Carman Electra promises to help you lose weight with these great workouts! Too bad, most of it is just dance choreography.

The Lowdown

When it comes time to review a movie, I want to make sure I gear the review towards the DVDs target audience. When I review something like Cinderella II, I want to make sure the review is focused on the parents and kids that the DVD is marketed for. With these two Carmen Electra aerobic DVDs, the audience they are produced for is females who want to find a fun way to get into better shape. I am a 37-year old guy who couldn’t do what the girls on these DVDs are doing, so I am not the target audience.

Enter my wife.

She has been asking me for a long time to get her the original Carmen Electra DVD set and when I saw that I could review these two DVDs, I grabbed them if for no other reason than to please her. When they arrived, I sat and looked at the cases for a long time. I pondered how to review these DVDs. I figured the best way to rate these sets is to see if they actually worked, so I grabbed my wife, stood her in front of the TV, flipped on the first DVD – Carmen Electra: Aerobic Striptease – Vegas Strip – and asked her to give it a try. Then I would decide if these DVDs actually worked.

First, I will preface the review by saying this: the titles of the DVDs are Aerobic Striptease – Vegas Strip and Aerobic Striptease – In the Bedroom.

Strip•tease (strÄ­p’tÄ“z’) n.  A performance, as in a burlesque act, in which a person slowly removes clothing, usually to musical accompaniment.

The first thing I have to tell you guys is there are no clothes slowly removed throughout the entire running time of the DVDs. These do not teach a woman how to do erotic stripteases, or even an aerobic one. If you are a guy, and want to see Carmen Electra get naked, go buy her old Playboys. There is nothing to see here.

The producers of these DVDs hired Carmen Electra because they said when someone sees Carmen, they immediately think of fitness. I can’t really agree with that. When I see Carmen Electra, I think of stupid roles in Scary Movie films, Playboy centerfolds and a woman who could not keep Dave Navarro satisfied. I mean, if you are married to Carmen Electra, why would you want to bone someone else? Something has got to be wrong with this girl. Regardless, Electra is a figurehead who does an exercise routine developed by Jennifer Galardi while reading words from a teleprompter written by Lesley Wolff. While giving some influence of her own, basically in the way she talks to the audience like she is just one of the girls, Carmen is just someone who is trotted out to make sure you are watching a person who knows how to move her body.

None of that will matter if the exercise routines do not work. On the Vegas Strip disc, it fails pretty badly in that area. The first problem is that the entire 30-minute running time is broken down in sections teaching you how to do a 2-minute dance routine. This is not an aerobic workout, or an erotic striptease – it is a glorified Dallas Cowboy Cheerleader routine. My wife explained that it really helps if the girls using these videos already have dance experience before starting it. The moves are shown in small batches and then after each section, you are expected to do everything from the beginning up to that point. If you get lost at all, you will need to pause, rewind and start that section over. Finally, when you reach the end of the video, and you have all the moves down, it is time to do the routine. However, instead of taking you through the routine with the music, you get what looks like a music video, along with slow motion and video effects. That makes it impossible to compare your moves with the girls teaching you and really is not a good way to dance along with the video.

Now, I am not an expert at fitness videos, but I would assume that after learning the moves and getting everything down, there should be something on the video to practice the dance alongside of. That is not present on this video. There is the instructional video and that is it. I guess they expect you to learn the moves and then do it to your own music, but that really defeats the purpose of even knowing if you are still doing it right. Maybe I’m just missing the point. I don’t see how this can be seen as any sort of a successful workout video and only serves as an instructional video for dance choreography.

In the Bedroom starts with Carman thanking us for welcoming her into our bedroom. This DVD is set up much better than the Vegas Strip disc as we start off with stretches. Instead of just teaching you a dance, you actually exercise. What a concept! Believe me, this DVD actually provides what the DVDs promise. After viewing the first DVD in the set, I was prepared to give up on both of them. I am glad I didn’t because this second disc is exactly what we were looking for in an exercise DVD. Leave Vegas Strip on the shelf but if you are a woman looking for a good exercise DVD, In the Bedroom is a great choice.

Everything on the first part of this disc is based on stretching exercises and is a great alternative to pilate’s workouts. All the exercises are designed to be performed on the bed or around the bed and all the exercises are easy but do what they are supposed to do. The problem with Vegas Strip is a girl could easily be lost and feel like giving up after a couple of attempts. In the Bedroom fixes that problem and everything is comfortable and easy to catch on to. My other complaint about not being able to keep up is solved as everything is done in a step-by-step method.

Unfortunately, once you get past all the stretching exercises we get another “sexy” dance routine to learn in the bedroom. Just as on the Vegas Strip disc, it is complicated and long and I have the same complaints as I did in the first one. I stand by my recommendation for the disc as you get a good thirty minute workout, but skip the second half because it is just a complicated choreographed dance routine.

The Package

Nothing wrong with the video (Full Screen) or sound (Dolby Digital) on the workouts themselves. The interviews look horrible though.

On the Vegas DVD there are interviews with one of the backup dancers, the choreographer and the writer. As I mentioned, the video looks absolutely horrible on these interviews. It’s like they shot it all in front of a green screen and then hired someone who had never worked with Chroma before to render it. Just bad, bad, bad. The interview with the choreographer is decent though.