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Wigstock: The Movie (1995)

R  |   |  Documentary  |  9 June 1995 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.8/10 from 435 users  
Reviews: 10 user | 18 critic

Documentary/Concert film covering the annual Drag festival in New York City. Highlights include a performance by drag diva, Ru Paul, and the infamous Lypsinca.


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Credited cast:
Paul Alexander ...
Joseph Arias ...
Nicola Bateman ...
Leigh Bowery ...
Herself (Candis Cayne) (as Brendan McDanniel)
Jayne County ...
Himself (as Wayne County)
Jackee Dee ...
Wigstock Dancer
Chloe Dzubilo ...
John Epperson ...
(as Lypsinka)
Mistress Formika ...
Kent Fuher ...
Jackie (as Jackie Beat)
Donna Giles ...
Girlina ...


Documentary/Concert film covering the annual Drag festival in New York City. Highlights include a performance by drag diva, Ru Paul, and the infamous Lypsinca. Written by R. John Berggren <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


A Celebration of Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Big Hair!



Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for sex-related material and language | See all certifications »


Official Sites:




Release Date:

9 June 1995 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Wigstock  »

Box Office


$688,512 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Lady Bunny: I think Mother Nature must be a drag queen, can you believe this weather?
See more »


Referenced in RuPaul's Drag Race: Extra Special Edition (2009) See more »


House of Love
See more »

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User Reviews

Love Your Hair. Hope It Wins!
18 April 2005 | by (Biloxi, Mississippi) – See all my reviews

From ancient Greek drama to Chinese opera, from the era of Shakespeare to the reign of the Italian castrati, throughout the world and for most of history women did not appear on stage. This gave rise to a revered theatrical tradition of what might best be called "female illusionists"--male artists who specialized in the performance of female roles and who were capable of making an audience believe a woman stood on stage before them. Such artists are still very much with us today. But you won't find any of them in WIGSTOCK: THE MOVIE.

The high-end performers here are RuPaul and Lypsinka. RuPaul is essentially an entertainer who plays with gender and racial iconography to create an enjoyable stage persona, and as such is very well known to mainstream audiences; although lesser known, Lypsinka is the more talented artist, creating considerably more subtle and wickedly camp caricatures. Both are very enjoyable--but the vast majority of the performers on stage might best be described as "tacky barroom drag queens." Some of these are very, very good at what they do, with "Lady Bunny" a case in point, but most are of a type: toying with a mix of 1950s-1960s-1970s female fashion brought up to a ludicrously "glamorous" degree and mixed with 1990s punk-and-funk styles, these are the drag queens you might find on stage in any mid-size city's gay bar of note. But because they are so common, viewers familiar with the drag world will be unimpressed: we've seen it again and again and again. They aren't particularly original, and therefore they aren't any more interesting on stage than the acts you've seen a hundred times before.

On the other hand, they are VERY interesting off-stage, and this documentary works best when it contrasts the preparations of the performers and their on-stage performances--giving us glimpses into the lives, motivations, and complicated preparations of the performers. And the audience itself is fascinating, a huge array of gay, straight, costumed, and (sometimes considerably) uncostumed people who are all bent on having a good time and don't mind showing that in front of the camera. Unfortunately, these backstage glimpses and audience shots are too few to make WIGSTOCK: THE MOVIE more than merely tantalizing, and the film in general eschews the "politics of drag" (for drag has always been to some degree a political statement) in favor of a "happy party" tone that wears thin well before the film comes to an end. Recommended, but primarily for those who know absolutely nothing about drag queens, their performing styles, and their backstage lives.

Gary F. Taylor, aka GFT, Amazon Reviewer

7 of 7 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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