Thoughts on… Showgirls (1995)

showgirlsTwo and a bit years of writing a film blog, and it’s finally come to this. Showgirls (1995), directed by Paul Verhoeven, is one sloppy, greasy, glittery mess of a film. Telling the story of Nomi Malone (Elizabeth Berkley), a drifter with a talent for dance, Showgirls is about drive and passion, and clawing your way to the top within the sleazy context of Las Vegas.

Highly acclaimed as one of the worst films ever, Showgirls is a campy classic that I didn’t entirely hate. Here is a selection of my thoughts after watching the film.

  1. Showgirls is perhaps the best worst film ever.
  2. With the worst ever acting from Elizabeth Berkley (worse than this), Gina Gershon, and Kyle MacLachlan, the whole film is basically a barrel of laughs.
  3. But what the poor acting and extremely bad script conceals is a pretty solid story about drive, and the personal attainment of goals at whatever cost.
  4. The direction by Paul Verhoeven is pretty amazing, and cinematography by Jost Vacano highlights the best of the sleaziness of Las Vegas.
  5. In fact, the production values in general are pretty high. There are a number of complex dance sequences, glittery costumes, and set pieces that must have cost a pretty penny. The film is visually interesting at every turn, particularly if you enjoy watching lovely ladies dancing with little to no clothes on.
  6. In fact, Showgirls may be one of those trainwreck (no, not Trainwreck) type of films where it’s so bad that you can’t look away.
  7. Elizabeth Berkley’s acting as the unforgettable Nomi Malone is so bad that it’s almost endearing. It becomes very obvious very early on that she’s trying to distance herself from the goody-two-shoes role of Jessie Spano from Saved by the Bell, the classic television series that ended in 1993. But perhaps she was trying a little bit too hard in this one.
  8. The sex scene between our hero Nomi and Kyle MacLachlan’s character is particularly terrible, and I’m surprised that no one was physically harmed, or drowned, during the filming of that scene. It just makes you ask, what were they thinking?
  9. Ultimately, Showgirls really isn’t that bad. It’s bad, but it’s not aggravatingly terrible. It’s really funny to watch with a group of friends, and perhaps a glass of wine.

Watch the trailer here (caution: nudity!).


  1. Showgirls is a mess of a movie and yet so damn fun to watch. For an NC 17 rated movie.It’s pretty tame

    1. I agree! The most hardcore thing about Showgirls is its tremendously bad acting.

  2. Thought number one nailed it. This movie is so crappy and so perfect all at the the same time. It is absolutely a film that is so much of a train wreck you just can’t look away. And while we’re at it, and you brought it up, I’ll probably watch this 20 more times before going back to Trainwreck. Showgirls is the far funnier film.

    1. I think “so crappy and so perfect” is the perfect description of Showgirls! It was so funny for all the wrong reasons. I love that it took itself so seriously and fell flat on its face, breaking its legs and ending its dancing career forever.

  3. I remember I went and saw this in the theater. I also remember it not being very good at all but not the worst movie ever made. Had everyone already forgotten about Highlander 2 when this came out??


    1. I can’t imagine how funny it would have been to see this in the cinema. Seeing that sloppy pool sex scene on the big screen would have been mortifying! I’ve never seen Highlander 2 but now I really want to!


  4. an under-rated film. frankly hilarious

    1. Haha! Agreed! šŸ™‚

  5. It’s an awful film but man, it’s so much fun to watch. Even that sex scene in the pool which is just fucking bonkers.

    1. Oh totally, it’s crazy. I just wonder who thought it up. What a completely ridiculous scene!

      1. Joe Esterhasz probably wrote that and thought it would be funny.

  6. It’s definitely a camp classic. I think i love it! The scene where the chimpanzee goes nuts is legendary in my house.

    1. I totally forgot about the rogue chimpanzee! What a film.

  7. […] why people need to see nudy flim A complex question with a complex answer. Some people like admiring the naked human body as an art form. Other people watch films like Showgirls. […]

  8. I love Kyle MacLachlan in this film, he is fun to watch

    1. I love him in everything!

  9. […] undeniably bad, but it’s one of the most entertaining bad films of all time. I shared my thoughts on Showgirls earlier in the year. Some see Showgirls as a modern-day satire of… something or other, others […]

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