Ben Camelino, an I.T. drone at a boring corporation, wants to marry his gorgeous fiancée, Rachel Matthews, as soon as possible. The problem is that Rachel wants the $50,000 dream wedding and her father, Jack, who’s offered to pay for the wedding has secretly gambled away all of his money. While following Jack one day, Ben walks into a male strip club and inadvertently discovers that he has a talent for exotic dancing. Under pressure from Jack to earn the money that would pay for Rachel’s dream wedding, Ben must somehow learn to balance a newfound career – and all of its ensuing madness – with his relationship.
Often referred to as a Rock ‘n Roll anthropologist, Spheeris currently lives in Los Angeles.
As a child Penelope Spheeris lived with her family in different trailer parks throughout southern California. She spent her teenage years in Orange County, graduating from Westminster High School with a daunting ‘most likely to succeed’ label. Working as a waitress at Denny’s and IHOP, she put herself through film school.
A holder of a UCLA Master of Fine Arts degree in Theater Arts, she worked as a film editor and a cinematographer before forming her own company in 1974. ROCK ‘N REEL was the first Los Angeles production company specializing in music videos. She produced, directed, and edited videos for major bands through the Seventies and Eighties, concluding her music video work with the Grammy nominated, “Bohemian Rhapsody” video for “WAYNE’S WORLD”.
Spheeris’ feature film debut was the 1979 documentary on the Los Angeles punk scene, “THE DECLINE OF WESTERN CIVILIZATION” which received stunning and unanimous critical praise.
The LAPD shut down Hollywood Boulevard and Chief of Police, Daryl Gates wrote a letter demanding the film not be shown again in L.A. Still fascinated with the subject of punk rock, she wrote and directed “SURBURBIA”, her first narrative film in 1983. It is a disturbing and somewhat prophetic story of rebellious, homeless kids squatting in abandoned houses, trying to make new families, and protecting one another. “SUBURBIA” won first place at the Chicago Film Festival. Almost 25 years later her documentary, “THE DECLINE OF WESTERN CIVILIZATION, PART III” would eerily mirror the events she scripted in “SUBURBIA”.
In 1984, “THE BOYS NEXT DOOR” starred Charlie Sheen and Maxwell Caulfield. It is an anti-violence film that showed how perfectly normal looking boys whose anger has long been repressed, can be walking time bombs capable of becoming serial killers.
In 1987 “DUDES”, starring Flea, Lee Ving, John Cryer and Daniel Roebuck, were alienated punk kids who discover a sense of values while setting straight the death of a friend.
In all of these films Spheeris reveals the desolation of youth and the American dream gone bad. They depict stories of young people experiencing irreversible pain and alienation.
“THE DECLINE OF WESTERN CIVILIZATION, PART II: THE METAL YEARS” was released in 1988, again to spectacular critical acclaim. It is a caustically hilarious look at the LA heavy metal scene. Commentaries from Ozzy Osbourne, Steven Tyler and Joe Perry, Alice Cooper, Lemmy of Motorhead, Poison, etc. accentuate the mostly unknown metal bands who perform the music. It features a spectacular performance from Megadeth and the scene with W.A.S.P. rocker Chris Holmes and his mother will probably remain one of the most memorable pieces of rock film history.
In 1991, Spheeris directed her seventh feature and her first studio film, “WAYNE’S WORLD” at Paramount Pictures. Subsequently she directed and produced “THE BEVERLY HILLBILLIES” (Fox). “THE LITTLE RASCALS” (Universal), “BLACK SHEEP” (Paramount), “SENSELESS” (Dimension) and “THE KID & I” (independent) were to follow.
“THE DECLINE OF WESTERN CIVILIZATION: PART III” was filmed in 1997. Documenting the contemporary punk rock scene, most of the kids in it were not yet born when the first installment was filmed. “DECLINE III” focuses on social issues rather than music. Most of the subjects are crusty gutterpunks, proud products of a society truly in decline.
In 1999, Spheeris traveled with many prominent metal bands to document in Hi-Def the OZZFEST, America’s most successful summer concert tour, and the reunion performances of the original Black Sabbath. The crew traveled through twenty-eight cities, each with crowds of thirty to forty thousand. Both as director and one of the cinematographers, Spheeris achieved a remarkable and historic film which offers the audience a unique view of life on the road. The film is titled “WE SOLD OUR SOULS FOR ROCK ‘N ROLL”.
Her current film is "BALLS TO THE WALL" starring Jenna Dewan, Joe Hursley, Chris McDonald, Mimi Rogers, Antonio Sabato Jr and Colleen Camp. It's a comedy based in the world of male exotic dancing.
At the request of fans from around the world, Spheeris is now devoting her time to compiling the elements for the release of "THE DECLINE OF WESTERN CIVILIZATION" trilogy on DVD.
BEN CAMELINO: Loyal, hardworking, ambitious, Ben is the classic guy next door… if the guy next door happened to moonlight as a male exotic dancer..
ABOUT THE ACTOR: Joe Hursley was born and raised in Austin, Texas. He began his career in entertainment by chance when he serendipitously decided to enter a national talent search, sponsored by Schick in 1999, and won. Hursley went on to start his own karaoke company, becoming well known in Austin as Karaoke Joe. As a teenager, he performed over 500 shows in just a couple of years. In 2005 he decided to move to Los Angeles to pursue his dreams in Hollywoodland.
After working a few odd jobs, he made his acting debut in 2005 starring in MTV's reality prankster series You've Got a Friend. The show, produced by Ashton Kutcher, showcased Hursley’s talents for improvising realistic, silly, and subversive comedy. It proved an entertaining but short lived series. After YGAF, Kutcher tapped him to join the Punk'd cast. From then on he's been flying under the radar with supporting roles in major motion pictures like Accepted, Fast & Furious, and Resident Evil: Extinction.
Hursley has also landed numerous guest roles on TV and short films, all while garnering attention for his first band, The Ringers. The band was featured in SPIN magazine, and for years had a reputation on the Sunset Strip for the best real live rock n' roll shows around. Hursley's passion for music and acting has worked well together for his career. This is perhaps demonstrated best by his most recognizable role to date, faux rock god White Gold, in California Milk Processor Boards successful commercial campaign. Starring in Balls to the Wall, and getting to work with legendary maverick director Penelope Spheeris, showcase how Hursley's talents have grown as a serious and comedic actor.
JACK MATTHEWS: Husband. Father. Financial adviser. Gambler. Matthews takes the gamble of his life when he pushes Ben into becoming a stripper.
ABOUT THE ACTOR: Christopher McDonald is one of Hollywood’s most prolific and versatile actors. Beloved for his memorable performances in “Thelma and Louise,” “Requiem for a Dream, “Quiz Show,” “The Perfect Storm,” and voice talent in “The Iron Giant,” McDonald is a classically-trained stage actor, with a broad fan base.
His notable dramatic television guest-starring roles include work on “The Sopranos,” “The Bronx is Burning,” “61,” and Martin Scorsese’s critically acclaimed HBO series, “Boardwalk Empire.” Last year, he was seen in David E. Kelly’s legal drama “Harry’s Law” on NBC as recurring character, Tommy Jefferson, and returns this season as a permanent cast member opposite Kathy Bates.
McDonald first caught Hollywood’s attention when he played Goose McKenzie in “Grease 2,” starring Michelle Pfeiffer. Even though more movie offers followed, McDonald opted instead to work on his acting craft, immersing himself in acting studies at London’s Royal Academy of Dramatic Art.
Upon returning to Los Angeles, McDonald performed in over thirty-five productions at the Los Angeles Theater Center, including “Hamlet,” “Othello,” “Death of a Salesman,” and “Taming of a Shrew,” which led him to begin an enviable career that has never slowed down.
Film highlights include “The Boys Next Door” (1985), “Outrageous Fortune” (1987), “Chances Are” (1989), “Thelma and Louise” (1991), “Dutch” (1991), “Wild Orchids 2” (1992), “Grumpy Old Men” (1993), “Fatal Instinct” (1993), “Terminal Velocity” (1994), “Quiz Show” (1994), “Cover Story” (1994), “Rich Man’s Wife” (1995), “Happy Gilmore” (1996), “Leave it to Beaver” (1997), “Flubber” (1997) “The Iron Giant” (1999), “The Perfect Storm” (2000), “Spy Kids:2” (2002), “Grind” (2003), “Takedown” (2004), “Rumor Has It” (2005), “American Pie” (2006), “Kickin’ It Old Skool” (2007), “My Sexiest Year” (2007), “Mad Money” (2008), “Superhero Movie” (2008), “Fanboys” (2008), “The House Bunny” (2008) and “The Best and The Brightest” (2010).
McDonald’s long held respect for the stage led him to return to New York to star as Billy Flynn, the nefarious self serving lawyer in Kander and Ebb’s “Chicago.” The show toured major markets nationwide with McDonald’s leading performance embraced by critics and audiences alike. Other theater credits include “Nightclub Cantina,” “Hay Fever,” “Bouncers,” and The Los Angeles Theatre Center’s productions of “Hamlet,” “Othello” and “The Taming of the Shrew.” He is also the recipient of a Drama-logue Award for Best Actor (“Final Touches”).
McDonald’s TV credits also include regular appearances on the series “Cracking Up,” (Fox), “Kim Possible” (Disney), “North Shore” (Fox), “Family Law” (CBS) and “Veronica’s Closet.” (NBC).
Born and raised in New York City, McDonald is one of seven children. Originally, a pre-med major at Hobart College, McDonald decided to pursue an acting career in his senior year. In addition to his theater studies in London, McDonald also attended the Stella Adler Acting Conservatory in New York.
McDonald and his wife, Lupe, are the proud parents of 3 daughters and a son, and reside in Los Angeles.
RACHEL MATTHEWS: Smart and beautiful, Rachel believes in her fiancé Ben even if no one else does. She has no idea what Ben and her father are doing to give her the wedding of her dreams, which is probably just as well.
ABOUT THE ACTOR: This fall, Jenna Dewan-Tatum will star alongside an ensemble cast in Imagine Television’s and 20th Century Fox’s highly-anticipated “The Playboy Club,” premiering September on NBC. She plays “Bunny Janie,” the life of the party girl with a secret past.
She recently wrapped the feature film “Set Up” alongside Ryan Phillippe, Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson and Bruce Willis and has a starring role in “Ten Year,” an ensemble film co-starring her husband Channing Tatum, Rosario Dawson, Justin Long and Brian Geraghty that will premiere at this year’s Toronto Film Festival.
She has established herself as a solid actor with a list of big screen credits including her break out performance in the box-office hit “Step Up.” She followed that with roles in such films as “Take the Lead,” “The Grudge 2,” “Love Lies Bleeding,” and more. She has also guest-starred on such hit television series as “Joey,” and “The Young & the Restless” as well as the Lifetime Television highly-rated telefilm “Fab Five: The Texas Cheerleader Scandal.” Based on true events, the story follows a small town’s cheerleaders that are allowed to run amok by their parents and the school.
Jenna has a rich background in dance, which she began at the age of five. After attending the University of Southern California, she was discovered by a dance agent and toured alongside some of the music industry’s great performers including Janet Jackson and Ricky Martin.
She also appeared in music videos for Justin Timberlake, Mandy Moore and Missy Elliot. Jenna serves as a development partner in a newly established production company 33 and Out that has recently signed a two-year production deal with Relativity Media. Born in Texas, Jenna now resides in Los Angeles with her husband.
CHAD GOLDSTEIN: The guy you love to hate. Tanned, buffed, waxed and plucked, the Chadillac is as dim as he is attractive. Star of the Male Room – at least until Ben steals his fan base.
ABOUT THE ACTOR: Born and raised in Wisconsin, Felker was discovered while attending university at 19 years old by a scout for the Ford Modeling agency.
After brief success modeling he was seen in several high profile music videos and print ads including Britney Spears' "Toxic," Fountains of Wayne's Stacy's mom with Rachel Hunter as well as various others. He took time away to write a feature film titled "Who Is Brad Lenz" about social networking sites. During the writing process he trademarked the "No Photo" symbol commonly seen on Myspace.
A year after the completion of the screenplay, director Penelope Spheeris attached herself to direct the piece. Spheeris and Felker teamed up again when he was cast in her 2011 comedy titled "Balls to the Wall."
UNCLE SVEN: Some men are born to cure disease. Some men are born to discover new worlds. Uncle Sven was born to pick up chicks, changing young Ben’s life with the magic words: “If you want to attract the ladies, the dance floor is the place to do it.”
Antonio Sabato Jr. has proven to be one of the hottest commodities to come out of daytime television, nabbing a series of prime-time roles and appearing in the most successful Calvin Klein underwear campaign in the company's history. Antonio guest starred on FOX’s Bones, Scrubs, TNT’s hit Rizzoli & Isles, NCIS, CSI: New York, and Hot In Cleveland. His dating series, My Antonio, set in Hawaii was a hit for VH1.
Antonio will next be seen in the new Penelope Spheeris comedy Balls to the Wall. He recently completed co-starring in the indie drama feature A Mother’s Secret with Ashley Jones. He starred as serial killer Henry Lee Lucas in the indie feature Drifter: The Henry Lee Lucas Story, for which he won Best Actor at The 2009 Beverly Hills Film Festival.
ABOUT THE ACTOR: Antonio starred in the movie Ghost Voyage for the Sci-Fi Channel and Destination: Infestation opposite Jessalyn Gilsig for Lifetime Television. He reprised his famed General Hospital character, Jagger Cates on SoapNet’s Night Shift after winning NBC’s hot summer series Celebrity Circus, where he performed nearly-impossibly “Cirque du Soleil-esque” acts. Previously Antonio starred on the popular CBS daytime drama The Bold and the Beautiful playing a role created specifically for him.
Growing up in Rome, Antonio's first language is Italian and he didn't learn to speak English until he moved to Beverly Hills in 1984 with his mother and sister. His big break came when he was cast in the infamous Janet Jackson video Love Will Never Do Without You, shot by Herb Ritts.
When Antonio joined the cast of ABC's General Hospital in the spring of 1992, the show jumped from seventh to third in the daytime Nielsen Ratings. That same year Antonio landed a coveted spot in People Magazine's 50 Most Beautiful People issue.
Fashion designer Calvin Klein hired the actor in the summer of 1996 to be the company's first celebrity model since Mark Wahlberg four years earlier. During his tenure with Calvin Klein, Antonio appeared in a campaign photographed by Herb Ritts and on a 90-foot billboard in the middle of Times Square.
One of Antonio's most memorable roles was that of Heather Locklear's abusive ex-husband in a six-episode stint on Melrose Place. He appeared opposite Mark Wahlberg and Lou Diamond Phillips in feature The Big Hit.
Antonio has made guest appearances on such notable shows as FOX's Ally McBeal and the WB's Charmed. He also starred in WB's comedy The Help opposite Tori Spelling.
Antonio currently resides in Los Angeles. He is a fitness and auto-racing enthusiast, and an accomplished author (No Excuses: Workout for Life). He enjoys spending time with his son Jack and daughter Mina.
LEWIS GARDNER: Ben’s best friend and confidante, fellow I.T. ghetto dweller. We wonder if he’s EVER been laid.
CHARLEMAGNE: The Iceman cometh…to the Male Room, where he offers Ben advice and squares off against his chief rival, the Chadster. Charlemagne has a heart of gold and a set of morals seldom found in a strip club…..and he actually looks good in a kimono.
ABOUT THE ACTOR: Nic is a graduate of Brown University where he earned his MFA in acting and directing, and Clark Atlanta University (MA in Ed Admin).
Theatre credits include: A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Guthrie), A Christmas Carol (Guthrie), The Dinosaur Within (Boston Court), Romeo and Juliet (Los Angeles Shakespeare Center), Romeo and Juliet (St Louis Rep), Measure For Measure (Write Act), Black Birds (Horizons), The Misanthrope (NY Theatre Workshop), Ends Eve (NY Fringe Festival), Sex Acts (Push Push Theatre), The Ballad of Emmett Till (O’Neil Center), The America Play (Actors Express), Topdog/Underdog (Trinity Rep), Confluence (Guthrie), Measure for Measure (Chatuaqua Theatre), Tartuffe (Theatre in the Square), Action Movie II (Dad’s Garage), Tambourines to Glory (Jomandi Theatre), Lomax (Jomandi Theatre), The Cherry Orchard (Trinity Rep), Julius Caesar (Brown/ Trinity Rep).
Television / Film includes: Eleventh Hour (CBS), Blotter (TNT), Balls to the Wall ,The Undying and Nasty Girls.