(kr) wrote: Showgirls is one of the most magnificently bad films ever made. It's ineptly written, horribly acted, filled with gratuitous sex and nudity during almost the entire running time (NC-17 version, of course. Heh, heh. Aside from the opening 10 minutes, the film can almost never go more than 2 or 3 minutes without sex or nudity occurring), drug use, ridiculous love interests, hilariously bad dancing, lust, power, fame, back-stabbing, and a whole host of other things that suitably made it one of the most hated films of its time (Winning a whopping 7 Golden Raspberry Awards) and one of the most perplexing bad films ever made that still confounds people 20 years after its release to the point where some read far too deeply into it.Showgirls is simply one of the greatest so-bad-it's-good films ever made, surpassing even such revered disaster-pieces as Sharknado, The Room, Reefer Madness, and many other such films. It's utterly insane, utterly glorious, stunningly bad, and hilarious. In short, it's a near-masterpiece of schlock entertainment. If you consider yourself to be a lover of B-movies, let me try to explain to you why you should immediately get yourself a copy of this film.Nomi Malone is looking to make it big as a dancer in Las Vegas, but things start off badly when a man who gives her a ride ends up leaving her without any money or what few things she brought with her.But, she meets a woman named Molly Abrams who works as a costume designer for the Stardust Casino. She takes in Nomi as a roommate, and Nomi finds work at Cheetah's Topless Club, but aspires to dance in a high-end place like the Stardust Casino. Molly even lets her meet with the Stardust Casino's most popular dancer, Cristal Connors, who arrogantly dismisses what Nomi does, which deeply upsets Nomi. Things only get worse for Nomi that day when she gets into a fight at The Crave Club, which results in brief jail time before getting bailed out by a man named James, who is fixated on Nomi, much to her annoyance.One night, while performing at her club, Cristal Connors and her boyfriend, Zack pay a visit to the club and she wants her to perform a lap dance on her. However, thanks to the rules of the club, she cannot, so instead Cristal opts to have Nomi perform the dance on Zack, which she does, to the point of where he achieves orgasm because the dance was more like a sexual encounter.Impressed by her abilities, and also the fact she is attracted to her, she gets Nomi an audition for the dance show, Goddess. However, she is humiliated during the audition when she refuses to rub ice on her nipples to make them hard, and then ends up working on a dance routine with the mysterious man named James which almost results in a sexual encounter that is ended when Nomi leaves when she reveals she is on her period.Despite the audition, Nomi gets the job and quits Cheetah's, sending her on a wild ride of fame, back-stabbing, sex, nudity, sexual tension, bizarre love interests, and a great deal of bad dancing...like a horny, dirty, cheesy, laugh-out-loud awful version of the 1950 classic, All About Eve...but with strippers instead of theater actors.The storyline is absolutely awful in the best possible ways. Not only is this film a brain-dead version of All About Eve (A film that was in fact, SMART, well acted, well written, well directed, intentionally funny, and genuinely dramatic), but the film also goes batshit insane by going on bizarre tangents like with the James character, jam-packing every few minutes with sex and nudity, Nomi's hilarious temper tantrums (If her character receives even the slightest criticism, she will storm off), gloriously awful dance routines, satire that careens wildly off the rails, and so much more. Reportedly, Joe Eszterhas (Who also wrote other such wonderful trashy films like Flashdance, Basic Instinct, and Sliver) was paid a whopping $2 million for his script before it was written, which was apparently conceived on a napkin and a fondness for MGM musicals.Even as strange and trashy as his previous films were, there is something just completely insane about the script he wrote for this film, almost as if it were written on a coke bender, which wouldn't surprise me because of how big a hit Basic Instinct was.I know this film has its defenders who try to say that this film was meant to be like this and that is in fact, a serious satire, talking about Paul Verhoeven's works like Robocop and Starship Troopers, as well as even going to say that not only is this film is a scathing satire about the nature of show business, but also apparently something capitalism and other serious discussion topics. I don't doubt that this film is supposed to be a satire.However, I don't think this film was meant to go off the rails like it did. You see, with films like Robocop and Starship Troopers, the satire had very intentional and precise feelings to them. It's hard to really put into words, but I guess I should just say is that I have the very strong essence that made you know precisely what they were meant to be. Showgirls does not have this feeling. It has a feeling much like The Room - it feels like a sincere attempt and it aspired to be taken seriously and be interpreted as something meaningful, but instead derailed and crashed into oblivion.No part of the film truly emphasized this like the intense rape scene that occurs near the end of the film. You see, the rest of the film has a very campy tone to it, that makes you perhaps start thinking that maybe it was meant to be like it is as some people claim. The rape scene is certainly not campy - it is in fact, harrowing and brutal - completely serious as it should be. This does not jive with the rest of the film. The tone is not consistent, it is completely out of place in comparison to the rest of the film. This for me, officially cemented my belief that this film was meant to be taken seriously, not be laughed at (Or at least not as much as you generally will).Plus, the whole messy structure of the plot makes me further believe that it was supposed to be something deeper and that it wasn't meant to be as jumbled as it was. It feels like it was written in a drug-induced haze that wanted to take a vicious stab at the cruel, vain nature of fame.The acting is also a sight to behold, especially the lead performance of Elizabeth Berkley as Nomi. You see, Elizabeth Berkley was looking to reinvent her career as a serious actress after achieving fame from the innocuous cheesy sitcom, Saved By The Bell, which backfired because of how hilariously bad her performance is in this film, which ultimately killed her career as an actress. Her performance is very sincere, but it goes completely off course, especially with how over the top she was in her emotions and how her character just seems to get pissy over the most minor of things. It's a powerhouse of bad acting and a marvel to behold, including the infamous pool sex scene in which as she was gyrating, it looked like a cross between demon possession and a massive seizure.I also loved the bitchy performance by Gina Gershon as Cristal. She definitely chews the scenery, but she embraces her bitchy role with finesse and fun. It wasn't quite as fun to watch as Berkley's performance, but it still offered great fun, especially with scenes shared between Gershon and Berkley.The other performances are pretty cheesy, too, but they don't compare to Berkley and Gershon.Maybe you might be able to interpret the material as a serious satire like a few fans have, but the only reason outside of that to be entertained by this film is solely on the basis of so-bad-it's-good trashy entertainment. For that purpose, Showgirls is a stunning, hilariously awful tragedy of film-making and career-wrecking like no other film. The plot that goes wildly off course, there's the hilariously over the top acting, nearly endless sex and nudity, and many more moments promise to deliver a nearly endless supply of entertainment for any fan of B-movies.Showgirls is one of the greatest so-bad-it's-good films I've ever seen. I kick myself for not having watched it sooner, and I'm sure to be guaranteed many wonderful viewings in future years. If you enjoy B-movies, Showgirls is a must-see. If not, it will cause your eyes to bleed if you dare watch it and behold just how awful it truly is.