2hrs 11mins

Reclaimed as a riotously excessive cult classic - and one of the key inspirations for Rose Glass' Love Lies Bleeding - Paul Verhoeven's wildly provocative satire of the American Dream stars the unfairly dismissed gay icon Elizabeth Berkley as aspiring showgirl Nomi, as she journeys to Las Vegas to hit the big time.

This film screens as part of our Killer Queens season, which explores transgressive thrillers, camp classics and noir-inflected queer gems.

Follow the link here for our full programme.

Unfortunately no Audio Description track is available for this feature.
Paul Verhoeven Retrospective
Paul Verhoeven
strong sex, sexual violence

In what is now an infamous – but newly reappraised – performance, Elizabeth Berkley plays Nomi Malone, an ambitious young woman who arrives in Las Vegas intending to take the world of casino dance shows by storm.

Faced with an utterly vicious and exploitative industry, she slowly climbs her way to the top of the tree, edging out her great rival Cristal Connors (Gina Gershon) in what is a self-consciously lurid remake of All About Eve for the American ‘90s, and one that takes no prisoners in its portrayal of misogyny, sexual exploitation, and female agency.

Cited by Rose Glass as being one of the most influential films in the making of Love Lies Bleeding, Showgirls plays as a kind of high-art trash, its conflation of hard-hitting drama, erotic thriller, horror film, and provocative comedy clearly entirely intentional, making for a riotous midnight movie cult classic.

Once misunderstood, now embraced for the wildly excessive masterpiece it is, Showgirls is an unmissable – and altogether unforgettable – shared cinema experience.

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Sat 13 Jul