Upon its 1995 release, Paul Verhoeven's glitzy stripper drama Showgirls earned some of the most extravagantly awful reviews in cinema history. "A film of thunderous oafishness," wrote Kenneth Turan of the Los Angeles Times, with critics around the globe unanimously damning Showgirls as a failure doomed to die in infamy.
Only it didn't. Since its original release, Showgirls has grown into a full-fledged cult phenomenon, thanks in no small part to the cinematic missionary work undertaken by David Schmader, the critically acclaimed writer and performer who hosted his first annotated screenings of the film at Seattle's Northwest Film Forum in 1999. Part art-appreciation lecture, part sit-down comedy routine, all against the backdrop of Verhoeven's peerlessly offensive, flesh-drenched disaster, Showgirls with David Schmader was an instant hit, packing theaters in Seattle and touring to film festivals across the country, with Schmader reintroducing Verhoeven's hideous folly to a generation of filmgoers as the most inadvertent, surreally hilarious comedy in film history.
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