Director Paul Verhoeven has made some of our favorite movies. 1995’s Showgirls is not one of them. Many avid Internet readers may be too young to know what Showgirls is, or it’s cultural significance. To this date, Showgirls is the only film given a wide release in America after receiving an NC-17 rating from the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA). Simply put, it is the most legal pornography ever made.

The movie is about a valiant heroine named Nomi (played by the even more valiant Elizabeth Berkley). She comes from the East (ern United States) to Las Vegas to make a life for herself as a dancer. She gets off to a rocky start when some bad Elvis impersonator steals her luggage, and the only dancing job she can get is at a club called Cheetahs. I don’t think you have to be Casanova to figure out what type of dancing they’re doing there.

The film takes place in an alternate universe where women not only perform for an audience of hundreds naked, but also enjoy lounging around naked while talking about being naked. It reminds me of those late-night college hangouts with all your best girlfriends around. You’re just sitting there, having a good time, when suddenly someone says, “Lets play strip poker!” Next thing you know, you’re explaining childhood scars to the girl you’ve been trying to sleep with for 3 months, all while struggling to keep your eyes on hers’. In case you missed our point, these things just don’t happen. The rest of the movie is all about Naomi climbing her way to the top of the Vegas dancer pyramid. An underdog story for the ages, as a girl giving it her all goes from stripper to… slightly better paid stripper. A showgirl!

Being perfectly honest, Showgirls is 100% a fantasy film for men. If the off-the-wall story and excessive amounts of nudity aren’t enough to convince you then look no further than the first two special features to believe. It’s fairly obvious that, since the image transition to Blu-ray is lackluster, this is where you get your monies worth.

Blu-ray Special Features:

Pole Dancing: Finding Your Inner Stripper
In this feature some lady who teaches pole dancing tries to explain that there is more to working a pole than being naughty. That getting in shape while being sexy is empowering. She’s even kind enough to teach us a few moves. It’s enough to make you want to install a pole in the living room and try out your own variation of “the English butterfly.”

Lap Dance Tutorial Featuring the Famous Girls of SCORES
Two lovely ladies from SCORES (whose names were mentioned, but we can’t seem to remember for some reason) bare all while giving you a rundown of the 10 things it takes to give a decent lap dance. It starts with “warming up,” climaxes at “tease, poke, and spank,” and closes with “leave him wanting more.” Spoiler alert: they don’t just tell you… they show you.

Finally, you get what might be one of the best special features we’ve ever seen on a Blu-ray. Seattle writer and performer David Schmader does a running commentary on the film as you watch it, turning what is truly an unbearable viewing experience into something joyous. “I don’t know if they meant to do it, but this entire erotic movie made people never want to have sex again,” he quips. “Part of what makes this film so fantastic is how bad it is at every moment.” You can’t help but laugh, and appreciate the fact that the film can laugh at itself.

This Blu-ray release of Showgirls is genuinely worth owning. While the conversion doesn’t look as good as it could, Schmader’s commentary alone is worth keeping for all time.

Other Special Features include: Showgirls Fact-Up, A Showgirls Diary, and a DVD copy of the feature.

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