Fri., Oct. 18, 11 p.m.
Lincoln Theatre, $9
With the addition of Schmader:
The infamously bad 1995 film Showgirls is only half the story of its festival programming slot, the other half being live, running commentary from David Schmader, the writer-performer featured in the solo piece Straight (Oct. 20, see page XX). Therefore, what would normally be an excruciating experience for an audience of discriminating taste could very well be enjoyable with the interactive addition of Schmader. He has a lot to compensate for, though, as Showgirls is one of the dullest, silliest films ever made, a low, belly-crawl moment for Dutch director Paul Verhoeven (RoboCop, Starship Troopers) and screenwriter Joe Eszterhas, who in 1992 helped GLAAD rise to power with the mildly homophobic thriller Basic Instinct. The problem with Showgirls is less the subject matter and more the choice of Elizabeth Berkley in the lead role. Let’s just say that her infamous pole licking scene is the best acting she does in the whole of the movie.
Showgirls is a strange choice for a gay festival (a big wet kiss between Berkley and co-star Gina Gershon notwithstanding). Why not choose something with genuine over-the-top camp value, like Ilsa: She Wolf of the SS? — Jonathan Padget