Lapsed Dance

Bomb Rating: 

Welcome to "Golden Girls" meets "Showgirls," the latest in formula-gone-awry from the same filmmakers who brought you "Coma II: Involuntary Movements" and the Actor's Studio documentary "Pauley Shore: A Life."

Gladys "Tassles" Freemont (Rue McClanahan), Ruth "Double D" Smith (Estelle Getty), and Bingy "G-String" Singleton (Gloria Stuart) have long since retired from their careers as Las Vegas strippers. However, when their comfortable retirement home is threatened with demolition by a ruthless casino owner, Michael Hunt (Gene Hackman), the women must find some way to raise enough money to buy the building themselves. Mike's plan is to raze the home to build Vegas's latest resort attraction, titled "Vegas Vegas Vegas," a complete re-creation of current Vegas shrunk down so that the customer can experience all of Vegas without having to go outside. Enabling Mike is the home's ambivalent owner, Kermit (M. Emmett Walsh), who harbors a secret crush for Ruth, but feels days of love have passed him by.

The girls pool their stripping retirement money and beg Kermit to sell them the retirement home instead. They nearly succeed, but Mike intervenes just in time to convince the cowardly Kermit that he can make the most money by deciding the sale of the property via a contest, specifically (you guessed it) a stripping contest. Since Mike owns the three highest-grossing strip clubs with the best-looking women, he figures he's got it in the bag. Complicating things, however, is the fact that his scheming stripper wife, Carla "DVDA" Petrocelli (Jenna Elfman), has a secret plan to buy the land herself after winning the strip-off and then having Mike meet with a suspicious "accident."

The climax of "Lapsed Dance" is something like "The Bad News Bears" meets "Striptease," or "Rocky" meets "Blaze." The retirement home ladies do exceptionally well, but in the end, it all comes down to Bingy and Carla. Forty years ago, Bingy was forced into retirement after trying to perform her dangerous signature move, the "cauliflower double-fisted pole whip," and nearly dying in the process. To win it all, she dares to attempt the move one last time. Will Bingy survive and save the retirement home, or will Carla successfully hatch her unholy schemes? Will Kermit admit his love for Ruth? Will a last-minute revelation that the ruthless casino owner is actually the son Tassles once gave up for adoption make any difference in the strip-off? I guess you'll just have to sit through "Lapsed Dance" like I did and suffer.

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