I Saw This IN THE THEATER! Part Four in a Continuing Series
I can honestly claim that I've never been a fan of the The Jerry Springer Show, not even in that annoying ironic hipster way us creative types are prone to during our early 20s. Yet there I sat, one of maybe five others during the first matinee of Ringmaster's opening day. Why? Part of it was my perverse fascination with starsploitation, of which this was a textbook example. Part of it was that I was intrigued by the premise of a BTS look at a Springer-esque production. But mostly it was just as a youthful fuck you to all of the folks out there who had been proclaiming (sight unseen) that its existence augered the fall of mankind (which obviously didn't happen).
Having not seen it again in the intervening 13 years (and couple of months), I have only the barest recollection of its characters and plot, but I remember that for all of its exploitative zeal there was a real attempt to give some humanity to the white trash characters whose journey to appearing on the show made up the bulk of the screen time . I especially recall being genuinely moved by Molly Hagen's performance as a women locked in sexual competition with her daughter, Jamie Presley (channeling her white trash essence years before My Name is Earl). That said, I have no idea how the film holds up. The trailer is excrutiatingly bad, but I'm not sure it actually reflects the movie I saw so long ago. I think I'm going to have to revisit this one someday and see how much it matches up with my faded memories of a Friday afternoon I enjoyed a long time ago.