Sunday, September 27, 2015

Movie review - "Showgirls" (1995) *1/2

Perhaps the campest movie ever made in Hollywood by such straight men. Showgirls is really a movie that defies criticism - Joe Eszterhaus and Paul Verhoven followed up Basic Instinct with this dopey Flashdance-style take on Vegas showgirls. It's kind of a homage to old MGM musicals, only a lot more sordid and with a lot less music. Flashdance had plenty of dancing and tunes - this one has surprisingly few, and it would have done a lot better with some.

It does have plenty of costumes plus a top performance from Gina Gershon, who I thought would become a star after this movie - she's vivacious and sexy and perfect for the role. It suffers from an inadequate lead - Elizabeth Berkley is pretty, has a great body and can dance quite well, but isn't up to the role; they needed a modern-day Jennifer Beal, and couldn't get it. There's also some poor support performances from Glenn Plummer (who popped up all the time in 90s movies then fortunately went away) and Glen Ravera. And Kyle MacLachlan's 90's fringe is really annoying.

It's not very well made either, lacking a sense of show biz or eroticism - to me at any rate. For all the time Verhoven and Eszterhaus no doubt spent combing strip clubs and casinos, it never felt real - people discussing Paul Adbdul and Janet Jackson to take over from an injured Gershon? A topless dancer really being a big star in Vegas? The swimming pool sex scene wasn't bad.

But like I say, Showgirls is really a creature of itself that defies criticism.

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