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#17. Showgirls - Review

Showgirls PosterI am not comfortable calling Showgirls a bad film. I derive far too much enjoyment from its misguided attempt at drama to judge it so harshly. No, its not fair to call Showgirls bad, but I think “special” is more appropriate.  Director Paul Verhoeven’s intentions I believe were noble. He didn’t set out to make the most ridiculous movie ever made; it just turned out that way. Its not like this guy can’t direct a decent flick. He gave the world Total Recall, RoboCop, Basic Instinct, and my personal favorite, Starship Troopers. Verhoeven was no hack, so how could such a piece of crap not only garner a wide release, but also become a pop-culture phenomenon?

I guess I can find blame with the worthless NC-17 rating. When this film was released in 1995, it was a huge deal that it was rated above R and theaters were still willing to release it. Some chains showed edited versions of the film, but honestly, the NC-17 cut is laughably tame. This movie oozes sexuality like an infected wound. I have watched episodes of Monk that were more capable arousing me than Showgirls.

Of course that is what happens when you take “the ugly one” from Saved by the Bell and force her to strip and act crazy. Remember the episode when Jessie Spano gets addicted to speed to help her study for the SATs? She gradually becomes more of a looney tune throughout the show until Zack Morris has to stage a one-on-one intervention. Imagine if the maniacal drug addicted liar from that episode decided to ditch Bayside and hitchhike to Las Vegas with hopes of becoming a topless dancer… that is Nomi in Showgirls.  Berkley brings so much intensity to every single scene I cannot believe she survived this shoot. Even her lap-dances were so vigorous, Kyle MacLachlan had to be hosed down after every take. It is this ferocity that gives Showgirls its charm. Berkley truly is entertaining to watch, and I mean that positively. Her performance isn’t great, but dammit if she does not pour every ounce passion she can muster on to the screen.

Showgirls is not nearly as insulting or titillating as its reputation would have you believe. I honestly think everyone involved had good intentions, perhaps even high hopes for the film. It’s a shame the result turned out to be such a train wreck, but like any train wreck I can’t look away. This flick is worth watching, and not just because it’s a good laugh, but because it’s an important cautionary tale to aspiring screenwriters: Showgirls is what happens when you build an entire movie around nipples.

Here is the most epic clip from a "kids" tv show maybe ever... I"M SO SCARED!!

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Reader Comments (2)

Bahhahaa! I concur sir. And let us not forget the amazing Gina ....so hot as a bitch.

September 21, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLance

I have a friend in Denver who loves this movie so much she dressed as Nomi for Halloween 3 years ago...but the best part is that she had 4 different outfits and she kept changing throughout the night!!!

September 27, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBeth

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