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Overall Rating

Awesome: 22.54%
Worth A Look: 10.56%
Just Average: 8.45%
Pretty Crappy: 9.86%

5 reviews, 112 user ratings

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by John Linton Roberson

1 stars

I'm only bothering to review this because, till this vomitous, wretched, but bizarrely funny piece of codswollop, CALIGULA was the worst movie I'd ever seen. I'd heard how much money it lost and had a good, good chuckle. I remember the pre-hype, Verhoeven and Eszterhas waxing so very pretentiously on the, ha, the sophisticated, ha ha, no wait, sophisticated(catch your breath, John) view of sexuality and, and, oh lord, the inner power of women--AS PRESENTED in THIS MOVIE. They said this, swear to God.

In short, despite how hilarious this movie was, it still stole over two hours of my life(hypocritically he claimed...) and I want to kick it in the teeth a bit.

If Ed Wood taught us anything, it's that the worst filmmakers may believe as wholeheartedly in their work as so-called true artists and STILL produce a great steaming stinking mass of celluloid shit. I honestly believe these two believed in what they were doing. Or rather, I fear that they do. If this had been merely meant as the hackwork it is, it would be more reassuring.

One night in the video store, stuck for something we'd not seen, my fiancee and I noticed this in the "Bad" section, and feeling cruel, rented it. I wore a hole in the floor; from rolling on it laughing--mind out of gutter, please! You people...

And why oh why exactly is Hollywood unable to deal with sexuality outside the context of strippers and prostitutes? Not movies, just Hollywood. Tells you something about the amount of experience most producers have with women they don't pay.

No need to go over the plot except to say it even has a father and mother figure right out of old-time Busby Berkeley musicals, with the exception that the father says things like, "Do a good job on that stage and I won't even make you suck my dick." CHAR-ming! And it's presented almost as though it was meant to be. EWWW!!!

Telling point: This movie thinks Las Vegas has a soul.

Oh...all right, let's make fun of the plot, as it is.

What we have here, captured for eternity, are some of the worst performances in movie history, particularly Elizabeth Berkley, who, judging from her movements during the act, fantasizes herself as a washing machine. And Kyle MacLachlan, totally lost outside a David Lynch context where his woodenness and unfortunate innate corniness works. I wonder how many times since 1992 or so David Lynch has heard him begging, drunk, on his answering machine.(Note for lawyers: I'm kidding, I'm kidding.)

It follows the Ain't-Paying-Your-Dues-In-Showbiz-Hard plot, except the protagonist usually has noble artistic ambitions one can sympathize with. But no, this woman wants to be a sleazy stripper, period. There's a character who tries to encourage her on to "better things," but no. She wants to do lap dances. And why? No reason. But if you question it on her, for no apparent reason, she pulls a knife. Joe Boy apparently finds knives erotic, but then he's a senile hippie living up in Marin.(This would even be more excusable if he lived in Hollywood. No, Eszterhas is just an idiot, and not even worth having his name spelled right) After a while you get the feeling she's acting like some sort of, I dunno, crackwhore?--which she turns out to have been! Oh BWAH HAH HAH! AND THEY ACTUALLY THINK THIS WILL MAKE YOU CARE MORE ABOUT HER!

Another lovely, ludicrous bit is when after stripping, gyrating, having men come on her, and grinding against a number of high-paying crotches, quite enthusiastically, and then quits when someone dares tell her to put ice on her nipples. I guess everyone has their limits...

Then there's the obligatory scene where her best friend, who happens to be black(apparently to make her look saintly, in the filmmakers' minds; it's a very obvious and ugly bit of manipulation, as the character is there through most of the movie just to listen to Berkley rant and be supportive), is brutally and gratuitously, and VERY pruriently, raped--being disposable for the filmmakers, not being one of the blond, sexy ones...god, this film sickens me...giving this incomprehensible, idiotic, and totally unsympathetic character the chance to avenge this horrid act and become a hero in the last reel, much as the more murderous members of medieval nobility would recant on their deathbeds. She's cheap, she's sleazy, SHE'S PROUD!

This thing would have been laughed off cable in the 80s, which Verhoeven used to do(remember HBO's THE HITCHHIKER and its horrid hairstyles, Members Only jackets, and tits exactly 15 minutes into the program?). You keep wondering, how could they have put this out, spent so much money, and not known how very, VERY bad this thing is?

I almost exploded my guts laughing watching this thing. I was quite sore the next day, to be sure...no, not that way!(That would be HENRY & JUNE, quite another story)I like genuine eroticism. I see it rarely in film. And CERTAINLY not here. This movie, if there is an exact opposite of "erotic," qualifies for the title. It doesn't even work as soft-core porn. Well, to virgins locked in a box till they're 25 it might.

I recommend it to screenwriting professors to show their students, as the greatest textbook example of how NOT to write a movie. I recommend it to anyone who thinks they know how bad, how VERY VERY bad a movie can be.

link directly to this review at https://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=1247&reviewer=151
originally posted: 09/04/99 05:28:40
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OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2005 CineVegas Film Festival For more in the 2005 CineVegas Film Festival series, click here.

User Comments

3/12/17 morris campbell shitty showgirls u should skip it 1 stars
4/24/15 David Hollingsworth Makes Howard the Duck look like The Third Man 1 stars
8/03/14 D. The R. The most abysmally awful big budget production of the 20th century, hands down! 1 stars
4/26/12 Hugh Grant Campy crap. How did Colin Firth miss out in getting a part in this pc? 1 stars
10/13/10 art LIZ BERKLY really show's off her "TALENT"S" 1 stars
9/11/10 Nadine Russo Saw it. It was all right. Gina Gershon is a great actress. 2 stars
12/25/09 Chad Dillon Cooper Typical Hollywood Hostess twnikie bull. Why didn't the public lap this up? 1 stars
4/18/08 Pamela White T and A but no more 1 stars
3/12/08 Bozzy Herpos This film is complete and utter shite. I agree with the reveiwer, it is high camp. Dogshit. 1 stars
7/19/06 David Cohen Pull yer head out John Smith: This movie sucks like a hoover 1 stars
6/09/05 Indrid Cold Despite the "so bad it's good" status, it really is not very enjoyable. 2 stars
6/04/05 Hack-SAW SORRY FOR THE RATING BUT... Gina Gershon WAS THE ONLY SAVING GRACE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 5 stars
5/19/05 That Guy As far as crappy movies go, this one, well...sucks. Yawn... 2 stars
3/11/05 The Sorrow Gina Gershon, was the only thing that was pure in this absolutley gritty flick... 3 stars
12/22/04 Jason Kaul Anybody who watched "Saved By The Bell" for Elizabeth Berkley should jack off to this movie 2 stars
12/09/04 Kristina Williams Versace never sounded so tacky 1 stars
12/02/04 luisalopez excelent movie 5 stars
9/27/04 ELI HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!!!! This shit is so STUPID!!!! 1 stars
9/04/04 Archanist_101 It's not TOO BAD... But it does go over board with the sexual & violent content... 4 stars
5/16/04 mwildema whoa! shouldn't this have a stronger rating 1 stars
2/28/04 Nicole Saw edited version on VH1 and it made no sense - probably because alot of the film was cut 2 stars
1/31/04 Cypher gg 5 stars
1/19/04 michel Totally agree with Mark Adnum's review. Verhoeven's gonna have the last word!! 5 stars
1/11/04 Farnq Y Fairly honest movie about showbiz 4 stars
12/31/03 ROY L. CAIN,JR. Not a bad movie. To all who disagree, "Back off, motherfucker!" 3 stars
12/09/03 Samuel I was 6 when i watched it I dont really remember alot! 3 stars
11/30/03 I Would The funniest film ever made... oh it's not a comedy? Oh dear. 2 stars
11/28/03 john rather silly 2 stars
11/05/03 nil pretty 2 stars
10/02/03 Z - a WOMAN actually physically painful to watch. watched in disbelief of its badness (sob) 1 stars
9/29/03 JohnnyXXX Not as bad as what most people claimed it to be. It was quite entertaining. 4 stars
8/05/03 Double G Elizabeth Berkley is so hot, but its not such a great movie. 4 stars
8/05/03 AD it wasnt that bad 4 stars
8/03/03 Nicole Had no plot - perhaps because I saw the edited version, which cuts the movie in half 2 stars
7/02/03 Lush It's sheer cackiness actually makes it entertaining. 1 stars
6/25/03 Matthew Gutiérrez this movie really rocked, as opposed to others. i liked the dancing and elizabeth berkley 5 stars
5/18/03 Erykk Gershon is a doll...she is better than this. 1 stars
5/11/03 Jack Bourbon If I were making a T&A piece, I'd try to get someone hotter than Berkley (and likely fail) 1 stars
4/28/03 Mr. Do Entertaining. 4 stars
4/22/03 mr. Pink Reviewer Mark Adnum is right on the money on this one. 5 stars
4/07/03 Jack Sommersby Could have been a trashy classic had it not taken itself seriously. 2 stars
2/04/03 Atanu Nath a very smart review from Mark. hated the lead though. but i like Gershon. 3 stars
2/01/03 fjfvdd This one can only be enjoyed by morons with a shitload of time on their hands. 1 stars
11/10/02 Chiendog As much fun as a magnifying glass and an anthill on a sunny day. 4 stars
10/15/02 Ken Mark Adnum = Walter Chaw? Verhoeven deserved cancer for this. 1 stars
7/22/02 Mark Adnum Uh, that's a "NO" on both counts, jdajd 5 stars
7/18/02 jdajd Mark Adnum HAS to be related to someone in this movie or just a plain moron 1 stars
7/11/02 Mark Adnum Everybody's different, I guess, tad 5 stars
7/07/02 internetwhore hahahahahhaha! the funniest piece of celluloid to ever be let loose on the masses! 5 stars
6/23/02 Baal Can't understand any of the bad comments. Come on, people, it's fun to watch! 5 stars
4/25/02 Charles Tatum If I need boobs, I will just watch real porn 1 stars
4/16/02 Veronica Foxx (The Raven-Haired Temptress) Does Kyle McLachlan have a chainsaw for a penis? He must the way she was thrashing around. 1 stars
4/03/02 jhon i like it 5 stars
4/02/02 Edfink Lombardo Shit, shit, shit. Laughably terrible dialogue and acting. An unerotic mess. 1 stars
3/07/02 Jenny Tullwartz Her name ain't even Lola. Doesn't even have very appealing nudity for those who want it. 2 stars
3/01/02 Mo Anand The critics hated it...I for one like it...it's entertaining. 4 stars
2/27/02 John Linton Roberson Definitely worth watching, among friends, mocking it merrily all the way through. 1 stars
2/26/02 Alan Smithee A truly awful film. But Gina Gershon is still one of the most beautiful women EVER!!!! 1 stars
2/01/02 Bertha Venation All its missing is Patty Duke, she could have played Helen Lawson this time 5 stars
12/03/01 Crunchyfrog I came and came and came...then left 5 stars
10/06/01 jawsboy great pussy & ass!! , piece of shit film making however 1 stars
9/20/01 Monster W. Kung Jake, you are the ultime joke on movie making. Cut your throat. This movie is horseshit! 1 stars
8/27/01 phil m. afficiando makes you wonder about the lives of those who made this thing 1 stars
8/18/01 Edwin Menguin Was this film deliberatley crap?, In the pool is she being knifed in the minge? 1 stars
6/28/01 Frank This movie is so wretched that it's fabulous! 4 stars
4/20/01 i love movies Coyote Ugly is worse! No jigglies in that one! 2 stars
4/17/01 fred not even a nice dick to look at.... boooooo 1 stars
3/27/01 The M.E. The most consistently awful, hilarious thing I've ever seen. Priceless entertainment. 5 stars
3/09/01 Jake I know its bad but it is sooo damn entertaining. 4 stars
3/07/01 I love movies was Verhoeven trying to make the worst movie of all time? I hope he was... 1 stars
2/20/01 Rocket Boy Possibly one of the worst Hollywood films ever, but for sheer laughter, wow. 5 stars
2/14/01 KyLe*BrOfLoVsKi This film is one reason Hollywood Bitchslap was born. 1 stars
1/31/01 jordan i've watched this film many times to try to like it. i can't. 1 stars
11/20/00 Randy Eischer The pork in the pool made it all worthwhile 3 stars
10/17/00 Croweater Was everyone on drugs in this movie?? God this was awful! 1 stars
10/04/00 terry c ah jeez i'm gonna be sick all over berkley,bbbllllaaaahhh 1 stars
9/18/00 Terrie Smith Absolute crap; one of the worst I've seen for many a year. Terrible acting. 1 stars
8/05/00 Bruce AWFUL 1 stars
7/13/00 ID This film is BAD 1 stars
6/24/00 SwatchDog Hilarious! I got it at Versase. Not Oscar Material, but has definitely earned cult status 5 stars
5/17/00 Creeper simply repulsive 1 stars
3/24/00 Lipian Well, it wasnt that fucking great but the tits were o.k. 4 stars
2/10/00 Kyle Broflovski Pasties, periods, pussy-tarts--everything that sucks about being female... 1 stars
1/21/00 movieman It gave me a hard-on, I masturbate to it 1 stars
1/04/00 Nice Guy Eddie ranks as one of the worst movies I've seen, I was extremely bored throughout. 1 stars
12/05/99 Big M Quote from showgils: "I've eaten dogfood before"-"really?"-"Yeah."-"Yeah dogfood is nice." 2 stars
11/06/99 Mickey "Father Death" MacJohnstmyster Its my favourite scary movie , absolutely frightening . Randy Meeks 1 stars
9/24/99 alyssa Who the hell was she sleeping with?? Oh maybe Paul Verhoeven??? 1 stars
9/18/99 Real McCoy If you like PUSSY then you like this Movie 5 stars
9/17/99 TheScream Bad movies can be so delicious. This one is a hot fudge sundae. Not good for you, but yummy 5 stars
9/16/99 strike Let's just say that I think or at least hope that someday this movie won't be ridiculed. 4 stars
9/13/99 K Pillsbury pure, unadulterated crap 1 stars
8/17/99 John Roberson Should be shown to screenwriters as example of what not to do. 1 stars
7/10/99 Caligula Filming a turd for 2 hours would be more entertaining 1 stars
4/06/99 rich n great bodies,and funny it does't take itself serious. 4 stars
3/18/99 Bob "T I T S"; Ben is a faggot 5 stars
3/07/99 Ben Timms Lame, Lame, LAME!!! 1 stars
3/06/99 little jerry Elizabeth Berkley is like a blow-up doll come angrily alive.Best scene-sauce on the chips. 5 stars
3/04/99 Jimmi "Saved by the breats" 5 stars
2/06/99 Don Wilson Has some really cute pussy! 5 stars
1/09/99 Jo Mama oh my goodness! mercy! i saw gina girshon's boobies! 4 stars
11/24/98 Mr.Pink America is in denial to sexuality and their own society, the reaction to Showgirls provesit 5 stars
11/23/98 DrEvil Could only have been if Oprah was in it. "They took my milk." Gives me shivers. 1 stars
11/13/98 Rageboy BLAH! A big-budget porno that isn't even sexy. 1 stars
11/01/98 MR HOLLYWOOD !! Confrontational but more 'UMF' was needed,sexy and silly at the least. 4 stars
10/28/98 J-Guy (the MFC) boring crap. too much titty (if that's possible). badbadbad. 1 stars
10/27/98 Matt A.C. would be very dissapointed in little Jesse. 5 stars
10/27/98 Lord Of The Dunce Give this movie credit for being the perfect hype/promotion/masturbation vehicle. Great. 5 stars
10/26/98 Christ Monkey Joe Eszterhas is a dialogue genius! "Must be weird not having people cum on you!!!" GENIUS! 5 stars
10/26/98 Cage Didn't listen to anyone and rented it... I had hope, but was let down. Wanted more titty... 2 stars
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  22-Sep-1995 (R)
  DVD: 27-Jul-2004


  12-Oct-1995 (R)

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