It’s no April Fools’ joke. Logo will celebrate April 1st with a “24-Hour Salute to Great American Cinema” with an all-day marathon of Paul Verhoeven’s heartwarming tale of a small-town girl trying to make it in the big city, “Showgirls.”
Now, let’s pause for a second — is Logo trying to argue that “Showgirls” is not an actual significant movie in the American NC-17 canon? Sure, at the time of its theatrical release it garned a record 13 Razzie nominations and was called out by the likes of Richard Corliss for its “obscene level of incompetence, excessive inanity in the story line” and “gross negligence of the viewer’s intelligence.”
But there are plenty of people willing to go to the mat for “Showgirls” (ew, sorry, that sounds wrong) as something beyond a classic of so-bad-it’s-goodness. This is a film, after all, that inspired a roundtable symposium in the weighty journal Film Quarterly in which Noël Burch suggested that it “takes mass culture seriously, as a site of both fascination and struggle. And it takes despised melodrama seriously too, as indeed an excellent vehicle for social criticism.”
So camp classic, or actual classic? I suppose watching the movie 12 times in a row is one way to determine how jokey Logo’s being with that marathon label.