Private Project

Pure Ecstasy | Inside the Infamous Starck Club

The epicenter for 1980s counterculture wasn't spawned in New York, Los Angeles, or even Manchester, England but in the most unlikely of places, Dallas, Texas. The infamous Starck Club was a Shangri-La for the rich, the famous, the uber hip: movie stars, rock stars, sports celebrities, Dallas debutantes, politicians – and anyone else who had the attitude and duds to convince the phalanx at the front door to let them pass. MDMA or “Ecstasy”, the then legal drug, was adding euphoric fuel to the fire.

The club's policy of welcoming all including gays, straights, rich, poor, black, white and everything in between was attracting worldwide attention and local hostility. The only thing not allowed inside was prejudice and that made the Starck the target for city leaders, the police and Reagan's war on drugs.

On August 8, 1986, a DEA raid at the Starck lead to the emergence of a new progressive subculture, Rave, which would soon be known from Los Angeles to Detroit to London to Ibiza.

Pure Ecstasy focuses on the club as a microcosm of the 1980s. Music, fashion, politics, culture, and designer drugs each played a role in the drama which made Starck Club the hegemonic nightspot of the 1980s.

  • Michael Cain
    TV Junkie, JOBS
  • Miles Hargrove
    Torey's Distraction
  • Melina McKinnon
    TV Junkie, JOBS
  • Dennis Bishop
    Dexter, Fast and the Furious
  • Michael Cain
    TV Junkie, JOBS
  • Wade Randolph Hampton
  • Philippe Starck
    Key Cast
  • Grace Jones
    Key Cast
  • Owen Wilson
    Key Cast
  • Gerald V. Casale
    Key Cast
  • Thomas Haden Church
    Key Cast
  • Edwige Belmore
    Key Cast
  • Peter Hook
    Key Cast
  • Paul Oakenfold
    Key Cast
  • Rick Doblin
    Key Cast
  • Project Type:
  • Genres:
    Music, History, War on Drugs
  • Runtime:
    1 hour 35 minutes 4 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    December 29, 2015
  • Production Budget:
    450,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    France, United Kingdom, United States Minor Outlying Islands
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • None
Director Biography - Michael Cain, Miles Hargrove

Michael Cain is an award winning documentary filmmaker with over 20 years experience in the entertainment sector.

A native of Dallas, Michael received a Master in Fine Arts | Producing from the American Film Institute (AFI). Michael directed and produced the award-winning feature documentary TV Junkie (Special Jury Prize, 2006 Sundance Film Festival). In March 2007, TV Junkie aired on HBO as part of the Addiction Series. This series received the Governor’s Award from the Academy of Television Arts and Science. Hollywood Reporter called TV Junkie “the most powerful” of the four films included in the HBO series.

Michael is Co-Founder and President of M3 Films LLC and Co-Founder and Chairman of the Board of The Dallas Film Society, host of the Dallas International Film Festival (DIFF). Michael served as Artistic Director for both the Deep Ellum Film Festival and DIFF.

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Director Statement

I'm attracted to stories born out of conflict and transformation.