Directed by: Paul Verhoeven
Starring: Elizabeth Berkley, Gina Gershon
"You can fuck me when you love me"
I've been talking about this movie for the last 15 years. I feel like it's been indented into my brain like no other film i've seen ever! It's definitely one of my top 5 most watched films ever, i've seen it countless times and can re-enact every line from start to finish. "WHY is this one of your favourite films" you ask? well...........because it's fucking hilarious!
The story follows a young slut named Nomi Malone who hitchhikes her way to Vegas to become a dancer. Of course by dancer, i mean STRIPPER! and of course Nomi HATES working as a stripper, but looks like she's having a ball on stage every night showing her vagina to the world. One night she meets popular Vegas showgirl Queen Cristal Connors, and Cristal falls in LUST with her and gets her an audition for the show she headlines called, GODDESS.
Nomi thrusts and pouts her way through her audition, and Cristal ensures she gets the part [so she can have her around and toy with her]. Cristal REALLY does toy with her........i'm talking about seductive dance rehearsals, flirting lunch dates and Nomi getting her top ripped off and getting her nipples massaged by Cristal. Yes, it's that sleazy.
As Nomi goes through her showgirl journey she starts taking drugs and screwing her way to the top. She starts to become conniving and dangerous like Cristal, she loses herself in her career. Eventually, her hunger to be the #1 showgirl consumes her and she completely becomes a new person, pushing away the people around her and surrounding herself with the "wrong" types of friends.
Once she reaches the top, she gets a big reality check, and her backstabbing ways bring a lot of bad things her way. Nomi finds herself in some nasty predicaments and it's up to her to set things right.
It already sounds tacky enough, but seriously, you need to see it to believe it. Amidst the sleazy storyline, we have ridiculously laughable one liners, awful acting and some of the most unsexiest dancing on Earth. Oddly enough though, it all seems to WORK in the films favour. It's a giant mish mosh of memorable scenes and characters that you want to keep watching no matter how stupid it all seems.Showgirls has become a cult classic for a reason, and it's because it truly is ONE OF A KIND. You won't find anything like it. It's a pop culture STAPLE of cinema, and it's got a massive world wide fan base.
The movie bombed at the box office and got awful reviews back in the day. On video however, it ended up making a whopping $100 million dollars. That's the type of market it was made for, the sleazy cult video market. Similar to all those 80's horror films that found success in local video stores back in the day, Showgirls became the perfect at home guilty pleasure for people looking to be entertained by crazy one liners and soft core porn nudity. The viewers wanted to hate it, but they couldn't. The movie was so ridiculous, but people couldn't look away! It was an unstoppable video force! It was labeled the worst best film of the 90's.
Once DVD launched in the early 2000's, Showgirls had another great run with home viewing. It's had 3 different released since it launched on DVD and will most likely have a few more down the line. One version of the DVD even came in a specially packaged box that featured playing cards, shot glasses and a "pin the tassel on the breast" wall game. An entire movie experience has been created around this movie, drinking games, friend gatherings, it's the ultimate party movie.
As an avid fan of the film, i make an effort to watch it annually. And every time i slip it into my DVD player and press play, i have a ball all over again. It never seems to get old, in fact, it just gets better and better. Every time i meet a person who's never seen it before, and i know they may find the magic in it, i let them borrow it..........and without fail, they are mesmerized by it. Sure, it's for all the wrong reasons, but that's the magic of Showgirls!
Even critics over the years have warmed up to the pop culture impact that this film has made. Quentin Tarantino himself labeled it a success as "the only exploitation film made by MGMT in the last 20 years", and we all know how much he loves those types of films.
It's ironic how some movies live on forever as some of the greatest works cinema has ever seen, and others take on their OWN unique brand of infamy and live on as cult classics. Showgirls is one of those creations, and it will be brilliant and stupid until the end of time.
If you want a little more, check out the Podcast for Showgirls i did with fellow Showgirls fan Marcey, here.