By: Steve V. Rodriguez
“All Male All Nude: Johnsons” had me with the title, but had me wonder who’s this Johnsons? Always a sucker for male nudity and a fan of male strip bars and go go boys, I knew the new documentary was going to visually stimulate, but when I realized it was directed by Gerald McCullouch I was all in! Known by many for his role as Bobby Dawson on CSI and for standout roles in the “Bear City” film trilogy, award winning web series “Hustling” and directing and starring in the riveting play turned to film, “Daddy”, McCullouch takes advantage of the success of his first documentary, “All Male, All Nude” about a gay strip club in Atlanta with an equally engaging follow up, “All Male, All Nude: Johnsons”. ‘Johnsons’ is set in Wilton Manor, the city island of Broward County, Florida, a hop, skip and a jump away from Fort Lauderdale. Manors has been called the second gayest city in America next to San Francisco due to its large percentage of population that identifies as LGBTQ.
Following the same successful format of his first doc, McCoullouch dives deeper into ‘Johnsons’ profiling a handful of dancers and their diverse and eclectic viewpoints on life as a dancer as well as their life outside of the bar, which many describe the bar as a dysfunctional family that welcomes and supports them. Fans of the first documentary, will recognize Matt Colunga, who managed, deejayed and scheduled the dancers at Swinging Richards in Atlanta, but now owns and runs Johnsons in Wilton Manors, a dream business in the making for several years. Colunga equally shines, if not outshines the engaging storylines of his dancers telling a story of a guy who turned his life as a dancer into a career and now as a business owner, who seems to genuinely care for the welfare of his dancers and employees. If that weren’t enough, we see Matt with his longtime romantic/business partner, who works with Matt and their daily dramas running a business as well as supporting Matt’s wish with his final bodybuilding competition.
In a recent conversation McCoullouch told me it was his sister who lives in Atlanta who first brought him to Swinging Richards and he admits he had no idea a place like it existed. As it turned out it was one of the strippers, named Steve who recognized McCullouch from CSI who eventually suggested that there was a story to be told within the bar and those who danced at the bar worth pursuing. After the success of “All Male All Nude”, and support of Breaking Glass Pictures, McCullough was approached by Colunga who planted the seed for the second film and his Go-Go Bar Johnsons in Wilton Manor. This time Colunga was at the helm and helped McCoulough facilitate and guide potential storylines to be told of his dancers, himself and a glimpse into the world of Johnsons. “I had my own judgments about strip clubs, but when I had the opportunity to get to know these dancers, where one of them had a music career and another one was a father, I knew I wanted to celebrate these lifestyles and their unique engaging lives that existed all under this weird environment. It all develops into this family unit,” McCoullough told me. He admitted that the first film allowed him to develop a rapport with the dancers and most importantly with Matt who helped flesh out the world within Johnsons.
What makes “All Male, All Nude: Johnsons” so engaging is that the film will initially seduce you with its subjects, satisfy our curiosity of behind the scenes life and ultimately enlighten and demystify perceptions of a male stripper’s life by replacing it with heart. Many viewers will appreciate Wilton Manors, the city as another character within the film and others will put the city on their wishlist for upcoming travel. McCullouch even pulls in former Manors’ mayor, Gary Resnick who speaks highly of the city and plays an integral part of the drama that unfolds in the film. Lastly a film is nothing without a good soundtrack and music and “Johnsons” does not disappoint with the driving sexy beats and vocals of Corey Tut. I loved the music so much I had to go download his music on iTunes at once!
“All Male, All Nude: Johnsons” will have its premiere this Sunday, September 15 which will be a benefit and fundraiser for the Outshine LGBTQ+ Film Festival for Miami and Fort Lauderdale at the iconic Gateway Theatre in Fort Lauderdale beginning with a Pre-Event at 5:00 PM; Film at 6:30pm and After Party at 8:30 PM. 100% of the proceeds will benefit the festival. Tickets can be purchased here: Get Tickets Here!
The film will also play on October 3rd at the Atlanta Film Festival, Out on Film.
“All Male, All Nude: Johnsons” will have a release date on all VOD platforms shortly after that.