Wednesday, May 31, 2006

well, the gall of them...

As you can augur from the link at the right, I waste some of my time posting reviews on Amazon. What I didn't realise is that they will sometimes delete a review. I had previously reviewed "Showgirls" (I know, so I like crappy movies, k?), and today when I looked at my review page it was gone. Not that I think that my deathless prose should last forever in cyberspace- oh who am I kidding, of course it should! In any case, I do actually own a copy of this total howler on DVD (they were practically slipping them into people's bags at Blockbuster), and feeling in the mood for some trash last night, I put it in the machine.

Time is a funny thing. Not that millenia could make this good movie, nothing could do that. But it was not nearly as terrible as I remember it. Sure, what I had written years ago is still true about the main character (played by Elizabeth Berkley): why anyone, even in Vegas would put up with the howling, badly-permed, over painted shrew for three seconds defies belief. But there's just something so sweet about Ms. Berkley that you can't help but like her. Her, not her performance or this movie.


Okay, for those who haven't seen it, it's basically parts of "A Star is Born", that is if Esther Blodgett was a stripper with a heart of gold and the morals of a vulture and Norman Maine was a really predatory drag queen. Nomi Malone (Berkley) comes to Vegas to become a dancer. She loses her suitcase to a greasy trickster who leaves her stranded. At this point, and for no reason, she meets her new best friend, a seamstress who has the car that Nomi takes her agressions out on over her loss. Despite the fact that Nomi tosses her cookies in front of, dashes into traffic, and tosses the french-fries New Best friend buys her in her face, Molly (NBF) asks her to move in. If only I knew that that was the way to impress potential room-mates.

Loads of other things happen on Nomi's way to the top (or bottom) in Vegas. She runs afoul of Cristal Connors, a diva "dancer" and headliner of the Vegas show "Goddess". Gina Gershon plays her exactly as a drag queen would, alternating second to second between smirking evil and quaking lust. It's a hoot of a performance, and when she's sidelined in the movie, you'll miss her.

What you won't miss is all of the sex. There's sex in a strip club, sex in a pool, sex, sex, sex. None of which is the least bit erotic. Or for that matter, physically possible. The scene in the pool is unintentionally hilarious: Nomi is bucking and thrashing like someone left a mechanical bull in the water and not only is she riding it, she's being electrocuted by it. She is also so far away from Kyle McClachlan (with whom she's supposedly having sex) that you can only imagine that he is either super-humanly endowed or she just is having some sort of fit. Not to be outdone, Cristal Connors has a few nude scenes of her own, and tries, tries, tries to get Berkley into bed. Both woman are wearing enough make-up to stock a decent sized Nordstrom's for at least a year, so when they finally do get into a bit of kissy-face, all you can think of is that they might just slide off one another and injure themselves.

In any really bad movie, there is usually one scene that's really a corker. In Strait-Jacket it's the one where 50-something Joan Crawford downs an iced-tea glass full of bourbon and leers at her daughter's 20-something Fiance (It plays like a scene from "Cruising"). In this one it's where Nomi takes revenge on the slimy Michael Bolton clone who rapes Molly (A really icky, scene). To music usually reserved for Rambo movies, Nomi get's ready to kick the snot of Slimy by..... doing her nails. Yep, whe paints designs on her teenage-mutant-ninja-press-ons, shimmies into the tightest and shortest gold dress in the history of cinema and then turns all Jackie Chan. All of this is of course, goes against the cardinal rule of Vegas: don't mess with a somebody in the name of a nobody. Realising this, Nomi abandons her role as the new "Goddess", and decamps for the only place left to sleaze into: Hollywood. While wearing, if possible even more makeup. Needless to say, in a movie like this, the person who picks her up is the same guy who ripped off her suitcase in the first place. I don't know who I'd be more scared for, him or the city of the Angels

It's almost as if this movie were made by some really machiavellian ministers or something. So much sex going on, not a bit of it's actually sexy.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

for the three of you who read this

in honor of Mother's Day, I am reprinting something I posted at Columbina's Blog , which is involved in a fundraising campaign. Please go and leave your comments on that site.

My parents sadly died before I ever got the chance to know them as actual people, rather than just "parents": perhaps that is why I remember those scents so much; Mom's Joy as she leaned in to kiss me goodnight before going out to a dinner party; her blue-black hair, white skin and light green eyes (I got the latter two, as well as a disturbing resemblance to Joan Crawford), or Dad's Kolnisch Juchten and pipe (tobacco). I can still remember watching Some idiotic scary movie with him as a kid and hiding in his blazer, and the smell of that cologne with Dunhill London Mixture and Harris tweed. I still have one of those coats, and at 6'2", I don't fill it out.

Mind you, I'm not bitter, or even terribly sad about it. It's just the way things have worked out. But for anyone who may be reading this and have parents who are still around, I hope that this weekend (and Dad's weekend in June) that you will take a moment to inwardly thank whomever that you have a parent to love, live with, or even be annoyed by.