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Suicide Club

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ONE GOOD THING about journalism—and in this case I use that word loosely—is that one can sit at one's desk and watch a DVD of a punk rock hottie doing a striptease in a Laundromat—and call it "research." Yes, to the horror of puritans everywhere, the Suicide Girls DVD is about to be unleashed upon humanity. Or inhumanity, depending on how you look at it. The project will undoubtedly resonate with millions of drooling counterculture voyeurs across the land, as the website has already proven. In fact, the DVD opens by stating that there are now almost 1,000 girls on suicidegirls.com.

If you're unfamiliar with the movement, the Suicide Girls originated in Portland as an alternative to the perfect-looking blonde bombshell pinup porno everyone's sick to death of. No one wants to see plastic overtanned couples doing the Wild Thing in their Malibu kitchen any more. The Suicide Girls say a more optimistic approach to erotica features tasteful shots of alternative-looking gals flaunting their nonconformity, their tattoos and their body piercings. If you thought the disenfranchised punker chick with the burgundy mane, the pierced eyebrow and the beautifully imperfect body was the sexiest babe at the Greyhound station that one morning, the Suicide Girls are for you.

Now, the site is no different than any other amateur soft-porn site, but somehow it launched a worldwide movement, as counterculture babes from all across the globe have submitted naked shots of themselves, as well as regular diaries. The movement even launched a traveling punk rock burlesque show, which is the subject of the DVD. The tour hit San Jose twice last year and the video features outtakes, interviews, performance footage, photo shoots and all sorts of nefarious naked exploits from the road. And it begins with a mock FBI warning that cautions: "Criminal copyright infringement will be investigated by a specially trained team of deadly punk rock female assassins who will first seduce, then sexually humiliate you and finally tell all their girlfriends about it and laugh." Now, the video is just as silly as any other backstage on-tour documentation you'll see from any rock band, but hey, if you're a fan, you're a fan. Some folks enjoy nude, rude and tattooed gals with pink hair pouring chocolate all over themselves and some folks don't. And guess what. The video got picked up by Showtime and will air in October.

We've seen a huge burlesque revival in recent years and this is just one more bent twist on the whole thing. Aside from the punk hotties dropping their linen, you've got flames, dog leashes, electrical tape, spanking and fake blood. Basically, it's just a bunch of assertively anarchistic chicks getting sloshed and doing ridiculous things on stages all over the country—a rip-roaring combo of punk rock, soft porn, Dada and throwback '50s pinup culture.

Here's one example: A Suicide Girl named Sicily, who lists her location as the Czech Republic, does a performance as a bloodied mental patient in a smock who kills a doctor onstage. All with a stuffed monkey on her back. And then the scissor masturbation scene comes next.

And to be honest, most of these dames are sexier than anything you'll see in any mainstream pornography anywhere, and, not to mention, many have some pretty killer tattoos. And you don't feel ashamed in the least bit while watching it all. It's not like you're sneaking off in a trench coat with an armful of liquor store skank mags—not that there's anything wrong with that, of course.

To prove how awesome these gals are, one year ago, when an advance copy of the glossy Suicide Girls photo book arrived from Feral House, I barely got a chance to savor the tidbit. I rifled through it in a few bars one night and then left it on my desk, only to have some clown rip it off. No one's seen the book since. To this day, not one Metro employee has copped to being the culprit. That's how sexy these counterculture damsels are. Someone went out of his or her way to pilfer the thing.

Also, everyone has a sense of humor about all this. While I flipped through the book at a brewery, the bartender said, "If you're going to look at that, you must have both hands on top of the bar."

Just like Playboy magazine ushered in the swinging bachelor pads of the '60s, we might hopefully see an outbreak of Suicide Girl pads. If that doesn't sound promising, I don't know what does.

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From the August 17-23, 2005 issue of Metro, Silicon Valley's Weekly Newspaper.

Copyright © 2005 Metro Publishing Inc. Metroactive is affiliated with the Boulevards Network.

For more information about the San Jose/Silicon Valley area, visit sanjose.com.




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