Happy Birthday Nomi Malone: Our fave fictional Showgirl turns 43!

Posted by Kells, July 3, 2016 12:03pm | Post a Comment

It's no secret that here at Amoeba we love, love, love us some Showgirls! I'm talking about Paul Verhoeven's inimitable 1995 stripper dance flick starring Elizabeth Berkley, Kyle MacLachlan, and Gina Gershon. I mean, what's not to love? It's a marvelously shot Sin City fable penned by Joe Eszterhas (the mind behind Flashdance and Basic Instinct) about a transient whore dancer with killer nail art skills, a tendency to flail wildly when it comes to food or sex, and a dream of making it big in showbiz. As the story goes, they could have brought anyone aboard this shamelessly camp-tacular cheesewagon: Janet Jackson, Paula Abdul... Nomi Malone is what Las Vegas is all about, and she is the reason I try to celebrate her "uhhh, seven, three...seventy-three" birthday every year with a never "too old for that whorey look" home screening party. This doesn't dissuade me from attending local annual viewing events of course; San Francisco has a rich history of homage when it comes to showing Showgirls.

This tradition of reveling in the ritual of annual Showgirls screening started many moons ago thanks to the programming prowess of Peaches Christ—San Francisco's own mistress of movie madness—whose curated Midnight Mass film series featured Showgirls screenings year after year, usually in Summertime. I was hooked at once and I wish I could say I went to every show, but it seemed with each passing season the popularity of the Midnight Mass Showgirls extravaganza erupted like the titular Goddess from the Volcano, growing more riotous, elaborate, and difficult to get tickets for, perhaps owing to levels upon levels of ever-growing cult appeal and the irresistible promise of a FREE lap-dance with the purchase of every large popcorn. This lead to my making a thing of viewing the film with friends whenever making Peaches' party wasn't in the cards, fixing the day by the date of birth Nomi gives in the scene where she's finalizing her gig with Stardust HR.

This year Ms. Christ is flipping the script by starring in the West Coast premiere of the off-Broadway stage parody Showgirls - The Musical! But that's another (forthcoming) Amoeblog post, to be sure, but I'm gearing up for another Nomi Birthday gathering by ticking of tasks on the party prep list. Want to get down with your own Showgirls shindig? Here are some suggestions: 

First, get your nails done up proper fierce, like you're channeling your baddest bitch.

Do be sure that your nails are good and dry.

Be sure to let show them off as much as possible.

Next, it's time to paint those lips...

...and line that lid.

Do mind the orange.

If you want to go the extra mile for that fresh party pretty feeling, by all means do what you gotta do.

As far as refreshments go, if you don't have any Cristal on hand, get creative and mix up some party cocktails on theme with Showgirls inspired names. My favorites include: Caesar Sling, Sex in the Pool, Pollyanna, Sweaty Nightie, Smiling Snatch, Monkey Shit Stage Left...the vulgarities are endless! Don't forget the ice.

If you do find yourself on the receiving end of a Cristal "Holy Water" baptism...

  ...embrace the opportunity to express yourself.

When it comes to the menu, go wild! Throw together a "doggy chow" chili and see if anyone eats it. If that doesn't go over, rest assured that no one'll be mad at a family size bag or two of potato chips comparable to national brands. A platter spread of burgers, fries, and soda, with and a hot mess of spicy cheese dip on the side is also appropriate. If anyone finds themselves in a brown rice and vegetables frame of mind, be sure to remind them where all this frivolity is coming from:

Party favors! Everybody loves party favors. Treat your guests to complimentary collectibles to commemorate the occasion, like trading cards. Is there any cult movie since 1995 more worthy of trading cards than Showgirls? I think not. Plus the medium is perfect for combining Nomi's strengths and wisdom for the greater good of midnight moviedom. Here's a pseudo prototype I threw together:

Other potential Nomi party favors include: body gems, body glitter, hair gems, hair glitter, dollar store eyelashes, candy jewel ring pops in assorted colors, and, of course, switchblades:

Music-wise it's best to follow the Showgirls soundtrack's lead and bump plenty of Prince, Earthling era David Bowie, and any other Siouxsie Sioux songs that made it onto other films' soundtracks. All is just about sorted so slip into your vintage Versayce, sheer silver zebra, or stupid "Shit Happens" t-shirt and chill...

...until your guests arrive.

At this point everything should be ready for you and yours to light up the party right! Fire up the blu-ray and delight in remembering once again how much you love this unadulterated cinematic pleasuredome that remains by far the highest grossing NC-17 rated film to date, a film that Verhoeven claims is "perfect" and "the most elegant film I have ever done." A film that makes you feel like:

That said, it is a comfort to know that Elizabeth Berkley has made her peace with Nomi and has lately cast aside her Showgirls albatross, eschewing taboo and painful memories in favor of empowering full disclosure and love, sweet love. If you haven't seen her "magical full-circle moment" speech, delivered in Los Angeles last year after Cinespia's Hollywood Forever Cemetery outdoor movie screening of Showgirls, and on the same day as the United States Supreme Court ruled same-sex marriage as legal nationwide (what a day!), please check out the video below, it's guaranteed to give you life. Happy birthday Nomi!

SHOWGIRLS: The Peaches Christ Experience Returns to the Castro Theatre, 8/27

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, August 15, 2011 07:06pm | Post a Comment

Peaches Christ Showgirls

After last year’s sold-out extravaganza, Peaches Christ again promises to blow the roof off the Castro Theatre. Peaches and her Midnight Mass minions invite you to slather yourself in glittery g-string goodness as the evening kicks-off with the legendary “Volcano Goddess” pre-show.

Feel the need to embrace your inner “showgirl” and “showboy?” Get your Vegas “Ver-sayce” couture ready to sparkle up the night, for as you compete for exclusive gifts and prizes the competition will rage to a soapy lather, and your daytime duds just won’t hold up. And leave the burger and fries for amateurs because with every large popcorn purchase you’ll be guaranteed a personalized lap dance by Peaches’ legion of live “dude-girls”!

Don’t miss this season’s event, as you will never know what special surprises Peaches will pull out of her feathered headdress.

with the Midnight Mass Players and over 100 lap dancers!
Saturday, August 27, 2011
Castro Theatre, San Francisco
Doors open: 6:30pm for VIP ticket holders and 7:00pm for General Admission

Festivities begin: 8:00pm
Tickets available now at 

Continue reading...

out this week 6/15 and 6/22...showgirls...the foals...devo...the drums...uffie...

Posted by Brad Schelden, June 24, 2010 04:07pm | Post a Comment

I wish I could tell you exactly how many times I have seen the movie Showgirls. I would guess it has topped 100 times, making it the movie that I have watched more than any other! I am not sure this film really deserves this spot on my list of most watched movies. I saw it originally 15 years ago on opening weekend in downtown Santa Barbara -- around September 22nd 1995. I tried to find my original movie stub -- I know I have it somewhere! I assume it opened up in Los Angeles a week or so before Santa Barbara but I do know that I saw it before I had read any reviews. This was way before I had a cell phone, way before myspace and facebook, and I didn't even have my own computer with the internet at this point, so I hadn't even heard my friends' reactions to the movie before I went and saw it for myself. I went to see it with my friend Stephanie. We both had a healthy love of irony and loved to make fun of just about anything. I didn't really have high hopes for the movie, but I had loved Basic Instinct. This was the next movie with the powerhouse pairing of director Paul Verhoeven and screenwriter Joe Eszterhas. The screenplay cost $2 million, which is hard to believe after watching the movie even just once! It is possibly one of the worst scripts ever made into a big budget film! But after the huge success of Basic Instinct, I am sure the producers were expecting to have another huge hit on their hands. Eszterhas had also written Jade, released the same year as Showgirls and Sliver, which was released 2 years earlier. I would not consider any of these scripts amazing pieces of literature but they all worked to a certain extent as entertaining movies. For some reason everything just went perfectly wrong to make Showgirls one of the best worst movies of all time. Most of my favorite cult films were made in the 1970s and 1980s. Showgirls sort of goes into its own category. I think most of the cult movies that I like are actually well made movies. I would never say that a movie made by John Waters is actually bad -- I think they are all amazing films, although I am sure many people consider them to be bad. But I think almost everyone can agree that Showgirls is simply a very bad movie. Still, there is something about that that is endearing -- something that makes us all fall in love with Nomi and Cristal and the rest of the cast. I still can't get enough of this movie!

I saw Showgirls twice during its original theatrical run. I bought the movie when it was released on VHS and have probably watched it a minimum of 3 to 4 times a year for the last 15 years. It was the kind of movie that I would even watch when it showed up on cable TV even though I already owned a copy! I did try to avoid the edited version on regular TV or VH1, because although I could live without ever having to watch the rape scene again, I did like to watch the regular NC-17 version, the way the movie was meant to be seen. Showgirls does remain the highest grossing NC-17 movie, but it was not a success at the box office and was obviously hated by the critics. Through word of mouth though, it ended up being very successful as a rental and for puchase on VHS. The VH1 version edited out some of the more sexually graphic scenes and placed digitally enhanced black bras and panties over the scenes with nudity. They even dubbed many of Nomi's lines in the movies. Elizabeth Berkley refused to dub the edited version so another voice actress is heard in the edited version. There were a couple of years when I watched the movie about once a week. One of my roommates in 1998 and 1999 was just as obsessed with the movie as I was. We sort of used the movie as our therapy. Whenever we were a bit sad or depressed we turned to Showgirls for help. We often said to each other something like, "Tonight is a Showgirls kind of night." We would often cancel our plans to just stay home and watch Showgirls. Sometimes we would watch the movie while we were getting ready to go out. Basically, it was a rare occasion when the movie was not in one of our VCRs. I upgraded to the DVD when the VIP Edition was released in 2004. The deluxe box set came with shot glasses, playing cards and a play along with the movie drinking game. The deluxe DVD also came with some fancy bonus features -- a pop up video style trivia track and an audio commentary with David Schmader. The DVD was released without the box in 2007. I managed to catch the movie 3 more times in the theater over the years. I went to a couple of the Peaches Christ Midnight Mass performances over the years and I even went and saw it at the Metreon in San Francisco for a special re-release. I normally don't like to hear somebody talking who is sitting behind me in the theater, but for this movie I love it. During the re-release some guy behind me basically had a comment for every single scene in the movie. He was basically having a conversation with the cast and had every line memorized, and I loved it! I kind of wish MGM had tracked him down to do the audio commentary.

And now, in 2010, we get what we have all been waiting for: The Blu-ray edition! And yes, it is also the 15th Anniversary edition! This new edition comes with both the regular DVD and the Blu-ray, so if you have not yet upgraded to a Blu-ray player, it might still be worth it for you to invest in this edition. I do like the fact that I can watch it both in my bedroom on my regular DVD player and on my Blu-ray with my bigger TV, and the movie does look good in Hi Definition. This new edition includes all the bonus features from the last release; however, the DVD menu has been updated. You can even mark your favorite scenes using the bookmark feature. I also highly recommend watching the movie in French and Spanish -- it puts a new spin on the movie for sure! Might even help you learn a new language. The audio commentary is not one of the best, though. I recommend the trivia track instead. It is actually much funnier than the audio commentary, and you can also watch it with both on at the same time. I tried to watch it in Spanish with the audio commentary and the trivia track but I think this is just too much for the DVD to handle at once. The "Showgirls Diary" feature is also not to be missed. It shows some behind the scenes direction and also shows a script to screen comparison that might shed a little light and how the movie go to be so bad.

We all have our favorite scenes in the movie and I definitely have many -- I love the big choreographed performances of the Goddess show, but my favorite is the motorcycle fetish routine. Most of my favorite scenes take place at the Stardust. I love the behind the scenes stuff before the shows. I love when Nomi first gets to watch the Goddess performance and realizes that this is what she needs to do with her life. I also love when Nomi first gets to perform and Gay and Molly are backstage cheering her on. There really is a whole lot to love about this movie! Any scene with Elizabeth Berkley acting is of course amazing -- and she is in every single scene. I love Henrietta "Mama" Bazoom and the scenes at the Cheetah. One of my favorite scenes is when Cristal and Nomi go to lunch at Spago. It is amazing. Absolutely amazing! They talk about doggy chow and call champagne "holy water." They make a toast with chips! It is just brilliant! I also can't get enough of the pool scene with Nomi and Zack. And I love any of the scenes with the monkeys in the dressing room. Another couple of my favorite scenes are the hamburger scenes -- the opening scene when Nomi first meets Molly and they go to eat french fries and soda is cinematic genius! Nomi's acting in this scene is breathtaking. She stabs her soda with the straw. She later eats a hamburger in a car with James. She is so excited to be eating the hamburger that she throws the wrapper in the air as if it's a feather boa and lets it fall away from the car. I have never seen someone so joyous to be littering! She doesn't have a care in the world. She later has an amazing scene on top of one of the hotels eating a hamburger by herself. She has really succeeded at this point and can now afford her own hamburgers! This scene could really be one of those gross commercials for Carl's Jr. with Padma from Top Chef. I really wish they would use it. I have never seen somebody so happy to be eating a hamburger. And she is just so content and satisfied with her life at this point. I really get proud of her at this moment. I could watch this scene over and over again...and I have! There are some horrible lines in this movie but I think the worst lines all seem to go to James or Penny. James is the choreographer who creates his own dance show at the Crave club. Penny takes Nomi's place in the production when Nomi gets too famous with Goddess. It is actually kind of unbelievable... I also love anything to do with Penny's past. She desperately tries to hide her past as a prostitute. I love the scene where Tony Moss calls her Pollyanna and she freaks out because she thinks he knows her real name is Polly. She also has to cover up her past when meeting with human resources for her new job at the Stardust. The woman who works in human resources is also the maid in Basic Instinct. I love that Paul Verhoeven keeps some of the small actors throughout his movies. Jack McGee plays both a stagehand in Showgirls and a sheriff in Basic Instinct. He is the one who finds the jewels that made the dancer fall and break her leg. I only really know who he is because he came and talked to my high school drama class. This is my connection to Showgirls! But he really is the hardest working small part actor in Hollywood. I have seen him show up in probably 10 different movies or TV shows every year.

This movie still holds up. It is just as bad as you remember, and it has been fun to revisit the movie once again! I recommend you watch it with some friends who have never seen it before. There are amazingly still some people out there who have not yet seen this movie! I had my Showgirls Blu-ray release party last week. I invited some pals who had never seen the movie in its entirety. One of them had only seen the crappy edited version on VH1! It was amazing to see them watch some scenes for the first time. I really hope that this movie continues to entertain people for the next 100 years. I still have never seen a movie this amazingly brilliantly bad! I will now be waiting for some of my other 90's favorites to come out on Blu-ray, although I don't think the Amy Fisher story with Drew Barrymore will be released anytime soon... But I will be having a big party if it does!

Here is the brilliant teaser trailer for Showgirls...

Here is the amazing interview with Elizabeth Berkley on David Letterman from 1995....
David Letterman is super creepy in this interview...but I love that Elizabeth has no idea how bad the movie is and how it was about to become a cult movie and remembered as one of the worst movies ever...

and here is the review of the film on Siskel & Ebert...two thumbs down...

the deluxe 15th anniversary Blu-ray/DVD combo!!!

also out 6/15...

Caddyshack Original Soundtrack reissue

Something For Everybody by Devo

The Drums by The Drums

Total Life Forever by the Foals

Lustre by Ed Harcourt

Time Flies: 1994-2009 by Oasis

Sister Kinderhook by Rasputina

Barbara by We Are Scientists

also out 6/22...

Disco2 by Health

Boxer by Kele

Memphis Blues by Cyndi Lauper

Scream by Ozzy Osbourne

Learning by Perfume Genius

Five Ghosts by Stars

Sex Dreams & Denim Jeans by Uffie

Threshingfloor by Wovenhand

Care To Dance? The Spectacle of Showgirls

Posted by Miss Ess, August 1, 2007 04:31pm | Post a Comment
Let me just tell you, until you have seen one of your dear friends erupt from a volcano wearing nothing but a body stocking and strategically placed sequins, you haven't really been thrilled.

I was treated to such a glorious sight on Saturday night at Midnight Mass' Showgirls screening.

Good Lord, the event was delicious and horrifying at the same time, much like the film.

Showgirls is pretty fascinating. Isn't it obvious that while Gina Gershon realizes the movie is pure camp and revels in it, Elizabeth Berkley has absolutely no idea what's going on and just thinks she's killing it?  Crazy, huh?

I just can scarcely believe a movie like this got made in the last 15 years, movie making being as difficult as it is.  Someone out there clearly thought it was a great idea though!  And thank goodness they did.

I don't think there is a person alive over 20 years of age who doesn't know this movie's plot:  a young woman arrives in Vegas with a dream of becoming a Showgirl. She'll do anything to achieve this goal, as we see during the film.  Oh, it's good.  It's real good.

At Midnight Mass during the pre-show we were treated to some reenactments of scenes from the film, one of which was the scene where Nomi (Berkley) and Cristal (Gershon) bond over their love of....yes, dog food....and during which Martini, as Nomi, actually ATE dog food on stage! Yikes. There were many more moments of horror throughout the pre-show, during which tampons were thrown on the audience and audience members were willingly assaulted by a freakish posse of lap dancers.

All this, and then we got to experience Showgirls in its uncut entirety!
This movie is definitely so wrong it's right.  I thoroughly enjoyed myself.

If you get HDNet, you can check out local hero Peaches Christ's own TV show this Saturday night. (If you live in San Francisco, chances are you don't get this channel unless you have satellite TV.  What's up with that?!  Who can afford it?)  It's gonna be like having your own Midnight Mass right in the comfort of your own living room! Check out the fabulous preview:

Discover A World Of Sounds!

Posted by Miss Ess, July 6, 2007 10:48am | Post a Comment
Well, TODAY is indeed a special day.

My dear Andrew Dupuy has at last launched his eagerly anticipated website/podcast: Discover A World Of Sounds

Yes, the site is incredible and I am not afraid to say I am biased.  I daresay Dupuy is one of my favorite people in this great big world.  He's a Southerner in origin, and thus carries with him that particularly Southern sense of ballsy/cutting humor and deliciously gross charm, but most importantly and like me (perhaps why we get along!), he's a total pop culture whore.  His new site is many things, but it's mainly an exploration of how music relates to memory.  And trust me, Dupuy's memories and comments are HILARIOUS.  You can listen to his first podcast here.

Just push play!

This first podcast is an amalgam of childhood memories, setting the scene for what's to come.  Dupuy's gonna post a new radio show every two weeks, and just trust me here, dude's got it down!  His production is seamless and layered, but more importantly his detailed tales of growing up in Louisiana as well as living in the now here in San Francisco are quality entertainment.  He's not shy.  There will also be constantly posted blogs related to music and memory on the site.

Portrait of the artist as a young man.

Perhaps I will have to interview him sometime soon for this site.

Among the reasons to love him (and that make him an excellent, never-dull podcaster), Dupuy shares my affinity for lemon jelly filled powdered sugar covered Bob's Donuts.  (Of course, being Southern, he adores all fried food....though lately he's gotten all yoga mat on me (!)....I guess that's what happens when Southerners hit Cali.  I still love you, Dupuy.  We can get through this together.)

His favorite form of television is the infomercial.  Yes, this man can make even watching QVC an exciting experience!  This is something we have enjoyed together many a time, and is an interest which he discusses at length in an interview by the fabulous Peaches Christ.

He is also obsessed with Elizabeth Berkley and Showgirls.  While in his teens our young Dupuy created and bound a laminated book of all the articles he could find about anything regarding the film:  he'd find em, cut  them out, arrange and glue them on colored construction paper, laminate each page and finally bound them all up into one fascinating piece, a true tribute to creativity and obsession.  This book arrived in San Francisco with Dupuy after fleeing Hurricane Katrina.  It now resides safely in his Castro apartment.

Remember this?  "I'm so excited!"

And we both love Debbie Gibson.  And YM magazine.  And Dollywood.  And Richard Simmons.

At about the 46 min mark of the podcast, Dupuy's stories about his unbelievable Southern grandma "Maw Maw" begin, including their fabled trip to see Milli Vanilli in Lafayette, LA.  She and Dupuy are true partners in crime!

I adore this man, and you will too.  Quick, go check out Discover A World Of Sounds!

Also, come see Dupuy in action as he DJs Amoeba's own Tura Satana of Faster Pussycat, Kill Kill Signing next