Showgirls (1995) (NSFW)


This review is NSFWIt contains references to and images of violence, drug use, nudity and sex scenes, as well as some other generally inappropriate content. If you’re offended by such material, (or just not allowed to view it), the time to turn back is now.

poster

NC-17

Showgirls is such a waste of a perfectly good NC-17 Rating

— Roger Ebert

So you’ve made a movie. It’s a bit edgy or contains confronting or questionable content too extreme for the younger audiences, and the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) slap it with the NC-17 rating.

NC-17 means “no children 17 and under permitted” and is roughly the equivalent of our homegrown R18+ except for one crucial difference: the NC-17 means the movie will fail at the box office. An R18+ rating in Australia, for the most part, doesn’t represent anything about the film except an indicator of its content. [1]

In the US however, the NC-17 rating implies that the picture contained therein is reprehensible and immoral, and poison in the eyes of the conservative members of the MPAA. While the MPAA system is nominally a voluntary one (it’s not legally enforced the same way Australian ratings are) it does hold the sway of many cinemas and retailers, who will refuse to carry an NC-17 title in light of their family-friendly market base. [2]

The MPAA is also in the pocket of the biggest studios in Hollywood, and the NC-17 is a malicious little tool they use to control and shape what gets put into a movie, especially anything made by independent studios, and especially anything that veers too far from missionary-position heteronormativity. Screen Shot 2013-10-02 at 9.00.49 PM Historically, most studios won’t even release an NC-17 film, let alone put money towards a marketing campaign. The majority of films branded with the NC-17 rating are cut down to achieve the US R rating (akin to our MA15+). Because the MPAA is a voluntary ratings board, many films will simply be released as ‘unrated’ though most cinemas treat these with the same lack of acceptance. [3]

For the longest time, studios were curbing the limits filmmakers could cross in light of the potential rating the film would get. This of course also means that there’s a certain limit in what could be accessed by cinemagoers wanting something a bit more envelope-pushing in terms of their artistic faire.[4]

Into this bleak landscape of play-it-safeness a lone warrior armed with a plan and a bucketload of misguided optimism emerged. MGM decided to put their weight behind the NC-17 rating, hoping to reform its tarnished name with a box-office success and cinema extravaganza.  The idea was that audiences would flock to the film, embracing its risqué content and bringing in the dollars, paving the way for the other studios to see the NC-17 rating as simply a rating and not the shorthand for failure to turn a profit.

One movie was going to do this for them. One movie would save the NC-17 rating. One movie would be released to mainstream audiences inviting them to embrace a film with the oft-whispered certificate of NC-17, but revel in glee at the cinematic masterpiece before them.

That movie was going to be Showgirls.
Showgirls was not that movie.

1. Titlecard

 SHOWGIRLS

Nomi Malone (Elizabeth Berkely) is a tough girl from the wrong side of the tracks, lookin’ to make it big in Las Vegas. She hitches a ride with a cowboy type who tells her he’ll be able to get her a job in his uncle’s casino. But before you can say “swindled by a cowboy”, she’s swindled by a cowboy, and left without a job in his uncle’s casino. 5. Beating up a car While beating up a car outside, Nomi befriends Molly (Gina Rivera), a seamstress who works in the wardrobe department at the Stardust Casino. For reasons unreasonable, Molly takes Nomi under her wing, despite the fact that Nomi is rude, bitchy, unappreciative, and that her response to Molly’s offer of a place to stay is to ask if Molly is hitting on her. When Molly makes small talk and asks Nomi where she’s from, Nomi answers with her fries.

6. Different Places!

Cut to several weeks later and Nomi and Molly are co-habiting Molly’s trailer more than adequately enough. One night, Molly takes Nomi along to her work, and we’re introduced to the high-stakes high-drama backstage world of Goddess, the Stardust’s topless live-show. Nomi goes up to the showroom to watch, and we’re introduced to absolutely-the-best-thing-about-the-movie, Cristal Connors (Gina Gershon), as she rises out of an exploding volcano. 7. Cristal 1 9. Cristal 2 Nomi is swept up in the glamour of the show, mimics the dancers’ moves and sets her sights on becoming a glamorous showgirl. After the show, we see a gala event for Cristal (presumably the starting point of many a drag queen’s career mimicking the character) and also meet a bad haircut played by Kyle McLachlan, who is also the entertainment manager at the Stardust.

10. Zack Carey's Haircut

In Cristal’s dressing room later, she and Molly have a discussion about her costuming and its efficacy of highlighting her breasts. It’s also where Nomi and Cristal meet for the first time, the latter clearly a little intrigued by the former. But when Nomi reveals that she’s a dancer at a local strip club, Cristal shows little respect, telling her, “I don’t know how good you are darlin’, and I don’t know what you’re good at, but if it’s at The Cheetah, it ain’t dancin’.” Nomi does not take kindly to this, and heads outside to beat up Molly’s car. 11. You don't know shit! 12. Beating up a car 2 For reasons unreasonable, Molly doesn’t tear Nomi a new one for acting like a child in front of her boss, and the two go out to a nightclub, despite the fact that Nomi’s meant to be working. Here we meet James (Glenn Plummer) a plot-blocking character who inserts himself into the story, primarily because he wants to insert himself into Nomi. There’s a fight, Nomi’s arrested, James bails her out, Nomi rejects him. This will repeat a few times. Post-jail, Nomi goes to work at The Cheetah.

We meet Al (Robert Davi) and Henrietta (Lin Tucci), essentially the Thénardiers of Las Vegas. Henrietta is a comedienne whose act revolves around her abusing the audience by mocking herself and women in general, while Al is the proprietor of the strip club who is sleazy in every way imaginable. Cristal and the bad haircut played by Kyle McLachlan turn up at The Cheetah, which Nomi is none to happy about. She is “not dancin’” when they arrive, and turns it up a notch, somehow antagonising Cristal with every pelvic thrust. 23. %22Dancing%22 23a. %22Dancing%22 2 24. %22Dancing%22 3 25. Hygiene Cristal gets her own by buying a private lap dance for her and Kyle McLachlan’s hair, which is against the rules but Al makes Nomi do it anyway. With the antagonistic “cat-playing-with-a-trapped-mouse” relationship established between Nomi and Cristal, the plot finally kicks into gear. Nomi gets an audition at the Stardust to be in the chorus line of Goddess

She goes to audition, and manages to survive the first few rounds, as well as counter Goddess’s director Tony Moss (Allan Rachins) and his sexist diatribes against the auditionees. But when he asks her to put ice on her nipples to perk them up, she storms off stage in a tantrum, humiliated. Cristal comes to glower, Nomi tells her she hates her, but she still somehow gets the job.

30. Ice

Nomi’s time in the chorus line is actually a pretty solidly depicted sequence of the work and effort it takes to be in a show professionally. The rigorous, demanding rehearsals, the pressure and the energy are all captured well, and it seems like the movie is going to settle into a better story about Nomi’s experience specifically within the show, the ups and downs of it, and all the time she spends with choreographers yelling at her crotch

34. Thrust it!

But before too long, Cristal shows up, under the pretence of mending fences. She and Nomi blow off an intended rehearsal to get some lunch, and have a long conversation about Nomi’s breasts, their mutual love of dog food, and how Kirsty-Lou Connors moved to Vegas, made it big, and named herself Cristal after the champagne. It’s largely an opportunity for Gershon to glower and leer over Nomi to maximum effect, and it’s kind of glorious.

37. Cristal being subtle

But when they go to rehearse, Cristal once again gets the claws out to try and make Nomi feel like a whore; the movie is back in cat-and-mouse mode. Nomi of course reacts badly, and sets her sights on not only taking Cristal down a peg, but usurping her starring role too.

First she takes over Cristal’s understudy role, by taking over the bad haircut played by Kyle McLachlan: they have sex, but more on this later.

Cristal is none too happy about it, and humiliates Nomi by giving the understudy role to someone else and gloating in front of the rest of the chorus line. Nomi is none too happy about this, and pushes Cristal down the enormous set of stairs backstage, crippling her. Nomi wins. 56. We got a Cristal down With a quick show of Nomi’s success, we move into the final sequence of the movie. At a party celebrating Nomi, we’re introduced to a musician named Andrew Carver (William Shockley). It’s been established throughout the movie that Molly has the mega celebrity-crush on Carver, and she’s only too thrilled to be introduced to him. While Nomi and Kyle McLachlan’s hair dance downstairs, Molly goes upstairs with Carver. 60. Carver and Molly Molly is then brutally beaten and raped by Carver and his cronies. She (barely) survives and stumbles out to the lobby, where Nomi rushes her to the hospital. Nomi is furious that the police haven’t been called, but Kyle McLachlan’s hair makes it clear that they won’t be involved, because Andrew Carver is protected by the Vegas elite.

He also reveals that he knows everything about Nomi – namely that she’s a runaway whose actual name is Polly-Anne, who was arrested a few times for prostitution and whose parents were trash, and whose life was generally awful. He blackmails her into silence, but Nomi won’t leave it at that. She goes to see Carver under the pretence of a booty-call, before revealing that she’s lipsticked her nipples (I’m not joking) and that she’s there to cause some harm. She violently kicks Carver a lot, before leaving and telling his cronies that he needs to sleep. 62. Nomi goes to see carver 63. Lipstick Nipples 65. Lipstick Nipple Knife 66. Nomi Kick! She visits Molly at the hospital, reveals that she’s kicked the shit out of Carver, and then abandons her only friend in her absolute time of need by skipping town. But before she skips town, she goes to see Cristal, and they make up by making out. On her way out of town, she hitches a ride with the same cowboy who brought her into Vegas, but not before letting out an ultra-corny line about how she gambled, but won herself.

BASIC REVIEW:

Showgirls is a spectacularly bad movie. It’s incredibly clear why this tanked so hard on release, why it killed Elizabeth Berkley’s career, and why it’s as notorious as it is. It’s also one of the most enjoyable movies out there. It’s ridiculous, it’s campy, it’s laughably bad and woefully acted, and everything about it is great – up until Molly’s rape scene, which comes right the fuck out of nowhere and is completely unnecessary, except to kickstart Nomi’s exodus from the film.

The strange thing is that despite the movie’s awfulness, it does have the bare skeleton of a decent movie buried underneath everything else. The final product is the very zenith of So-Bad-It’s-Good (I rank it higher than The Room, if not only because Showgirls is infinitely more watchable) and I love that it’s been embraced with such zeal as the ridiculous film it really is, but there are some elements to it that still work, or at least have the vague illusion of working, and with a less sleazy approach (as well as a less sleazy screenwriter) may have made for a better movie.

NOMI MALONE

8. Hand hand “No Me. (I’)m Alone.” When your main character’s name is a pun of her situation in the world, you’re not off to a good start.

I honestly can’t tell if the fault with Nomi lies with the writing or Berkley’s performance. Berkley, then most notable for her time on Saved by the Bell (and thanks to the internet for giving us the definite highlight of that time) performs Nomi at maximum intensity throughout the entire movie. Nearly every line is shouted, every gesture is slammed out, every dance move is…oh lord the dancing. More on that in a moment.

It’s not hard to see why this is the case. Nomi, as written, is a massive bitch. She treats everyone around her like shit, she takes advantage of people’s generosity, she’s brash and abrasive at pretty much all points. The only time it drops is when she’s with Molly, and even then, she’s introduced to her by beating up her car. 19. Back off motherfucker! 29. Fuck off! Nomi’s backstory explains a lot of this. She treats everyone like shit because she’s used to being treated like shit by everyone else. She assumes everyone is always hitting on her, because for most of her life, they have been. She takes advantage of people’s generosity because she’s had to survive. And perhaps Molly’s car was no saint and deserved a good beating.

But the problem here is that the backstory is revealed way too late for it to have any positive impact on the film. There are some subtle moments of foreshadowing throughout the film – Nomi is reluctant to give any of her information to the Stardust HR department and is clearly making it up on the spot, and when Tony Moss refers to her as looking like Pollyanna, she has a brief freak-out thinking that he called her Polly-Anne, her real name. 2. Nomi Hitching A Ride The movie opens with Nomi hitching a ride – we don’t see her life before this. Everything that happens to her in Vegas happens along with the audience, which is a bold move for a movie of this length, but it also robs us of any chance to know more about her except what she reveals to the other characters – again, the same characters she uses, exploits, insults or attacks. We never understand that she’s running from something, or that she has a troubled past. The first time I saw Showgirls, I honestly assumed her character’s motivation was “let’s go to Vegas for a while”.

The strange thing is that for all her (apparent) beat-down-by-the-world milieu, she’s a strangely naïve character. There’s the infamous pronunciation of Versace and how she humiliates herself in front of Kyle McLachlan’s hair, there’s the gullibility of believing the cowboy was going to get her a job, or that her opportunity to work on a “boat show” was just a few hours of dancing and being paid a shitload for it, not a thinly-veiled prostitution gig.

30a. It's a versayce!

These moments are peppered in throughout the film, and don’t really serve as contrast to her other bitchiness, but they make her character inconsistent. I suspect what they were going for is a disparity between what was meant to be this gritty character who, because of the harshness of her life, hadn’t experienced a whole bunch of simple stuff and reacts to it with childlike wonder.

There’s some further suggestion of it in the fact that Al and Henrietta, who are grating and grotesque in their first appearances show up after Nomi has started working at the Stardust, and the scene plays out like Nomi is being visited by her parents. There’s meant to be a familial sentiment to the scene, even though Al finishes it by stating, “it must be weird not having anyone cum on ya.” It helps convey the idea that Nomi is a lost person, but Berkley’s maximum-pitch performance doesn’t do much with this.20. Henrietta

The movie’s maternal character, ladies and gentlemen.

The problem with Nomi, and specifically the problem with her as the lead character of a movie that runs over two hours, is that she’s so inconsistent and completely unsympathetic. Because Berkley’s performance is so full on for the entire movie, there’s no time to actually get on board with her, either in the hope that she’ll succeed in Vegas, or that by the time she’s pushing Cristal down stairs, we’ve been so detached that we can’t even enjoy her open villainy. 56a. Nomi Glowering 2 The other problem is that, for such a large section of the movie, Nomi has no agency in the plot. Things happen to her, or around her, or because of other people conspiring with her at the centre. The only things she really takes care of herself are shagging Kyle McLachlan’s hair, pushing Cristal down the stairs, and kicking the shit out of Andrew Carver.

For a character who we’re meant to side with, simply watching her get buffeted along by the plot is a listless experience. Showgirls, ostensibly meant to be a look at the darker side of Vegas, the corruption and exploitation that goes along with the glamour and glitz, fails at conveying this, because Nomi is so uneven as a character, and we’re never given the stakes involved with her situation – stuff just happens to her as the plot moves along, and we’re asked to just accept it and keep up with it.

21. Cherry

NOMI’S DANCING

If nothing else, I question Berkley’s performance by her dancing. Dancing is kind of required as the character is all about becoming a dancer on the stage. Now, I’m not much of a dancer myself, I don’t know what having “clean lines” actually constitutes, and she’s more limber than I’ll ever be – but when I see Nomi dance, I think of a giraffe having individual convulsions in each limb. 13. Dancing in the club 1 14. Dancing in the club 2 23a. %22Dancing%22 2 33. James and Nomi 2 38. Actual dancing 1 39. Actual dancing 2Not much more about it to say than that really. But at least in this one, they spin forever 32. James and Nomi

CRISTAL CONNORS

Cristal Connors on the other hand, is anything but uncertain as a character. She’s fabulous. When you watch Showgirls for the first time, you get the definite sense that Gina Gershon had cottoned on to the fact that she was in the middle of a bad movie. She proceeds to throw everything into Cristal, making her a pantomime villain, a camp seductress and utter delight to behold. Cristal is sassy and tacky in all the right ways, and Gershon clearly has the time of her life playing her with such villainous zeal. 35. Lunch Make no mistake, the movie wouldn’t be half of what it is without Cristal, but I think she’s also the evidence of how the movie might have almost been a good one. Gershon’s performance is a delight, but if she’d toned down the predatory excess which she embodies in Cristal, there might have been something a bit more interesting in the character. On paper, Cristal is a woman who made it big in Vegas after leaving her home town, getting some cosmetic work done, and restyling herself as the Vegas Starlet we meet in the movie.

36. This is HOLY WATER!

As the story goes on, we learn about her relative poverty pre-Vegas, that she also got her role by sabotaging the big starlet before her, and that she’s worried about ageing out of a career that’s only viable if she and her boobs look good while she dances. These are all elements of depth or vulnerability that get lost in the high camp of Gershon’s performance, but with a bit more subtlety or variation in the performance, could have been used to make quite an effect. It wouldn’t be anywhere near as enjoyable to watch if the rest of the movie stayed the same, but I bring it up just to suggest that at one point, or in some parallel universe, Showgirls may actually be a good movie.

JAMES – A COMPLETELY USELESS CHARACTER

James is a completely useless character. He could literally be removed from the film and nothing would be lost. He’s a bouncer at the club that Nomi and Molly go to after Nomi storms out of Cristal’s dressing room. He tries to flirt with Nomi, but she kicks him in the nuts – he stumbles back and bumps into another guy, and a fight breaks out. Nomi is arrested for causing it, and when she is printed in Vegas, it’s how Kyle McLachlan’s hair finds out about her past as Polly-Anne later on in the film. 15. Kicked in the nuts 16. Fight 17. Nomi Glowering 18. Nomi in Jail This is the only plot-relevant thing James is involved in. For the rest of the film, he’s continually trying to get in Nomi’s pants. He bails her out of jail and she rejects him. He shows up at the Cheetah and tries to watch her lap dance for Kyle McLachlan’s hair but gets moved on by a bouncer. He shows up at the trailer to berate Nomi for “fuckin’” that guy (apparently unaware what a lap-dance usually entails) and going on about how she can’t dance without making it look like she’s having sex and then in the same sentence going on about how much natural talent she has.

He “writes a dance” for Nomi – which she then largely improvises anyway. For some reason, despite the fact that they never actually get together, and Nomi constantly teases his advances but only ever as a tease, the film then treats James as a scumbag for sleeping with another woman instead of Nomi. Nomi is an outright bitch to him constantly, but then the film acts as though he’s cheating on her when he takes up with someone else. The only scene he’s in after this is one of him performing the dance he supposedly wrote for Nomi, and getting booed off the stage.

It’s not that every character in a movie must serve a Chekhovian purpose to the plot, but for so much attention to be paid to James when he serves nothing for the movie – not a character to root for, not a love interest for Nomi, not a plot-device that couldn’t be done in any number of simpler ways, and not emblematic of one of the greater themes the movie might be attempting to discuss – is a very strange thing. Glenn Plummer’s performance isn’t necessarily bad (except for this now notorious line, but who can blame him with that writing?) it’s just that his character has absolutely no need to be in the movie. It boggles the mind.

The movie is already overlong. It’s not a good movie but at some point it had the potential to be. Wasting a significant amount of time on developing a character who ultimately goes nowhere and does nothing for the movie is one of the ways it didn’t live up to its potential. But Showgirls is not a movie famed for its characters and well-structured screenplay…

SEX

Much as I’d like to pretend that Showgirls started life as a serious drama that then got corrupted by the Hollywood machine, I know that it’s designed to get boobs on the screen and appreciative stares from horny audiences. Sex in cinema is nothing new, and it’s nothing bad. But there’s a difference between sex in a movie and actual sexiness in a movie. This is a crucial distinction that Showgirls fails to recognise. Sure, there’s the mere act of having naked boobs on screen for all to enjoy. Showgirls has no problem acquiescing to this request. 57. Her name was Nomi, she was a showgirl But there’s rarely a scene in the movie that has any sense of eroticism or intimacy to it. For much of the film, that’d be fine – it’s meant to be a look at the sleazy exploitation of Vegas, so that ties in well, and the movie was of course trying to provoke an NC-17 rating, so it may as well go for gold on the classifiable-elements side of things.

But the notorious pool-sex scene is the bigger victim here – it’s meant to be Nomi sleeping her way to the top, but any chance the scene has of effectively portraying that goes right out the window.

HOW TO SHOOT AN UNINTENTIONALLY HILARIOUS SEX SCENE:

First – have this pool. 44. Sexytime 1 Next, have Nomi state her intentions subtly. 45. Sexytime 2 Assault the audience with Kyle McLachlan’s ass, 46. Sexytime 3 Waste some champagne… 47. Sexytime 4 Have Kyle McLachlan try to be a Sexy T-Rex, 48. Sexytime 5 and begin the sex! 49. Sexytime 6 Gyrate, 50. Sexytime 7 Bounce, 51. Sexytime 8 Thrash… 52. Sexytime 9 THRASH, DAMMIT! THRASH! 53. Sexytime 10 Do some cocaine the next morning. 55. La cocaina no es buena para su salud If Showgirls was going to make a serious name for itself as a searing-drama about the seedy underbelly of Vegas, this is the point where all hope of “serious” left the window. And sure, this scene isn’t necessarily meant to be that most insipid of phrasings, “making love” – it’s meant to be good ol’ fashioned banging, but it’s not meant to be a farce – at the very least, Nomi should have needed a back-brace from abusing her spine like that.

Joe Eszterhas is a writer who has a fondness for propping up his movies with sex – Basic Instinct, Jade, Sliver and to a lesser extent Jagged Edge, and they range from contextual to ridiculous, but Showgirls is the final nail in the coffin of the sexy-drama/thriller genre.

The problem here is that his script treats any sense of intimacy, or even just basic human connection, with the same mentality that the above sex scene is genuinely erotic/sexy. Nomi’s constant assumptions that everyone’s hitting on her, or the way she tries to be sensual while telling Al that she missed work because of her period, or even just the simple dialogue when Cristal and Nomi have lunch are all written from the mindset that porno-sexy-time is just under the surface of any and all interactions between people. 40. %22Actual%22 dancing It also influences all the pointless scenes with James – he’s constantly trying to get in Nomi’s pants, and the way they argue and/or flirt is all pitched at the level of apparent foreplay – but because there’s no variation in how they treat each other, we never get that there’s any dynamic except James-hits-on-Nomi-who-teases-him-then-leaves. For Nomi and Cristal’s luncheon, it makes a bit of sense. Cristal is trying to manipulate Nomi, not only in the cat-playing-with-a-mouse sense, but also into her pants – it makes sense for Cristal to be steering the conversation that way, but when the dialogue is as simple as “You got nice tits…how do you like havin’ nice tits?” then there’s a problem with realism.

Funnily enough, it’s Nomi and Cristal’s relationship in the movie that turns out to be the most genuine – they arrive at a point of mutual understanding at the film’s end, even if that does come in the form of mutual saliva, but it’s the only relationship in the film that seems to acknowledge there may be two sides to a relationship. For the rest of the movie, and all its sex along with it, it’s assumed that the world revolves around wanting to bang Nomi. And when you exploit your protagonist in a way like that, you lose the ability to convince an audience with the rest of the film that their story is worth watching or buying into.

SO WHAT’S ACTUALLY GOOD ABOUT THE MOVIE?

Not a whole lot.So yes, critical commercial failure that killed any hope the NC-17 rating had, featuring an unforgivable rape scene It is a truly spectacular failure as a film. But there’s enough in there that this could have legitimately been a good movie. Keep in mind that this is my ultimate so-bad-it’s-good, camp-classic, b-movie, ultra-enjoyable, wonderfully stupid movie, there’s little else that I can argue outside of that frame of mind.

There’s a sub-plot about two of the dancers hating each other and sabotage one night that works really well, even out of context in the rest of the film. Showgirls is All About Eve and 42nd Street with the cynicism, misanthropy and boobs ramped up to 11. The basic plot line alone is enough to prove that it’s a story that’s worked before. Girl moves to big city, wants to become star, usurps existing star and learns something along the way.

The movie could have been made into a less-sleazy, less-exploitative, serious drama, but there’s nothing to say it would have worked that way either. The bare bones of a good movie do lie under the surface of Showgirls. But Showgirls is what it is – spectacular, utter fun as a result of its spectacular, utter failure. And if there’s one thing that we know, Showgirls minus its sex and sleaze is a bizarre creation – as evidenced by the TV version, which added MS Paint bras floating over the characters and a different actress to overdub the coarse language – it’s a sight to behold:

Above all else though, the film is incredibly watchable. It’s well shot and stylish and clearly has the money of a major studio funding it. And its attempts to fill itself up with NC-17 material (namely the sex) don’t work with the idea that this was going to revitalise the public perception of the NC-17 rating, but the failure to be taken seriously is not the failure to be a damn enjoyable movie.

Audiences in 1995 were expecting much bigger things from Showgirls than it eventually delivered. When they didn’t get that, the reviews flooded in and word of mouth drove other people away. It killed the movie. But removed from that context, it’s a legitimately enjoyable film, just for reasons it never intended.

If there is one image that can encapsulate just how incredibly enjoyable and over the top the film is, it of course comes in the form of Cristal Connors, and the most fabulous leg shaving ever: 42. Leg Shaving

__________________________________

NOTES:

[1] The R18+ rating is of course not applied consistently across all films and it does restrict a certain number of people from seeing the film until they’re 18 (in theory); the point is that a film getting an R18+ in Australia is not an immediate cue that it will fail to be successful as it is with an NC-17

[2]Of particular note is that Wal-Mart and Blockbuster Video refuse(d) to carry NC-17 material, thus limiting the options for revenue in the home market as well as the theatrical.

[3] It’s also why Australian consumers can find so many DVDs with a big show of being “unrated” – they’re lazy copies of the DVDs distributed in the US. Nothing can be released and/or distributed as Unrated in Australia – it’s illegal for a film to not have a classification certificate before being sold in stores. The closest we have is the E rating for films exempt from classification, meaning they don’t fall under the categories of classifiable content (documentaries and sporting events for instance)

[4] I brought it up in my musings of Adventure Time a while back, but the documentary This Film is Not Yet Rated by Kirby Dick is a sensational look at the NC-17 rating in more detail

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One thought on “Showgirls (1995) (NSFW)

  1. This film has been a guilty pleasure of mine for awhile now. It’s kind of one of those films that you take a break from ‘films’ with. Like when you read a Goosebumps book randomly to take a break from reading. lol …It’s not nearly as bad as people make it out to be.

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