SHOWGIRLS, Paul Verhoeven (1995).
When we refer to guilty pleasures we tend to focus only on music. You know, bands or songs you regard them as crap but for some reason you just can’t stop listening to them. I have some hits crushes, but I don’t even consider them worth mentioning, first because I talked about some long time ago, and second because they’re not as shocking as to highlight them.
This time I’m gonna talk about a film, which it’s absolute crap but it’s got me completely hooked: Showgirls, probably Paul Verhoeven’s most epic failure. After his 3 main blockbusters, ultra violent Robocop, the great Total Recall, the film adaptation of Philip K. Dick’s short story and Basic Instinct, the film which mean the explosion of success for Sharon Stone, the guy sure had lots of investors ready to support any of his projects, among them Mario Kassar was executive producer of the film, and completely lost his mind.
I watched Showgirls at the theater because Joe asked me to go with him. Yes, sad but true, I had to watch a movie about BITCHES (not hookers) in Vegas as an act of love. Every time I think of it, it’s followed by a face palm. You can imagine I didn’t like it at all and got quite pissed off. Now I remember it as a funny story, one of those weird things to be included in my CV of Toi’s madness.
For no reason throughout the years I’ve developed some short of addiction to Showgirls. It’s not that I regard it as a great movie, and I don’t have folders with captures wrapped on it. No, no way. The truth is that every time I see it on a TV channel, the world stops and I quit whatever I’m doing in that moment just to see Nomi Malone licking the pole, lap dancing, and fucking in a swimming pool. It’s fascinating on one hand, and on the other, kind of therapeutic. I always feel great and have great laugh. In fact I consider it one of the greatest comedy films in the 1990s.
According to Wikipedia:
The term “Showgirls-bad” has been adopted by film critics and fans to refer to films considered guilty pleasures, or “so-bad-they’re-good”.
Seems like I’m not alone in this.
It’s being broadcast on a channel almost twice a week lately. Fortunately I don’t watch much TV otherwise that’d be my mental ruin, but in the last few months I must admit I’ve been wasting my time with it.
I HATE Elizabeth Berkley. Perhaps Hate is an excessive feeling, but you know what I mean, I don’t sympathize with her at all. Poor girl, I never liked it either when she was Jessie Spano, the “intelligent” and smart girl in Saved By The Bell. I think her role as Nomi Malone ended with the slight respect someone could feel towards her. Probably she’s done interesting things after showing tits and pussy for 2 hours, but really, who cares? She’s finally become the heiress of the kingdom of trash. Her performance is so bad, so histrionic and exaggerated, you can’t stop laughing. Every time she’s called, or she understands it’s implied, a whore, she gets angry, grabs her stuff and leaves the scene. This happens at least 5-6 times. When dancing, her movements are three times more remarked than the rest of the dancers, and as for the “sexy” scenes, hats off!
When you’re watching a private lap dance scene which intends to be hot and sexy, and you end up giggling, it means Verhoeven stepped out of line. I’ve tried to see this film with more people, and it’s always the same. Everybody ends up laughing, we comment about her pussy in Agent Copper’s face (what the fuck were you doing there? Had you already spent all the Twin Peaks dough or what?), and the thought of the smell of the set of Showgirls comes to my head: pussy, sweet and cheap perfume. Good I wasn’t there considering I’m super sensitive to smells. As for the shag in the swimming pool, that crazy horse riding seemed more like an epileptic stroke.
As for the relationship between Cristal and Nomi…ah! It’s so funny the way Cristal, whose artistic name was chosen after the classy champagne brand, as if it was granted class would come afterwards, is fucking her over, with the nails, the dancing, the hooking thing…but thank God she was there to a craving for the reckless girl, otherwise, she would have remained at Cheetah’s with her boss Robert Davi (the other Agent Johnson) trying to sneak an occasional blowjob every once in a while, and we wouldn’t have been provided such amusing moments in the film history. Right after Showgirls, Gina Gershon was hired for playing the role of a lesbian in Bound, and I remember a hilarious chapter of Curb Your Enthusiasm, Larry David was especially out of line on this regard.
Showgirls is the story of an outlaw chick who arrives to the promised land in search for fame and fortune, no matter how. From rags to riches topic, but instead of being a mafia story, Verhoeven tried to find gold and glamour diving in the world of the strippers and showgirls, but in a very sordid and shabby way. Ridiculous dialogues, awful performances, shitty soundtrack, terrible choreographies, lots of glossy makeup, tits beyond a limit, pussy smell all over, yet memorable scenes. An irresistible cocktail of crap, and a definite MUST SEE.