I refuse to do a search because I’m afraid what it would tell me about how repetitive I get here on this website, but I’d wager a guess that at this point I’ve told the story about my opening night screening of Showgirls in 1995 as many times as I’ve actually watched Showgirls. I’d like to think that can hardly be the case — I’ve easily seen Showgirls dozens of times by now here 25 years on — but who knows. Nomi excuse me nobody knows. Anyway the story’s real short so I’ll indulge us again: it was a midnight screening, September 22nd 1995, and there were only five people scattered about the large theater. Me, my best friend, and three middle-aged men not sitting anywhere near each other. The lights went down, the projector started, and the three other men in the theater suddenly began chanting, as one, “Tits! Tits! Tits!” And that, my friends, was love at first Tits.
Telling a personal story about one’s relationship to Paul Verhoeven’s 1995 so-called “Masterpiece of Shit” here to introduce the brand new Showgirls documentary You Don’t Nomi, which is out on demand today, only seems right, since that’s what You Don’t Nomi turns out to be — it’s not really about the making of the movie, as it doesn’t talk directly to any of the talking heads involved with the film’s production; You Don’t Nomi is about the critic and the viewer’s relationship to the movie, and how it’s changed, critically and culturally, over the past 25 years. And as such it’s catnip to Camp Fanatics.
You Don’t Nomi skirts fine around its lack of access to the filmmakers with plenty of clips of the players through the years though, including a touching sequence towards the end that charts Berkley’s transformation from punchline to her seeming giddy embrace at one of those recent screenings — a transformation that basically mirrors the way the film itself’s trash legend has shaken and shimmied itself free of things like “logic” or “reality” to become something more — something more spiritual, something more transcendent.
Because make no mistake — Showgirls is a religion. Continue reading at MNPP…