Wednesday, April 27, 2011

CURTAINS (1983) - all the world's a stage, and we are merely confused

Here's the trailer for an early postmodern mindbender of a slasher.

Dean Wormer was a control freak, and rightfully so. The university ideal is founded upon principles of higher learning and advancements in academic fields, and this ideal is best carried through with an organized fist. However, when you have a student body that signs up for a singular long term goal (a piece of paper they can show to potential employers), supplemented with many short term goals (getting drunk and getting laid), these ideals can go flying out of the window, like a partially dismembered mannequin crashing through a frat house window. It’s rather fitting that Wormer would quit his scholastic position at Faber and become a film director, joining the ranks of the some of the biggest control freaks in history. Besides, trying to convey the wonder of knowledge for its own sake to Bluto Blutarsky must be a futile lesson in frustration.

Here Wormer (played by John Vernon as himself under the alias “Jonathan Stryker”) is looking to cast Samantha Eggar for his new film “Audra”, which, it would seem, is about an insane, creepy looking old lady that brandishes weapons. However, she tries to stab him with scissors and gets tossed in the nuthouse. This would seemingly put the kibosh on that particular bit of casting, but, alas, no. Apparently, the whole thing was faked in order to get Samantha through the funny farm gates, as research for the role of a marble deficient leading lady. I guess it’s one of those method deals.

Well, the academy does tend to swoon over teeth gnashing hysterics, particularly when it is carried out while playing a crazy person (or, say, a retard with no limbs). The plan goes as conceived, what with Eggar fitted for her kook tux and tossed into an institute of mental cleansing. The hospital T.V. happens to be showing a Samantha Eggar movie, and it is at this point my reflex-o-meter is starting to cave in from stress. Like her new funny farm roommates, my fragile noodle is wearing thin.

Lovely Lynne Griffin, of Black Christmas fame, is an aspiring actress ready to go off and audition for the film lead along with five other young ladies. We only learn this because Lynne interjects tidbits of exposition into her amateur stand-up comedy act, like the following joke: "I wanna get in pictures so badly I screwed the photo mat guy!". He he, that’s pretty funny! No seriously, it is. Well, I thought so.

Samantha Eggar is not too pleased with this, as one would imagine, since she had already been promised the part as soon as her mental hygiene improved. That asshole Dean Wormer must have set her up to get her out of the way. However, Samantha manages to escape the funny farm, and is now burning pictures of all the actresses, inferring a plot of revenge. We aren't directly told any of this, but rather, have to piece it together from a disembodied conversation. I’m glad the voice over person took time out from their busy lives to sorta let us know what the shit is going on.

Thankfully we’re on to more familiar territory, what with some blonde (wearing the always welcome football jersey and panties combo) being stalked in her house. The perp wearing pantyhose on his head assaults the poor girl and...oh wait, it's her boyfriend. Apparently, she's one of the actresses up for the part, and she’s role-playing the various scenes with him. Must be one of those bimbo slasher workshop deals. Another actress is driving through the rain, trying to get to Stryker's house for the audition, when she notices a big scary doll along the side of the road (the same doll that was in the blonde girl’s bedroom). The doll grabs her, and somehow her parked car speeds up and runs her over...oh shit, it was all a dream, a figment of the blonde girl’s imagination. Cinema sure is a conniving sort. Well, no matter. She gets stabbed for real, finally, by someone wearing that creepy Audra mask.

We finally head to Stryker’s house, where the girls are having dinner. One of them says "I'd kill for this part", and another proclaims "I'd fuck for it." Lynne says "I might blow him", and Stryker coolly saunters in, chiming "that shouldn't be necessary". Samantha shows up unceremoniously, complaining privately to Stryker about not receiving the role. You’d think she’d be pissed to high heaven, but I guess Wormer has that snake oil charm that can make people overlook nefarious acts of backstabbing treachery.

One of the girls decides to go out and figure skate at the nearby frozen pond the next morning. She brings her boom box with her to pump out some Canadian soft rock, spurring her competitive juices. She then comes across that same doll, now buried in the snow. As if this wasn’t creepy enough, the masked Audra killer comes skating along with a scythe, in slow motion no less, cutting off the doll’s head and slicing the girl in the process. She stumbles into the woods, only to get unceremoniously decapitated.

Our clever killer leaves a note for Stryker, appearing to be written by the ice skater girl, saying she left because she couldn't handle the pressure. Sam stills wants the part, so she does an audition wearing that hideous mask. One of the actresses stumbles upon the ice skating girl's head sitting there in the toilet (classic). Dean Wormer doesn't believe her after he checks the toilet bowl for severed heads and comes up empty, but nevertheless screws her as a comforting gesture. We then get another girl murdered while she does some goofy interpretive dance (my interpretation is that it sucks). Our killer then shoots Stryker and his new found sweetheart, and they fall out of a second story window and end up impaled on some glass, putting Wormer’s ass on permanent double secret.

One of the girls tries to get to her car, but the damn thing doesn’t start. She then notices the assistant with a knife in his back floating in the outdoor sauna. She flees to the comforts of Stryker's cluttered studio (with a big yellow dead-end sign) hoping to find car parts and/or automatic weapons. This studio is an excellent place to be chased and murdered by a maniac, what with its flashing billboards and lynched mannequins and such. Well, that leaves Lynne and Samantha in the house, and Samantha gladly updates the plot over a bottle of champagne. Unsurprisingly, Eggar is the killer, as she admits to shooting Stryker and the girl, and well...Oh wait! Lynne killed everybody! She’s so sweet and funny though! Well, somewhat funny. I’ve seen worse. No matter; she stabs Samantha and, in an unsurprising but worthy ending, ends up back at the funny farm, where she can perform the part of Audra to her heart’s content.

apparently had major production problems, and the director took the pseudonym of Jonathan Stryker (in lieu of the more common Alan Smithee moniker) as one last bit of defiant self-reflexivity. Whatever the hell is name is, he hath crafted a cinematic hall of mirrors, admittedly held together by glue. The device of using a curtain pull transition in some scenes helps to egg the viewer on. Is this scene showing a character creating a performance, or an actor creating a character? Didn’t the real actresses have to audition for roles that entailed playing characters that were auditioning for roles? If you start out in a nut house in order to get a part, and fail to get it, or end up in the nut house after attempting to get a part, aren’t you still unemployed and in a strait-jacket? I guess the moral of the story is that the nature of “reality” is like sand that slips through our fingers. Just be happy you’re even at the beach at all, even with those asshole beach cops and annoying surfer poseurs running around, calling each other “bro”. On second thought, it's probably better to just stay home. Assholes.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

EVIL LAUGH (1988) - Scream minus both a budget and Jaime Kennedy is a trade off I can live with

Here's the entire damn movie on Youtube. I don't know why I bother to track down rare VHS tapes.

Now that Scream 4 is exploding across America's multiplexes (maybe "explode" is a strong word), I think it's time to look back at a couple of so-called "postmodern" slasher films. The original Scream contained a much ballyhooed (at the time) "innovation" where characters would connect the dots around them, pointing out how their situation reminds them of slasher films they've seen, and commenting on slasher cliches while being stuck in these very cliches. However, Scream wasn't the first film to do this, beaten to the punch by a full seven years by Evil Laugh. There were probably earlier examples, but I'm too lazy to fiddle with research and what have you.

These type of self-aware slashers come out of the necessity in the marketplace for innovation. Audiences were, by 1988 (and especially by 1996), all too aware of the various forms and clichés at work, thereby perceiving the genre as a pile of redundant horseshit. The filmmakers therefore needed to feed the audience’s illusion that their money is being spent on a hi-tech, worthwhile venture, and not just the same old hullabaloo.

In case you weren’t aware, director Dominick Brascia is totally famous as the chocolate bar eating fat boy that gets axed in the beginning of Friday the 13th part 5, and someone is seen reading Fangoria with said movie on the cover. I guess he’s trying to impress us with his street cred (assuming we grew up in nerdsville).

ANYWAY, a house is available for lease, despite some spray paint on the wall intoning others to “stay away”. However, people love a deal, so a potential customer shows up, only to get his heart ripped out and placed in a dish by a mystery man in a black hoodie (that would be “open house heart surgery”…ho ho). The killer also kidnaps a surf punk poseur who, not so shockingly, delivers groceries for a “living”. He also wears one of those inexplicably trendy German army jackets, which possibly became hip after Eddie Vedder started wearing one (again, that would require research to find out, but I think the poseur was ahead of the curve).

Our “teens” are heading to the house to fix it up, but get sidetracked. Two shirtless guys have to change a flat tire ("can you lower the jack while I tighten the nuts?"). One of them not so subtly starts urinating on a hetero biker couple, as if to say “I piss on your traditional values!” (i.e. their non-homoness). Porn star Ashlyn Gere shows up, playing the strong willed, pre-silicone girl next door who, incredibly, refused to do nudity and uses a body double instead. She's accompanied by a dumb blonde, who cleverly uses her stupidity to her advantage. The jeep won’t start, so she smacks it because "it worked for Fonzy on Happy Days". I wonder how she would’ve fixed the car if she grew up watching BJ and the Bear.

They finally arrive, along with a real estate agent, who assures everyone that the creepy voices heard in the house “are probably just the foundation settling". Fucking salesmen. Someone else tries to comfort others by saying "I hope this place isn't haunted, or a guy named Jason shows up in a hockey mask", which is one of those amusing self-referential bits I was referencing earlier. Alas, there are other bits of amusing self-referential nonsense. One character says "it never makes any sense. Why does Michael Myers go after Jaimie lee Curtis? Why do those dumb kids keep going back to camp Crystal Lake where Jason chops them up?" Why? Because people pay good money to see this shit, that’s why. Oh…and fuck you.

Someone also says "I remember a movie called Ten Little Indians where people are killed off one by one". Well, the original Hollywood version directed by Rene Clair was called And Then There None. I hope he’s not referring to the version starring Frank Stallone. Oh Jesus Christ. There’s also an amusing tribute to The Haunting. The blonde takes the stud’s pants off in bed (“like unwrapping a Christmas present”, she says), while the joker asshole hiding underneath the bed plays with his buttock region. He is understandably surprised when the hand on his ass doesn’t belong to the hot blonde, and to make things even creepier, the joker is doing those Friday the 13th "kill kill" sounds (also, he’s a dude). I guess this scene also qualifies as a Friday the 13th tribute, but I don’t remember any of the Jason movies containing a sub-erotic game of grab ass.

The “plot” is that these “kids” have to clean the house, and clean they do, while some pretty damn good chick-synth pap pop plays in the background. The proof of its quality is the fact that someone shakes their ass to it while feather dusting, which is physically impossible to do unless the buttock motion is involuntary. They get slightly alarmed that their punk friend’s car is sitting in the driveway, but he is nowhere to be found. Someone proclaims that he “probably went in town for supplies”, but I bet this slacker is just picking up the new NOFX record…oh no, he was killed. That’s right. The dead punker’s car later disappears, and someone proclaims that “he probably went into town for even more supplies”. Now I’m starting to think it’s all a ruse to cover up a drug problem. Maybe he’s embarrassed to admit…oh wait, he’s still a corpse.

Over a fireplace (not literally over it, you’d burn your crotch) Ashlyn tells the back story while the money bags couple “hit the hay” (i.e. fucking). The house used to be a foster home, and eighteen-year-old Martin was hired as a helper, and was later accused of molesting the kids. Martin was found innocent after his dad hung himself, and, to get revenge, he slit the throat of the kid who lied about the “affair” (i.e. NAMBLA type funny stuff). He then set the house on fire before disappearing. Before things get too sordid and depressing, the blonde announces that she and others are going skinny dipping at midnight. Sweetie, I'm sorry I called you dumb earlier.

So basically, they all run around the house and get stabbed, occasionally throwing out snarky comments. Interestingly, the third twist ending involves the final porn star girl killing the perpetrator of the false scare second twist. Here is the final critique of these slasher conventions. It’s one thing to have a character point out that they’re in a slasher movie situation, but stabbing the shit out of a character responsible for one of these very clichés is probably the most direct way to voice your displeasure.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Rare Westerns on Netflix Instant Watch

This is probably useless to most of you, but here is a list I've compiled of westerns available on Netflix instant watch that, as far as I can tell, have never been released on home video in the U.S.. There are others on Netflix instant that have been released on VHS only, and still others that have just been released on one of the studio burn on demand DVD formats (like Tall Man Riding, Witchita, Oklahoma Territory, etc.), but I've excluded those. Even with that, we're still talking a whopping 134 rare oaters, mostly B-western stuff:

Town Tamer - 1965
Arizona Whirlwind - 1944
Gene Autry and the Mounties - 1951
The Fighting Vigilantes - 1947
Check Your Guns - 1948
The Blazing Sun - 1950
Journey to Shiloh - 1968
The Mercenary - 1968
Fort Utah - 1967
Kid Rodelo - 1966
Waco - 1966
Rampage at Apache Wells - 1965
Taggart - 1964
Stage to Thunder Rock – 1964
He Rides Tall - 1964
Showdown - 1963
Walk Like a Dragon - 1960
Gunfighters of Abilene - 1960
Face of a Fugitive - 1959
Plunderers of Painted Flats - 1959
Gun Duel in Durango - 1957
The Dalton Girls - 1957
Hell’s Crossroads - 1957
Outlaw’s Son - 1957
The Badge of Marshal Brennan - 1957
Duel at Apache Wells - 1957
The Lawless Eighties - 1957
Gunfire at Indian Gap - 1957
Quincannon: Frontier Scout - 1956
Frontier Gambler - 1956
Santa Fe Passage - 1955
Two-Gun Lady - 1955
Wyoming Renegades - 1954
Pack Train - 1953
Saginaw Trail - 1953
Winning fo the West - 1953
The Lone Hand - 1953
Tumbleweed - 1953
El Paso Stampede - 1953
Barbed Wire - 1952
Flaming Feather - 1952
The Battle at Apache Pass - 1952
Thundering Caravans - 1952
Black Hills Ambush - 1952
Leadville Guslinger - 1952
The Hills of Utah - 1951
Night Riders of Montana - 1951
Cattle Drive - 1951
Passage West - 1951
Warpath - 1951
El Paso - 1949
Brimstone – 1949
The Wyoming Bandit – 1949
Tornado Range – 1948
The Westward Trail – 1948
The Gallant Legion – 1948
Pioneer Justice – 1947
Shadow Valley – 1947
Saddle Pals – 1947
Range Beyond the Blue – 1947
West to Glory – 1947
Yankee Fakir – 1947
Wyoming – 1947
Prairie Outlaws – 1946
Prairie Badmen – 1946
Overland Raiders – 1946
Outlaws of the Plains – 1946
Ambush Trail – 1946
Romance of the West – 1946
Rio Grande Raiders – 1946
Hidden Valley Outlaws -1944
Outlaws of Santa Fe- 1944
The Laramie Trail – 1944
Code of the Prairie – 1944
Beneath Western Skies – 1944
Sheriff of Sundown – 1944
Death Valley Rangers – 1943
Carson City Cyclone – 1943
The Blocked Trail – 1943
Overland Mail Robbery – 1943
Cheyenne Roundup – 1943
Raiders of San Joaquin – 1943
California Joe – 1943
Blazing Guns – 1943
The Old Chisholm Trail – 1942
Sierra Sue – 1941
Death Valley Outlaws – 1941
Pals of the Pecos – 1941
Saddlemates – 1941
Colorado – 1940
Carolina Moon – 1940
Pioneers of the West – 1940
Cowboys From Texas – 1939
Prairie Moon – 1938
Rhythm of the Saddle – 1938
Western Jamboree – 1938
The Singing Vagabond – 1935
Ranger of Cherokee Strip - 1949
Marshal of Amarillo - 1948
Powder River Rustlers - 1949
The Denver Kid - 1948
Desperadoes’ Outpost - 1952
California Firebrand - 1948
The Dakota Kid - 1951
Those Redheads From Seattle - 1953
The Gambler Wore a Gun - 1961
Noose For a Gunman - 1960
Copper Sky - 1957
The Black Whip – 1956
Frontier Vengeance – 1940
Sheriff of Witchita - 1949
Black Spurs - 1965
The Arizona Cowboy - 1950
Badlands of Montana - 1957
The Bounty Hunter - 1954
California - 1963
Wild Horse Stampede - 1943
Wild Stallion - 1952
Shoot-Out at Medicine Bend - 1957
Cole Younger, Gunfighter - 1958
Cave of Outlaws - 1951
The Navajo Kid - 1945
Mountain Rhythm - 1939
Night Stage to Galveston - 1952
Gun Brothers – 1956
Goldtown Ghost Riders - 1953
Ghost of Hidden Valley - 1946
Frontier Fugitives - 1945
Flaming Bullets - 1945
Cowboy Serenade - 1942
Comin’ Round the Mountain - 1936
Blue Montana Skies - 1939
The Vanquished - 1953
Apache Country - 1952

Thursday, April 21, 2011

reviews for movies not on IMDB

So, I'm still futzing around with the design over here. I gave up on the labels thing, and just added to the "features" list on the left. One such feature is what I like to call "Not on IMDB", which means a review for a movie that wasn't listed on IMDB at the time of writing (please e-mail me with a question if this still confounds you). I don't care if the movie is eventually listed. If it gets tagged as "not on IMDB", there it shall stay, because I got there first. As far as I'm concerned, I achieved victory and it's time to move on (the contest being a sad brand of hipsterism dealing with finding things that are ultra obscure).

Here are the "Not on IMDB" reviews so far, and I got a couple more on the horizon (it's a pretty limited genre, as you might imagine, considering what a thorough and cavernous beast Mr. IMDB is).



Notice that the movies begin with either the word "taint" or end with the word "die". Weird. It all seems Freudian somehow. Anyway, here's Girlschool performing a cover of T. Rex's "20th Century Boy" for no reason whatsoever. Oh rocks. That's a reason I guess.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

SHOWGIRLS (1995) - a gross physical salute to the fantastic possibilities of life in this country, but only for those chock full of true grit

A buddy and I were out looking for a solid night’s entertainment, some bang for the buck, if you will, when we happened upon a marquee advertising “The Vagina Monologues”. So, we head in, as the promise of vaginas is simply too good to pass up.

Ugh…what a mistake. How can I put this kindly…oh, yeah…WORST. STRIP CLUB. EVER. After about 10 minutes of listening to this chick babble on (she wasn’t even that hot!), me and my buddy left disgusted. Don’t strip club owners have any pride anymore? Whoever put on this show should be ASHAMED of themselves...ASHAMED!

Speaking of which, shame is a virtue that is noticeably absent in our main feature Showgirls, and thank the good lord, I say. It’s all rather fitting, considering the average Las Vegas stripper bypasses shame and heads directly to “HELLO MY NAME IS CANDY SOMETHING AND HERE IS MY VAGINA SO PLEASE GIVE ME MONEY!” It’s called an "honest living" folks. A Japanese businessman notices this dynamic at work and quips “in America, everyone is a gynecologist”. Yes, BECAUSE THEY CAN. Women make up 51% or so of the population, so it’s always a buyer’s market.

Jesse Spano, as Nomi Malone, finally breaks free from the constraints of Screech and company, stomping and plowing her way through a garish bubblegum soap version of Vegas. Along the way, she is run through the machinations of an A Star is Born/All About Eve plot that is rammed into the collective crotch of the audience. The gay community seemed to be on board with the film from word go, possibly because they are gonna be made fun of no matter what, so this frees them up to enjoy themselves amidst the putrid stare of “taste” (or maybe they're just not as uptight as the straightees). However, heterosexuals tend to fall into two distinct camps when evaluating Showgirls:

1. This movie was so bad I started yelling at my T.V., but, unfortunately, my dog thought I was yelling at him. While I continued watching, riveted as I was to this monumental pile of horseshit, my dog, deeply depressed that I no longer love him, snuck into the garage and started sucking on a muffler. After a few minutes, he tragically died. How he managed to start the car with those goofy paws of his I’ll never know.

2. Tits are fun! Dems the breaks.

While I was squarely in category number two when I first saw the movie on cable in high school, I have since moved on to a more rarefied category. That is, at it's heart, Showgirls is a great movie, a portrait of a vapid archetype that turns sad and empty. Just take a look at the film’s opening, where Nomi, a girl without family or past, hitchhikes to Las Vegas. Quite literally, she has only the clothes on her back (what little clothes they are; her tits are practically flopping out), a suitcase, and a “dream”. You know, to “make it”.

Nomi is picked up by a greaseball who only wants to get into her pants (well, daisy dukes), and she has to dissuade him at knife point. Such is every male character in the film, yelling out “nice tits!”, or maybe requesting a free lesson in amateur gynecology, an army of budding bikini inspectors. Only Kyle MacLachlan appears to rise above the “hello, please blow me” characterization, but, in the end, it come across as a big ruse used to charm his way into Nomi’s pants (well, g-string). The end of their relationship concludes with Kyle telling her what a good fuck she was. At least he’s honest, I guess.

Anyway, Nomi arrives and gets her first taste of Vegas, hitting the slots with naive vigor, even winning a jackpot. It seems her dreams of stardom are on their way. Not so fast, as she immediately loses her earnings on another slot machine, plummeting back to zero. A local sleazeball (Vegas is full of these guys) unsuccessfully tries to buy a blowjob, ominously proclaiming “sooner or later you’ll have to sell it”. Going off to retrieve her suitcase from the greaseball’s truck (not to be confused with the sleazeball, who lacks hair gel), she has found that he has vanished with said suitcase, and therefore, her identity. In her anger and frustration, she vomits. In the span of mere minutes, she went from rock bottom to a “winner”, and back to rock bottom again. A more self-evaluating person might see this as a microcosm of a self-defeating lifestyle and cut their losses, but not Nomi. No, she forges ahead undeterred.

At this point, she befriends Molly, the only honest soul in the entire film. Molly
is seemingly happy just working as a costumer, and is much more modest in her dreams, only wishing to meet hunky fake Kevin Sorbo/fake Fabio singer Andrew Carver. The bulk of the film consists of the more obvious A Star is Born/All About Eve backstage camp antics, the rising star willing to do anything to reach the big time. Nomi does finally reach her goal of starring in an upscale Vegas showgirl extravaganza that bravely combines volcanoes and titties, breaking the hip of the previous star (Cristal Connors) along the way. Molly also reaches her dream, managing to finally meet Carver but never stepping on any toes or hurting anyone along the way, even helping others out of the kindness of her heart. Well, this dream is deflated in spectacular fashion when Molly gets viciously gang raped by Carver and his cronies.

Nomi avenges the rape of Molly by beating the shit out of Carver, which is apparently supposed to make up for everything. However, he'll quickly heal from his minor wounds and probably won’t face prosecution. You see, he’s a major Vegas act, so it behooves any minor Vegas employee not to drive away his business, or otherwise their meager career and livelihood will be at stake. This apparently gives him the license to maim rape any female club/casino employee that catches his eye. While this "closure" might make Nomi feel better, this isn't a case of a hero truly righting a wrong. Once Molly manages to heal her torn vagina (seriously), she may still be blacklisted from costuming Vegas shows if she attempts to press charges for getting gang raped. You might think this would be a wake up call for Nomi. but, alas, no. To her, it is victory, pure and simple, but, to the astute viewer, this victory smells of futility and irony.

Nomi, in her mind, fought her way from the bottom to the top, from a common stripper at the Cheetah Club to a true “star”, headlining a bombastic Vegas show at Stardust. On paper, a showgirl may seem like a big jump in class from a stripper, a respectable landing spot for an aspiring dancer, but the movie repeatedly quashes this idea. As one character says to Nomi, regarding working at the Cheetah versus the Stardust, “what you’re doing, at least it’s honest. They want tits and ass, and you give them tits and ass. Here they pretend they want something else, and you give them tits and ass.” Nomi repeatedly tells people she’s not a whore, but rather, a dancer, her ultimate dream it would seem, but the world around her keeps telling her otherwise.  Perhaps they've noticed that her dancing is less "poetry in motion" and more "hey, I'm gonna dry hump the air".

Also reinforcing this idea are the cabs she rides in throughout the film, all of which have a Cheetah Club sign on the roof, as if repeatedly reminded her of her true station in life. When Nomi finally “makes it”, she reminisces with several employees from the Cheetah Club. What could be considered borderline prostitution, a strip club where the clientele can cum on you if they throw in a big enough tip, is quickly processed by Nomi as pure nostalgia. She is so enslaved to this idea of superstardom that any demeaning actions are immediately transformed into a mere bump in the road. The astute viewer, meanwhile, might view this stardom, this “victory”, as Nomi merely showing her tits to a more expensive clientele of creeps.

Back to the ending, where Nomi also makes peace with Cristal, who strangely doesn’t seem to mind that Nomi broke her hip and stole her job. Apparently, she “needed the rest anyway”, and also has one of those undying bi-sexual crushes on Nomi that no amount of deadly diva antics can erase. Cynically, when Nomi is introduced as the Stardust’s very own star and Cristal's replacement, the announcer uses the exact same verbiage that Cristal was introduced with. It seems that the girls are interchangeable and the show must go on. 

Well, either way, the pieces have fallen into place in Nomi’s head, except for the fact that word is about to spread about her real identity, that her sad childhood included being busted numerous times for prostitution and her parents being killed in a murder suicide, so she has to move on to another town (namely Los Angeles). So, she hitchhikes again in much the same way as the beginning of the movie, her tits still flopping out, and, whatta ya know, the same greaseball in a truck picks her up. The only difference between the ending and the beginning is an awkwardly drawn, garish Nomi Malone billboard erected nearby, proclaiming her interchangeable stardom for a tits and volcano show she is no longer apart of.  She lived only to climb the ladder of success, only to end up exactly where she started, with only a temporary highway billboard as her mark on the world.

In Nomi’s desperate attempt to "make it", she forces her way down whatever path of dreams is set before her, furiously stomping her feet along the way (whether literally or figuratively) without regard to who or what she tramples. She is a hero that overcomes great odds to reach the pinnacle, while, ironically, stomping in place the entire time. If that seems depressing, keep in mind the movie is filled with bright colors, hilarious dialogue, and, of course, diva antic-fu. Oh, did I mention there are beaver shots? If you enjoy that sort of thing, Showgirls, like a proper Vegas show, will probably give you your money's worth.