Review: Showgirls 15th Anniversary Sinsational Blu-ray

STUDIO: MGM/Fox | DIRECTOR: Paul Verhoeven | CAST: Elizabeth Berkley, Gina Gershon, Kyle McLachlan, Glenn Plummer, Robert Davi, Alan Rachins
RELEASE DATE: 6/15/2010 | PRICE: Blu-ray $29.99
BONUSES: featurettes, commentary, pop-up trivia track
SPECS: NC-17 | 131 min. | Drama | 2.35:1 widescreen | DTS-HD Surround | English, Spanish and French subtitles

RATINGS (out of 5 dishes): Movie | Movie Not Taken Seriously  |Audio  | Video  | Overall

Right from the menu, which seems to highlight the very worst lines of dialogue, you’ll know that the team at Fox was in full self-deprecating mode when they produced this Blu-ray of the Best Awful Film of All Time. The NC-17, 15th anniversary “Sinsational” edition makes no allusion that anyone is watching Paul Verhoeven’s Showgirls for the great script and acting. The story of an aspiring showgirl in the apparently cutthroat world of Las Vegas topless dancing is all about the T&A, and there’s plenty of it on display. The extras include primers on pole dancing and lap dancing, for heaven’s sake!  And even the menu itself isn’t immune to baring some flesh (though you may want to close your eyes for that one).

If you’ve been in a darkened strip club for the past 15 years, Elizabeth Berkley is at the nadir of her career as Nomi, the girl who’s too naïve to be anything but the fictional creation of an overpaid screenwriter. She comes under the sway of Cristal Connors (Gina Gershon), the lovely queen of a splashy Vegas hotel show, and falls for Zach (Kyle MacLachlan, Dune), the hotel’s entertainment director whose haircut practically screams “sleazy. ” Over the course of the movie, Nomi catfights her way to becoming a strong, independent woman in Sin City.

The Blu-ray disc, while far short of newer films in terms of clarity, will more than satisfy the puerile instincts of the viewers who genuinely have been waiting for this one. Oh, and the colorful stage productions and skin-tight costumes look great, too. The audio track, in dts-HD, ensures you’ll hear all of writer Joe Eszterhas’s ridiculously over-the-top dialogue clearly over the blare of the dance-oriented soundtrack by Prince, Killing Joke and Siouxsie.

The best thing on this disc is a hilarious commentary track by “Showgirls connoisseur” David Schmader – previously found on the 2004 “VIP” edition – who notes that it’s the “density of failures that makes Showgirls so sublime,” and that Eszterhas, paid $2 million for his screenplay, knows absolutely nothing about women other than they love being naked…and talking about being naked when they are.

The two-disc set also includes a standard DVD edition, which features the same commentary track and the lap dancing featurette.


Buy or Rent Showgirls 15th Anniversary Sinsational Edition
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About Gary

Gary Frisch has been contributing laserdisc, DVD and Blu-ray reviews to Video Business magazine, Home Theater Magazine, Home Theater Buyer’s Guide, Stereophile Guide to Home Theater and the DVD Guide for more than 14 years. He still has a collection of more than 40 laserdiscs, along with a working auto-reverse LD player, but thinks Blu-ray is da bomb and anxiously awaits the original Star Wars trilogy so he can buy it for the fifth time.