay the Club $35 per night for the privilege of dancing there, and then they are expected to share some of their earnings with the bar staff and the DJ’s too, but before you start feeling to sorry for them, on a good night they could still net $1000 or more.
There are very strict rules for everything from the basic one that you cannot touch dancers at all, to the prices that they charge for the various (legal) services they provide for individual members, and always ensuring that the Club gets a good cut.
McCullough also interviews the staff that run the club too, but they really add nothing of any consequence to the story, and just manage to make this rather tedious documentary appear even more aimless and in-cohesive .
The bulk of the images on screen are the dancers in various state of undress using anything moves they can to titillate the audience to ensure they stuff their dollar bills into their armbands. However despite all the nudity this still all comes across on the screen so completely flat with barely a hint of eroticism or sensuality.
If McCullouch’s aim was to ensure that the audiences watching the film do not get aroused in the slightest, then he totally succeeded. But did he really intend for us to be so bored that it was hard not to stifle yawns?