An exotic dancer/stripper, Penny Slot, decides she’s had enough of her rather seedy life in Las Vegas, with her scuzzy boyfriend and her dead-end job dancing for lowlifes at a local bar, and heads for the bright lights of Hollywood. However, being as thick as pig shit floating in molasses; our heroine (?) naively gets herself embroiled in the affairs of various obnoxious characters that she meets along the way and ultimately becomes the sort of person she despises in order to become the star she sees herself as…or something like that!
Sadly Showgirls 2 lives up to its expected reputation of being the sort of film that most sane people avoid like a dose of Ebola virus. I had rather hoped it would be otherwise and I could write a glowing review, kicking against the fatuous enema that is known as the established film press, but my hopes were dashed within seconds of the film starting. Don’t get me wrong I admire anyone who’s got off their arse and made a film – I know how hard it can be, I’ve done it myself - but I have to warn you, gentle reader, of this abomination that is the unofficial follow-up to Paul Verhoeven’s camp classic, or so certain movie pundits put it. Apparently it was funded using the Kickstarter programme by fans of the original – I bet those supporters are pissed off now!
Firstly, let’s examine the technical aspects of it. It’s pretty badly shot, the choice of shots the editor left in are highly questionable, the lighting is generally poor and, worst of all, the sound is very inconsistent (and I’m being kind there!). Most viewers will put up with poor visuals if the sound quality is good and you can easily hear what people are saying, but few will put up with the sort of audio anarchy that exists here.
Half the time you can’t hear what the characters are saying and then, when you do, you kind of wish you’d remained in blissful ignorance…
And that brings me on to my next criticism: the script. What the hell! What a mess. The script frequently thinks it’s getting deep and artful when sadly it’s just plain horrible. Not only are there no characters you would really feel compelled to root for, but the lines that come out of their mouths are generally inane drivel, which make most daytime soaps look like Chaucer in comparison.
And since I touched on acting I’d better move on to that. There are few ‘proper’ actors in this film; most are probably just mates of the writer/director and that really doesn’t help things. I’d like to think that maybe that’s the whole point of the film, that the director instructed everyone to act really badly, say deliberately stupid lines, and that they actually set out to make a really bad film, but even really god-awful films can be fun, and this, unfortunately, is not.
The frustrating thing is that under all the ‘crapness’ there’s a nugget of a good idea, and in more skilful hands Showgirls 2 could have been a half decent film, but, alas, Rena Riffel is not that safe pair of hands and so Showgirls 2 probably deserves to sink without a trace down a dusty back drawer at your local Blockbusters, assuming of course they haven’t gone completely out of business by then! (too late - Ed)
One of the film’s main problems is its running time. At over two hours and 20 minutes in length it’s dramatically overlong and could easily lose an hour of its length; mainly just by getting rid of pointless shots and shortening scenes that go on for way too long.
Okay, enough of the knives and out with the handkerchiefs. Showgirls 2 isn’t all bad. The cast seem to be having fun (maybe they were on drugs?!), there are some attractive women in it (many of whom wander around not wearing much for most of the time), leading lady Riffel still has an amazing body, and there are a few laughs to be had along the way; mostly unintentional, I suspect. Plus some of the locations used are pretty interesting and nicely weird in a David Lynch sort of way. In fact the film has a kind of David Lynch meets Troma kind of vibe to it
Overall don’t waste your time on this dreck, but if you do like overly camp, poorly made films which reference slightly better crap camp films then give it a whirl, but you have been warned!
Reviewer: Justin Richards
Showgirls 2 is available on DVD now and is being distributed by Wild Eye Releasing in the US. The DVD has a number of extras including a commentary track with the director/star, Rena Riffel. There’s also a lost footage section – although surely it can’t be lost if it’s here? This is just made up of random bits and pieces – nicely mirroring the general feel of the film, me thinks! There’s a ‘behind the scenes’ section that has some funny moments and it looks like the cast and crew had fun, which is nice for them! In fact there’s even a shot of a script, which was rather surprising to me… Oh, and there a music video compiled from one of the scenes called the Hot Dog Scene Remix, which is mildly entertaining. At least they made an effort with the extras.