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Twenty Best Made Erotic Films: #19 Showgirls

Showgirls Photo: MGM

This countdown is a little more complicated than a normal one. Usually, people do not associate sex or nudity with a good film. Popcorn Sushi’s top 20 best made erotic films I hope will change that perception.The selections are very good and it is hoped everyone will find the series of articles informative and fun. Speaking of unintended comediesOur #19 was that and then some. Showgirls.



Showgirls Photo: MGM
Showgirls Directed by Paul Verhoeven Photo: Carolco Prod.

Who in their right minds would invest  $45 million dollars in 1995 money to make a film about strippers?  What were the financiers paying for? It certainly wasn’t cast. When Gina Gershon is the biggest name in the cast, you’ve basically given up any pretense  of caring. There will be all the subtle nuanced acting of  Michael Madsen in Species. Granted, Robert Davi never comes cheap but the producers of Showgirls saved by casting Kyle MacLachlan.  As for wardrobe and location, they are strippers and they work in a strip club.  So, why did Showgirls cost so much?

Showgirls Photo : MGM
Showgirls Photo: Carolco Pictures

Well, in the end, it really does not matter. When released into the home video, Showgirls exploded. According to Wikipedia, “Despite a negative theatrical and critical consensus, Showgirls enjoyed success on the home video market, generating more than $100 million from video rentals, allowing the film to turn a profit and become one of MGM’s top 20 all-time bestsellers.” Add in the  $38 million made in theaters and suddenly, writer Joe Eszterhas and director Paul Verhoeven look like geniuses, who made a dog film that somehow turned into a prince. Luck?

Showgirls Photo: MGM
Elizabeth Berkley All Wet Showgirls Photo Carolco

The plot…Naked women, bad acting, Elizabeth Berkley’s career flushing down the toilet? Berkley plays Nomi whose career ambition is to not ever wear a top again. Naturally, she heads to Las Vegas where she clashes with the Queen of Topless, Gina Gershon, whose boy toy, Kyle MacLachlan, took the role in desperation to stay relevant. He would do that but only by sitting still while Elizabeth Berkley gives lap dance that looks like it hurt more than stimulated. Nomi becomes Queen eventually gets the boy toy and Joe Eszterhas and Paul Verhoeven give a blue print for all young girls to strive for. At least, I think that’s what they were going for.