Paul Verhoeven is a polarising director, for many he lensed some of the greatest sci-fi action movies of all time. In Total Recall he created a world in which extra tits can be profit worthy, in Robocop he postures that it was possible to be a hero while surviving on nothing but baby food and in Hollow Man he showed exactly how we are all connected to Kevin Bacon*. But for all of his successes there is one film on his CV that simply refuses to go away. It stinks up his IMDB profile like a week old pear. That film is Showgirls.
Failing to be sexy or thrilling – something he managed with aplomb in Basic Instinct – this sexy thriller starred Saved By The Bell’s Elizabeth Berkley in a ‘grown-up’ film dealing with the cut throat world of Vegas showgirls. Proving that every Saved By The Bell cast member was clearly using that show to push forward some video project involving horrendous sexy time – see Screech’s sex video for further evidence, and to a lesser extent Mr Belding’s solo insertion project.
What sets Showgirls aside from, say The Specialist, is that it should have been a very good film, with a relatively sexual cast. Who wouldn’t want to see Agent Cooper banging Jessie off of Saved By The Bell while Gina Gershon watched? The Specialist simply offered the viewer the ‘tantalising’ image of walnut skinned Stallone banging a rapidly ageing Sharon Stone in a shower. Oh, and explosions. The tea-cup one was brill, but like Body of Evidence it was another film that was more urgh than phwoar.
So Showgirls stank, and was almost irredeemable. Until they made a TV edit that has passed into legend.
No, really. To get the film out they added in digital undergarments to save the people of America from the sight of a nipple or twelve.
So there you go, excellent film now. So when we bemoan TV edits of Robocop, we can all gather around and celebrate the editing of Showgirls. Bravo to the fella with the MS Paint skills! The Lolocaust approves!
* Invisible Rape.