I’m a huge, huge “Showgirls” fan. Among all the “so bad it’s good” camp classics I’ve come across over the years (from “Glitter” to “Can’t Stop the Music” to “Xanadu”), I don’t think any of them are quite as notable as “Showgirls,” which is firmly planted somewhere between brilliant and ridiculous. Honestly, I’m such a fan that my husband and I got married at an art house theater and had a showing of “Showgirls” in lieu of dancing, so that should give you an idea of my level of appreciation for this one. But this documentary is… fine, I guess? It should be a lot better, and even though it does a serviceable job of situating the movie’s appeal, its backstory and its reception, it seems to only skim the surface. It goes from one point to another with little connection or flow, so it’s almost like watching a feature-length version of MTV’s “Pop Up Video,” just lots of unrelated trivia with out-of-context audio narration from pre-existing sources (like published audiobooks and commentary by David Schmader) cobbled together. Given the subject matter it at least manages to maintain your interest from beginning to end, but it just never really comes alive; a few late scenes addressing “Showgirls” star Elizabeth Berkley’s public evisceration following the movie’s release in 1995 comes close to an emotional catharsis and suggests a meatier version of the subject and a wider discussion about the treatment of women in Hollywood, but as it is, it’s fine as a stopgap until we get a denser version.
Rating: ★★★ (out of 5)