Showgirls

"Good"

Showgirls Review


It's so bad it's good. But hey, it ain't that good.ay?

Showgirls is the capper in writer Joe Eszterhas' storied career. First came Flashdance. Then he shocked us with Basic Instinct. Then he writes Showgirls, an ultra-explicit NC-17 drama about a Las Vegas showgirl who goes from nobody to "Goddess" by playing the Power Game better than everyone else.

No longer the innocent wallflower from Saved By the Bell, Elizabeth Berkley has been transformed (by an excellent plastic surgeon) into Nomi Malone, a sexy vamp who is nothing but trouble. This role is going to haunt Berkley for the rest of her life, if not longer, largely due to the fact that she is pretty much naked in every scene. We're talking Totally Nude, no holds barred. And not just Berkley, there's a whole harem of strippers to support her. They parade around in their scanties so much (and so well) that it's pretty easy to forget about little details like plot, acting, and character development.

Not that these things really exist in Showgirls. The plot is typical Eszterhas: Nomi has a shady past and wants to start over. A whole bunch of slimy guys get in her way. And Eszterhas is never one to forget to throw in a little lesbian subplot (in this case, with Gina Gershon, as Nomi's arch-rival Cristal). The acting is as much as one can expect from essentially two-dimensional characters, most of which are carbon copies of each other. Thankfully, Nomi holds our attention well thanks to her ta-tas, and Berkley hams up the role so much, she becomes incredibly fun to watch. It's all so very, very bad that you can't help but love it.

The ridiculous sets also make the film worthwhile. Director Paul Verhoeven (Total Recall) slices open his faux underbelly of Sin City for all to see. We're on the stage when Nomi makes her big entrances; everything is raw and vivid. There's no sense of "seduction across a crowded room." It's laid out in Technicolor through a two word image: pure lust, or at least as a Dutch film director sees it. And lest you start to take anything in this movie (or this review) seriously, be advised that this is all pure camp. Showgirls is fun, utter nonsense in the vein of Rocky Horror, as long as you don't take any of it seriously.

In closing, I feel compelled to say something meaningful about gratuitous nudity and sex in American cinema, but I won't. Yes, it's extreme and it's completely silly, but this story really won't work any other way. (And after 45 minutes, you really don't notice any more.) Did I mention silly? I love it!

MGM finally recognizes the camp value of the film and pulls out all the stops in its "VIP Limited Edition" of Showgirls, an enormous box set that turns Showgirls from a movie into a party experience. The film itself includes a hysterical commentary by David Schmader (who has a travelling monologue about the movie) called "The Greatest Movie Ever Made," plus a pop-up trivia track that offers juicy insights such as Elizabeth Berkley's total time in the film spent naked (20 minutes, 1 second). Skeptical video commentary from real strippers is also included during the film. The rest of the box includes a collection of party games such as pin the pasties on the stripper (blindfold included also), and a pair of shot glasses and game instructions for various Showgirls-themed drinking games. (Though note, the rules are strict that the shots should include non-alcoholic beverages. It's almost as ridiculous as the movie itself.) Highly recommended.

Sometimes you just gotta lick the pole.



Showgirls

Facts and Figures

Run time: 128 mins

In Theaters: Friday 22nd September 1995

Box Office Worldwide: $20.4M

Budget: $45M

Distributed by: MGM Home Entertainment

Production compaines: Le Studio Canal+, United Artists, Carolco Pictures

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 19%
Fresh: 9 Rotten: 38

IMDB: 4.5 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Starring: as Nomi Malone, as Zack Carey, as Cristal Connors, as James Smith, Bobbie Phillips as Dee, as Penny/Hope, as Al Torres, as Tony Moss, as Molly Abrams, Lin Tucci as Henrietta 'Mama' Bazoom, Greg Travis as Phil Newkirk, Al Ruscio as Mr. Karlman, Patrick Bristow as Marty Jacobsen, William Shockley as Andrew Carver, Michelle Johnston as Gay Carpenter, Dewey Weber as Jeff

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Colossal Movie Review

Colossal Movie Review

It's rare to find a movie that so defiantly refuses to be put into a...

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword Movie Review

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword Movie Review

It's unlikely that Guy Ritchie could make a boring movie if he wanted to. This...

Snatched Movie Review

Snatched Movie Review

It doesn't really matter that the script for this lively action-comedy is paper thin: teaming...

Jawbone Movie Review

Jawbone Movie Review

Boxing movies aren't usually this thoughtful. Sure, there are plenty of punchy moments in the...

Whisky Galore! Movie Review

Whisky Galore! Movie Review

Scottish filmmaker Gillies MacKinnon (Hideous Kinky) remakes the 1949 Ealing comedy classic, although it's difficult...

Alien: Covenant Movie Review

Alien: Covenant Movie Review

Master filmmaker Ridley Scott is back to continue the story 10 years after the events...

The Journey (2017) Movie Review

The Journey (2017) Movie Review

A fictionalised account of real events, this drama is reminiscent of Peter Morgan's work in...

Advertisement
Sleepless Movie Review

Sleepless Movie Review

In remaking the 2011 French thriller Sleepless Night, the filmmakers have dumbed down both the...

Unlocked Movie Review

Unlocked Movie Review

By injecting a steady sense of fun, this slick but mindless action thriller both holds...

Lady Macbeth Movie Review

Lady Macbeth Movie Review

A seriously impressive feature directing debut with a star-making central performance, this period British drama...

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Movie Review

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Movie Review

It was never going to be easy to match the impact of 2014's Guardians of...

The Promise Movie Review

The Promise Movie Review

The director of Hotel Rwanda, Terry George, turns to another humanitarian horror: the systematic murder...

Their Finest Movie Review

Their Finest Movie Review

Skilfully written, directed and acted, this offbeat British period film tells a story that catches...

Unforgettable Movie Review

Unforgettable Movie Review

With heavy echoes of trashy thrillers like Fatal Attraction, this movie overcomes its painfully simplistic...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.