Reviewed by Jenny LeComte
Rating: 5.5 Beans
eave your brain cells at the door when you hire this soft-porn no brainer by veteran schlockmeister Paul Verhoeven (Basic Instinct, Total Recall).
The man who has produced more crap than a laxative factory appears to have taken on this movie, branded as "unproduceable'', to satisfy his masturbatory fantasies.
The action, mainly unclothed, revolves around Nomi Malone (Elizabeth Berkley), a dolly bird...oops, dancer...who heads for the bright lights of Vegas to be a star.
Nomi is a blonde bimbo with a minus IQ (she owes points to whoever hands them out), a penchant for revealing outfits and a hair-trigger temper. A wrong word, a cross look and Nomi attacks like a sudden storm at sea.
She pulls a knife on the poor unfortunate who picks her up hitch-hiking. Upon meeting gal pal Molly Abrams (Gina Ravera), Nomi vandalises her car and up-ends an order of fries in her face by way of introduction.
Nomi gives similar treatment to James Smith (Glenn Plummer), a foxy Afro-American dancer who tells her "you've got more natural talent than anybody I've ever seen". (James, old sausage, are you blind or just plain stupid?) As for the producer who tells Nomi to put ice on her nipples, hell hath no fury like a petulant bimbo.
Despite Nomi's high ambitions, she ends up working in Cheetahs, a cheap dive on the wrong side of town, where she shows her boobs a lot, simulates lesbian sex and does unspeakable things to poles. After the aforementioned ice-on-the-nipples scene, Nomi scores an understudy's role in "Goddess'', a topless show at the Stardust where she shows her boobs a lot, simulates lesbian sex and does unspeakable things to entertainment director Zack Carey (Kyle McLachlan of "Twin Peaks'' fame).
When Zack and Nomi finally "do the deed", you fear for his health and her back. There's nothing which typifies Vegas like neon pink palm trees, a bedside table full of coke and a girl faking an epileptic seizure.
Nomi's main nemesis is her co-star, Cristal Connors (Gina Gershon). The predatory bisexual asks Nomi "what do you think of your tits?'', confesses to eating dog food in her lean days, snorts enough coke to permanently destroy her nasal passages and insists on calling everybody "darlin'". Cristal finally gets hers when Nomi pushes her down the stairs.
The other unfortunates who come into contact with Nomi meet similar demises. Molly is gang raped by singer Andrew Carver (William Shockley), who Nomi later destroys in a kung fu scene to rival Bruce Lee. James produces a pathetic dance show which bombs at the Crave Club and impregnates Penny (Rena Riffel), who he dismissively says "dances like a truck".
"Showgirls'' is supposed to lift the lid on the hookers, the druggies, the wannabes and the sleaze merchants of Vegas. Instead, it is a laugh-fest of bad acting, wooden dialogue and a plot which is about as predictable as snow in Antarctica.
The only reason why I haven't rated it lower is it's given me one of the best laughs I've enjoyed in a long time. Only problem - I don't think it was meant to be a comedy.
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