Site created 12/15/97.
review added: 5/4/00
1995 (2000) - MGM/UA
review by Todd Doogan of
The Digital Bits
Rating: A+ (on the cult scale, C- for any other reason)
Disc Ratings (Video/Audio/Extras): B/A/C-
Specs and Features
131 mins, NC-17, letterboxed widescreen (2.35:1), single-sided,
RSDL dual-layered (layer switch 1:04:34, at the start of chapter
20), featurette, theatrical trailer, booklet, film-themed menu
screens, scene access (36 chapters), languages: English (DD 5.1),
French and Spanish (DD 2.0), subtitles: French and Spanish, Closed
"Must be weird
not having anyone come on you."
The best movie ever made is finally on DVD! Yes, that's right...
Showgirls is on DVD where it
belongs, and I couldn't be happier. I don't care one iota about
nudity and sexual overtones in film - so my reasons for loving this
film are not sexist in any way. I love Showgirls
because of Elizabeth Berkley. Oh. My. God. She is the best thing to
happen to mainstream films in such a long time. She has absolutely
no idea what the hell she's doing in this film, and that makes it
that much more epic. I honestly think that if they had actually
found a competent actress for the role of Nomi, this film wouldn't
be a cult hit and would have been just another film churned out by
the Hollywood mill. Instead, Berkley lends this film that extra
measure of cheese that it deserves. She makes it a cult classic.
Nomi is a young girl with a mysterious past, heading for the bright
lights of Las Vegas. Through Berkleys performance, we see that
Nomi is a child-woman - a giggling schoolgirl with an impressive
enough body to make it in a strip club. And thats exactly
where she earns her rent. No shame in that. Its in the clubs
where she hones her craft, by performing lapdances for paying
customers. What's a lapdance you ask? In this movie, it's when a
girl dances in front of you, takes off her clothes and then gyrates
her pelvic bone atop the man's pelvic bone until he's satisfied
somehow. Berkley is like a caged animal in these lapdances.
Actually, she's pretty much a caged animal all throughout the film.
Any-who... Nomi really wants to be a Vegas showgirl - one of them
respectable strippers who can dance and entertain (think Broadway
with silicone implants). So having made friends with a costume
designer (this scene is so grand - we get to watch Berkley overact
and "spasm" her anger while screeching like a monkey -
worth buying this film for all by itself) she gets in and is
discovered by the headlining dancer, Cristal (Gina Gershon). Cristal
makes it her new lifes goal to raise Nomi up and start
breaking her back down again. Gershon is actually very good in this
role, and it just goes to prove that the only really bad thing in
this film is Berkley.
So Nomi gets a spot and starts her climb. But she's not what she
seems and Cristal isn't all that capable of tearing down her
creation. At this point, Showgirls
becomes an epic battle of the wills, where only one
stripper/entertainer will be left standing... and the other will go
crashing down the badly foreshadowed staircase that leads to the
stage. Will Nomi make her dreams come true? Does Tono Stano know
that MGM stole his photo "Sense" for the poster art (seen
in the DVD jacket art above)? Is Kyle MacLachlan's hair in this film
real? And if so, can I make mine do that?
Showgirls is one of those "so
bad, it's good" films. But that's a rather misleading
statement, because again, only Elizabeth Berkley is really bad (but
she's plenty bad enough to make all the difference). She can't act
in this film to save her life. She wants to, and you can tell... but
it doesn't work. Maybe she's taken some lessons and things are
working out for her now, but she pretty much sucked here. Still, it
all works out for this film. You will have so much fun wondering
what the hell she and the filmmakers where thinking, that the movie
will blow on by and you might even want to give it another viewing
(just to make sure Berkley really is as bad here as you thought the
first time through). What can I say? I'm a sucker for cult flicks.
This is the unrated version of the film, and it's all the better
for it. I didn't like the R rated version, only because a film like
this NEEDS all the extra nudity, violence and stupidity it can get,
to fully wallow in its "cultness". Showgirls
is presented non-anamorphically, which is an insult to DVD fans. Why
MGM lumped this in as a catalogue title boggles my noggin. The fact
that its not a special edition is also just plain silly.
Still, for what it is, it looks fine. The picture is good, even
though there are times of questionable grain and along with some
NTSC problems here and there. But the blacks have a solid contrast
and the colors are very bright. The soundtrack is also top notch.
This disc has a rich 5.1 soundfield worthy of any set of ears. They
only extras on board are an electronic press kit and trailer along
with the standard booklet. Youll laugh, youll cry, youll
kiss 25 bucks goodbye.
Showgirls just has to be in
everyones collection. You need to have this film, just so you
can say, "Hey - I saw the worst frickin movie last night:
Showgirls. Wanna see it?"
Youll have guests over every night. Gotta love that Elizabeth