Last night I ventured into Central Cinema, not knowing what was to await me. When David Schmader, from The Stranger and the “the foremost authority” on the classically awful, yet surprisingly delightful (sans UGH! rape scene at the end) film SHOWGIRLS, pitched the idea of doing a screening of SHOWGIRLS 2 at Central Cinema, it seemed like a match made in heaven. Boobs, booze and a room full of people having the same experience would make SHOWGIRLS 2 a happening.
Last night that “happening” happened. I decided to watch the film cold, which is a major gamble in the world of repertory theater. But when it comes to SHOWGIRLS and David Schmader, it is always worth the roll of the dice. I stayed away from the trailer, so not to give anything away. All I knew was that Rena Riffel is a sweet potato, David Schmader was deep in the trenches of working on his commentary for SHOWGIRLS 2 and it had a run time of 143 minutes. Almost 20 minutes longer than the original!
So armed with David Schmader’s perfectly scattered witticism and one of my best friends, I ordered a Central Cinema Manhattan, an order of Frites, an order of Stromboli and settled in. My friend and I soon would be enjoying another Manhattan and then on to the drink special of the evening, Stripper Mom. We then moved onto PBR, you know for sipping.
I emerged from the theater a different person. Good or bad? That is debatable. I do know this. I have the utmost respect for Rena Riffel for actually making this film. With all the SHOWGIRLS loving that surrounds us now, it seemed like the perfect time to jump on this project. She had a vision. She has a finished product. Those are two things that are VERY VERY hard to come by these days.
This morning, I feel like I have been in a war. A movie war. But I have survived and a an stronger person. I think that most people who were there last night, might feel the same. United together for one single evening with our fearless leader, David Schmader, fielding the land mines of SHOWGIRLS 2, everyone sitting around me made a solemn vow to speak never of SHOWGIRLS 2 again once we exited the theater doors.
In hind sight, that seems rather reactionary. We can talk about it hushed whispers.
Making movies is hard. Making bad movies is easy. Making bad movies people can enjoy over and over is an art form and it is time to that Rena Riffel’s ode to past demons, 90’s movie style and the joys of outdoor/daytime strip clubs finds its way to you.
I survived SHOWGIRLS 2: PENNY’S FROM HEAVEN. Where’s my tee-shirt?!