Tag Archives: NC-17

Pink Flamingos


Dubbed as “An exercise in bad taste,” John Waters’ Pink Flamingos is just that but not just because it contains a litany of vulgarity – both sexual and scatological. For the most part it’s a terribly made film with poor editing, uncreative cinematography, and bad acting; it makes up for it with amazingly funny dialogue that’s still relevant almost 40 years after its initial release.

Here is the original trailer from the early ‘70s (this version, featuring John Waters’ introduction, originally appeared on the Criterion laserdisc). I feel this aptly sums up what’s so great about this immensely bizarre film.


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Showgirls

Where does one begin with Showgirls? It’s a high budget NC-17 film directed by the excellent Dutch director Paul Verhoeven; it’s also been dubbed one of the worst films ever made, sweeping the Razzies in the mid-1990s (incidentally, Verhoeven showed up in person to collect his multiple, shameful trophies) and performing dismally at the box office. Considering America is struggling with the duality of hyper-sexuality and Puritanical sexual repressiveness it’s no wonder Showgirls was a critical and financial failure – Showgirls features nudity for at least half of the film and touches upon sexually explicit material (primarily orgasms) frequently. Showgirls’ protagonist Nomi (Elizabeth Berkley from Saved by the Bell) is a headstrong, highly sexualized woman who’s dealing with the realization that an entertainer becomes nothing more than a prostitute (especially in Las Vegas); Berkley is also a terrible actress. However, it’s her awful performance that really brings this film together. In essence, her overblown awfulness sells, turning Showgirls from an erotic movie into the best comedy of the 1990s.
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