You would’ve thought it would be the candles, or Broadway musicals, things that Lance has an obsessive passion about. I used to think that, too. But at the end of the day, it’s Paul Verhoeven’s 1995 boobie bomb bonanza that has become the center of our social interactions.
It’s now a rite of passage: new friends must endure (or, Gay help them, enjoy) at least one group screening of “Showgirls.” Our friend Tim, with his fancypants Master’s degree, tried to psychoanalyze the plot, only to collapse in defeat, whispering, “I d-don’t understand,” as tears rolled down his face.
If you’re lucky enough, Lance will bust out his V.I.P. edition of “Showgirls,” which includes a drinking game (“Take a drink every time Nomi hits a car!”) and Pin the Pasty on the Showgirl, which features a door-sized poster of Jessie Spano and her pert parts (don’t forget the ice cubes).
True connoisseurs of the “Showgirls” phenomenon will be subjected to the “so bad it transcends taste,” crowd-sourced “Showgirls 2: Penny’s From Heaven,” the unofficial sequel directed/written/produced/starring/edited by Rina Riffel, reprising her role from the original film as not-so-innocent Penny/Hope, though she quickly adopts the moniker Helga as she’s caught up in a triple murder and a dance show filmed in somebody’s unfinished basement.
Recently, we caught our first theatre-sized screening of “Showgirls” at the Trocadero in Philly. This was the official friendship initiation for Drew (@enalwerd) and Joshua (@joshuatolby). The theatre itself is fairly (purposefully?) run down, and they weren’t running a print of “Showgirls” so much as a bootleg copy of the DVD (with random inserted subtitles).
There was a lone gentleman sitting right behind me in the last row, who made me quite nervous…for obvious reasons. But instead of workin’ the salami flagpole (or however that euphemism goes), he Mystery Science Theatre‘d the whole movie. After the show, we congregated near the Troc’s bar, where said lone gentleman proceeded to dance by himself for a solid 20 minutes.
That’s what “Showgirls” does to you, I realized right then. Prolonged exposure to this ridiculous camp fantasmagoria is like looking into the face of Insanity and flinching. It’s like devouring a whole bag of chips in one sitting, or eating puppy chow just ’cause, or doing the finest cocaine in the world, darlin’.
You want some?