HAZMAT-RETRO HOF: WHY I WRITE FAIRY TALES IN LIEU OF THE COMING APOCALYPSE EDITION (Showgirls)
NOTE TO GOODREADS COMMUNITY: HANG TIGHT — WE’RE GOING TO BE DOING SOME WONDERFUL GIVEAWAYS VERY SOON AND TRULY APPRECIATE YOUR INTEREST AND SUPPORT ~Jonathan K.
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HAZMAT-RETRO HALL OF LAME (LOVABLY BAD CINEMA)
TODAY’S DUBIOUS HONOREE: SHOWGIRLS (1995) posted by JONATHAN KIERAN
GUILTY OF VEHICULAR FANSLAUGHTER: Everyone Humanly Involved
RUDIMENTARY ANALYSIS: I don’t know how “lovable” this torrid piece of cinematic brain-murder might be, but Showgirls has become a bona fide cult classic in the eighteen years since Catastrophic Drumbeats of Doom first rumbled to herald its arrival in theaters across the world. Countless scorched human eyeballs and ululating critical execrations later, the piece remains a wonder-lit panorama of mind-meltingly ludicrous casting, acting, dialogue, plotting, pacing, writing, editing, staging, costuming, financing, and flat-out conceptualization. This stinker’s creators would have us believe their story is a “tale as old as time, a song as old as rhyme” but the story was in fact only as timeless as the 4-day tequila & lap-dance blackout bender Joe Eszterhas must’ve been on while writing the sub-human script from start to finish. Who knows what sort of devil from the Nineteenth Pool of Damnation whispered in Paul Verhoeven’s ear to get him to sign-on to this bilge classic? Showgirls basically encapsulates every reprehensible and distorted sexist fantasy that ever passed through the diseased, cheesecloth brains of Every Lecherous Old Man that Ever Existed. Plucky young lady with sequined wishes and Long Island Iced Tea dreams goes to Vegas. Plucky young lady meets string of cutthroat cretins that defies imagination. Plucky young lady reveals that she, too, is cutthroat cretin. Everyone gets naked and rapes someone else. Plucky young lady escapes town with her pasties and deplorable morals intact.
Did I mention that, at least in terms of dialogue and the performances, this is one of the funniest films ever made? It was not, however, a comedy.
DEFINITIVE DIALOGUE: “I’m getting a little too old for that whorey look.” (Cristal … Get to KNOW her.)
BRUSH WITH GREATNESS: Showgirls remains the highest-grossing NC-17 production in history ($20,350,754 North American Box Office). One of MGM Home Video’s Top 20 All-Time Moneymakers. All-Time Record Razzie Award Nominations (13, with 7 “wins”) and 2000 Razzie Award for Worst Film of the Previous Decade.
LAMENTABLE LEGACY: Why a sequel, of course. Showgirls 2: Penny’s From Heaven (2011)
WHERE ARE THEY NOW?: Joe Eszterhas, Elizabeth Berkley, Kyle MacLachlan, Gina Gershon — they’re all still around, but let’s face it: none of them really got out of this mess alive.
EXPERIENCE THE MAGIC: “Nomi, what kind of a turn was that?”
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Jonathan informs us that he will be on a writing odyssey for the next few weeks. Meanwhile we shall blog a Pop Hazmat “Best Of” collection until his return in mid-September. Enjoy!