Dancing at the Blue Iguana (VHS, 2001)

6 ratings (4 Epinions reviews)
Epinions Product Rating: OK
5 stars
4 stars
3 stars
2 stars
1 star
Share This!
  Ask friends for feedback

Dancing at the BLUE Iguana Old Glory W/O

Jul 3, 2002 (Updated Jul 3, 2002)
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:great music, better performances than you might expect

Cons:probably quite a few, but it is only a movie

The Bottom Line: A peek at life's hard, dirty work

In the 3rd and final segment of my RED, WHITE and BLUE Old Glory write-off, I give you the Blue Iguana …….

I will never be clean again
I touched her eyes
Pressed my stained face
I will never be clean again [1]

Some may consider this a step up from soft porn, and definitely a low budget nonsensical movie. At first, I pretty much felt the same way. Just a bunch of stories mismatched with little relevance. Who gives a flyingratsass about a bunch of strippers doing what they do?

Granted, there wasn’t a lot to pull the movie together. Small subplots involving a few main characters, with that Russian hit man thrown in for fun and games. However, if you take the time and look under the dirty dressing room and sleezy apartments of these women, look at the character of the owner/manager of the Iguana, you see a different story.

And with a swing of her hips,
She started to strip
To tremendous applause
She took off her drawers [2]

Personally, I have known a few dancers. They weren’t strippers per se but they did dance topless and in g-strings. (yes, I have lived a varied life) These girls weren’t millionaires by any means, but they made a decent living bringing home $800+ a week, plus tip money. The difference between the girls I knew and the Iguana babes – they were married for the most part, they didn’t do drugs, they banked or invested their money. They were smarter business people apparently than the group in this movie.

I see the shadows darkly falling on your face
I feel the burden of your pain--Yet it's unexplained
Only waiting silently, for me, is really strange [3]

When you look at the lives of the cast in this movie you see nothing but despair and pain. Each woman, and even the few men, want something better. They don’t consider their work anything other than work.

This particularly comes into play with the character of Jasmine (Sandra Oh), who is a poet at heart. She attends poetry readings, meets a really nice man, looks to the future. Another thing about her portrayal, she seems to be the glue that holds the girls together. Always looking out for them, talking to them, trying to help and understand them. Basically a nice girl that just happens to strip for a living.

In my dreams I'm dying all the time As I wake its kaleidoscopic mind I never meant to hurt you
I never meant to lie
So this is goodbye
This is goodbye [4]

This comes to front when she is finally faced with her greatest challenge, trying to leave the Iguana and go forward with her poetry, and a life with the really nice guy – a fellow poet. When she approaches Eddie (Robert Wisdom), the owner, he lays her pitiful life out for her and she decides to forgo the good guy and return to the stage.

Her performance, to the sounds of Porcelain , when Dennis (John Thomas), the poetry man, comes to find out what is going on, is very painful to watch. For the most part Oh remains without expression throughout the movie, very stoic when dancing, but during this scene just the hint of tears running down her face tells the whole story.

More surprising were Jennifer Tilly as Jo, a rather beastly performer who is quite vocal and really puts on one Hell of a show, and Daryl Hannah as Angel, who continues to play the part of an airhead blonde to the nth degree. Yes, friends, they both appear in the buff for your enjoyment and pleasure, as do darn near everyone else in the movie. Indeed, there is a lot of T&A to be had for the voyeuristic in the group.

The saddest performer by far was Stormy (Sheila Kelley), who dances each night with no expression on her face. We discover Stormy has had a 'relationship' with her brother and he is moving on, getting married.

There was a lot of pain at the Iguana, a lot of people with wasted lives. I didn’t understand the insertion of the Russian hit man, except it changed the life of Angel completely and maybe that was all it was supposed to do. I did feel that Eddie, the owner, had some compassion for the women at his club, even though at times he seemed a bit heavy handed. He always seemed to ask about them, interact with them, and not always treat them as meat.

Stripping is a thankless job, but somebodies gotta do it. Visit the Blue Iguana and you’ll thank God for your own cubicle at work each day.

Directed by Michael Radford. Written by Michael Radford (screenplay) and David Linter (screenplay).
Charlotte Ayanna .... Jessie
Kristin Bauer .... Nico
Daryl Hannah .... Angel
Sheila Kelley .... Stormy
Elias Koteas .... Sully
Vladimir Mashkov .... Sacha
Sandra Oh .... Jasmine
Jennifer Tilly .... Jo
Robert Wisdom .... Eddie
Carolyne Aycaguer .... Sophie

Blue Iguana awards - Milan International Film Festival - Won – Best Actress Sandra Oh, Best Production Design Martina Buckley, and Best Actor Gary Sinise? This was listed at IMDB.com, but I personally didn’t see Gary Sinise nor is he credited in the movie. In addition, when checking his personal web page, I didn’t see a listing for Blue Iguana on his credit page. Imagine they made a mistake?

[1] Pornography by The Cure
[2] Patricia the Stripper by Chris De Burgh
[3] Eyes of Your Soul by Jenny Leigh
[4] Porcelain by Moby


With the final chapter of my Old Glory write-off, we have left behind the RED Fern and moved into a place in American life where family values have been forgotten, or even where middle American WHITE Mama's living with pride and dignity have been forgotten. With BLUE Iguana we find hollow people leading lonely lives, staring out at the world with vacant eyes.

This Old Glory Red, White & Blue write off was dreamed up by Jay1051971 & ariel10575. The following were brave enough to try this challenge: dedemw, jeff_wilder78, Tom Barnes, Beckish, SusiDee34, Aerocat, Donnie013, hawgwyld, Ned1, Bryan_carey, and our hosts Jay1051971 & ariel10575.

Ariel's quick link


Jay, Ariel, it has been my pleasure :)

Recommend this product? Yes

Read all comments (9)

Share this product review with your friends   
Share This!

Related Deals You Might Like...

Dancing At The Blue Iguana (dvd, 2001)

Dancing At The Blue Iguana (dvd, 2001)

This melancholy film explores the intersecting lives of five exotic dancers who work at a San Fernando Valley strip club, the Blue Iguana. None of the...


FREE Shipping
The Night Of The Iguana Vhs Richard Burton Ava Gardner Sealed

The Night Of The Iguana Vhs Richard Burton Ava Gardner Sealed

A turbulent masterpiece adapted from the play by Tennessee Williams. A defrocked clergyman-turned-tour-guide takes a busload of pious Texan church lad...


+$3.00 shipping
Iguana T-Shirt - Ready to Party

Iguana T-Shirt - Ready to Party

Nothing beats the exceptional look and quality of our Iguana Shirts. Among the finest made, you will be provided with great satisfaction and long last...
Iguana T-Shirt - With Sunglasses

Iguana T-Shirt - With Sunglasses

Nothing beats the exceptional look and quality of our Iguana Shirts. Among the finest made, you will be provided with great satisfaction and long last...
Dancing at the Blue Iguana Poster

Dancing at the Blue Iguana Poster

Title: Dancing at the Blue Iguana; Product Type: Poster


+$9.99 shipping


Shows the lives of five exotic dancers at the Blue Iguana strip club.
Sears Marketplace
CafePress Iguana Photo Dark T-Shirt

CafePress Iguana Photo Dark T-Shirt

Dark T-shirt100% preshrunk cotton, Charcoal Grey is 50% cotton/50% polyesterCrew NecklineStandard FitMachine Wash Cold


+$6.49 shipping
Iguana T-Shirt - Certified Person

Iguana T-Shirt - Certified Person

Nothing beats the exceptional look and quality of our Iguana Shirts. Among the finest made, you will be provided with great satisfaction and long last...