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/Roadshow Entertainment . R4 . COLOR . 126 mins . R . PAL


Is Showgirls a sleeper -- one of the great underrated movies of our time?

After all, it's from Dutch director Paul Verhoeven, who gave us at least two classics in Starship Troopers and Basic Instinct.

Surely the critics must be wrong. Verhoeven must be working on a level they just can't understand.

Well, he's sure working on a level. Trouble is, it's subterranean. This film is pure sleaze from start to finish, acted badly, with virtually non-existent direction, and with a script (from Basic Instinct's writer Joe Eszterhas) that borders on the moronic.

The film tells the story of Nomi Malone (Elizabeth Berkley), a girl with spectacular breasts and bum and a troubled background, who comes to Las Vegas to fulfil her dream of becoming a showgirl. She progresses through the ranks, beginning at a sleazy nightclub where she lapdances and gives simulated sex acts for customers who can't afford the real thing.

Her big break comes when she moves to an actual Las Vegas casino, and gets a job in the topless chorus-line. Then the lead dancer takes a tumble, and guess who becomes the overnight star. You guessed it? Good for you.

I have heard this movie described as All About Eve set in Las Vegas. That is, quite simply, garbage. The only resemblance to that absolute classic movie, which happened to feature superb acting, directing and writing, comes at the 115-minute mark, courtesy of some borrowed lines about how there's always someone younger following you; wanting to become a star. Big parallel.

The film clocks in at almost two hours (plus six minutes of credits), but really could be cut to less than an hour without any loss of real material. Even the tits and bums become boring, boring, boring, in a massively airbrushed Playboy way. How did Paul Verhoeven lose his way, after showing quite a deal of promise? Maybe there's a movie in that. There isn't in this.


This is an acceptable anamorphic transfer, but not brilliant. Colours are rendered well, but many scenes, particularly in the 'spectacular' Las Vegas dance sequences, are very soft and hazy. You'll want to fast-forward through those, so that's not too important.


The stereo sound is also acceptable without being stand-out brilliant, although at times some of the dialogue is pretty muffled. In fact, both sound and audio are better than the quality of the movie itself.


The main extra feature are English subtitles for the Mentally -- sorry, Hearing - Impaired.

Then there is a decent quality theatrical trailer which manages to inadvertently deliver strong warnings about the quality of the movie, and a short teaser trailer which doesn't tell anyone anything at all.

There are text biographies of the main 'actors', and finally, there's a 22-image Photogallery drawn from the movie, showing girls licking poles and each other.


This is unfortunately not quite bad enough to be good. It's to be avoided, because, just like some of the characters, it sucks.

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      And I quote...
    "Can wholesale sleaze and nudity provoke terminal boredom? Paul Verhoeven proves it can."
    - Anthony Clarke
      Review Equipment
    • DVD Player:
          Pioneer DVD 655A
    • TV:
          Loewe Profil Plus 3272 68cm
    • Receiver:
          Denon AVR-3801
    • Speakers:
          Neat Acoustics PETITE
    • Centre Speaker:
          Neat Acoustics PETITE
    • Surrounds:
          Celestian (50W)
    • Subwoofer:
          B&W ASW-500
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