Home Video | Review by Dan Taylor
recently purchased an old-fashioned laser
disc player from the Gonster, cutting a
deal that cost me a hefty $35 and a couple
packs of Shadowfist trading cards.
Although the thing is bulky enough to give
you a hernia and can't play the multiple
tracks of many of the "deluxe"
lasers on the market, it more than does
the job for this cinematic junkie. [Unfortunately,
my copy of the incredible RE-ANIMATOR 10th
Anniversary edition can only be viewed with
the alternate tracks "on"... fortunately,
I can recite the film from memory.]
At this point, I've been resisting
the temptation to stock my collection with
beloved exploitation efforts, especially
since these usually run into triple digit
price tags. (That makes sense... cheap jack
fare like HALLOWEEN runs about $100 for
the deluxe edition.) Luckily, I have been
able to snag a couple flicks on sale or
closeout (including the unheralded THE CHASE)
and ER friends have been nice enough to
gift us with such beautious cinema as THE
WILD BUNCH and the original GETAWAY.
Anyway, the only reason I'm
yammering about my ldp is because of my
desperate need to get SHOWGIRLS on laser.
Reason? Twenty years from now, my children
will think I'm lying when I tell them how
much of a "sit-on-plastic-'cause-you're-gonna-wet-yourself"
classic this puppy is!
I'm assuming you all know
the basic poop behind this $40 million turkey-lurkey.
In a nutshell, director Paul Verhoeven slums
on (what should have been) a straight-to-video
pic and screenwriter Joe Ezsterhas (what,
no Oscar nomination?) continues to flaunt
what little talent he has. Remember gang,
his claim to fame is writing the captivating
BASIC INSTINCT, a forgettable snoozer with/without
lil' Ms. Oscar Nominee flashing us her dam
-- oh, I can't bring myself to call it a
"film" -- movie pretty much lifts
the framework from the equally hilarious
BEYOND THE VALLEY OF THE DOLLS (young upstart
moves to big city, clashes with those who've
made it, gets trapped in the scene, overcomes
tragedy and returns to the "normal"
life) and transfers it to the glitz and
glamour world of Las Vegas show revues.
Question...is this really that glamorous
a world? Do little girls in (insert the
name of a dull state here) sit under the
peach tree and dream of showing their hooters
to drunken gamblers waiting to see if they
lost enough at the craps table to earn a
comp room? [By the way, when I refer to
women's breasts as "hooters" I'm
only attempting to maintain the perversely
unerotic mood of the film... it's as erotic
as reading a cereal box.]
For those of you wishing to
explore the history of the whole "vengeful
stripper" genre, I'd recommend digging
through the 99¢ bin at your local vid
store and grabbing the excellent STRIPPED
TO KILL (installments 1 and 2) as well as
Dan Golden's phenomenal video potboiler
OBSESSION (featuring a splendid cinematic
turn from director, writer, producer, nice
guy Fred Olen Ray as a strip club mc). Then
watch SHOWGIRLS and see the same framework
tale done for 40 times the money.
As for Elizabeth Berkley --
in the center of the maelstorm as Nomi Malone
-- I think she needs to court 'Saved By
the Bell' co-star "Screech" for
her next film. I've always insisted that
he brings out her best!