Showgirls will always go down as one of the worst moves ever made. Whether it’s the random acts of Lesbianism from Nomi to a talk about tits, there’s no shortage of bad scenes from the unforgettable movie. Still, Showgirls is a cult classic, and sometimes a cult classic gets a sequel when the fanbase for the original film is big enough. Birdemic has Birdemic 2. Jaws has Jaws Revenge. Samurai Cop has Samurai Cop 2: Deadly Vengeance. And we’ve now come to one of the most unnecessary sequels on the planet, Showgirls 2: Penny’s From Heaven. Now, Elizabeth Berkley’s Nomi is nowhere to be found in the sequel; however, several cast members make a return including the lead Penny, who played the original character in the first film. There’s no doubt that this film is pointless and just seems like an excuse to capitalize on the name of Showgirls. However, believe it or not, there could’ve actually been a sequel worthy enough to make it.
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It goes back to Nomi’s character. One of the more intriguing elements of Showgirls is Nomi’s past and how it leads up to her skipping town for Las Vegas. Nomi’s dark past comes to light when Zack reads off her extensive criminal record. With the right director, a prequel showcasing Nomi’s past deeds and the troubling life that she lead could’ve been really good. This beautiful woman whose dream to become a dancer is scarred by the destructive lifestyle that she leads. Did Nomi grow up with loving and caring parents? There was a tease that her mother would confront her character in Showgirls, so it’s likely that she doesn’t exactly have the best relationship with her family. Could it be a case where they’re fed up with the chaotic lifestyle of Nomi? Or did Nomi get her destructive and vile behavior from her mother? It sounds crazy, but there are stories that you can milk from the cult classic.
The issue is that Showgirls 2: Penny’s From Heaven seems like a cheaper version of the original film, with Rena Riffel as the lead. Here, the sequel seems as if it’s intentionally trying to be bad based on the horrific dialogue, laughable scenes, and godawful acting. Showgirls actually seemed to be taking the material seriously, and though that’s ultimately the downfall of the 1995 original, at least it tries to be something good. There’s also a possibility of catching up with Nomi ten-plus years later. Even though Nomi achieved her dreams of becoming a top dancer in Las Vegas, there was still a part of her that didn’t fill content with the life she built up in Vegas. She ultimately leaves showbiz and then what? Has Nomi learned from her misdeeds of the past? Or is she still causing havoc in another city? Sure, the film ends with her threatening Elvis guy again (though to play devil’s advocate, he did steal her stuff), but people change over time. Did she finally earn success the right way? Has she dived deeper back into the world that caused her so much trouble? Is she dead? Nomi is an unlikeable character, without a doubt, but there’s something fantastic about her where more exploration into her life is warranted. Even if the sequel didn’t want to go more into Nomi, there could’ve been a follow-up on Zack and his seedy world of drugs and dancers.
Showgirls is over the top, but that doesn’t mean that there’s not a layer of truth surrounding the 90s feature. Following the shady world behind the glitz and glamour could’ve been a fun ride, both in the form of a satirical (which is what Showgirls should’ve been) or a serious endeavor. However, despite the fact that there’s plenty of avenues to explore based off the world of Showgirls, I pretty much gave my answer in the first paragraph, a sequel is completely unnecessary. It’s perfectly fine if we never find out what happened to Nomi or the Elvis impersonator once they leave Vegas. Or if we never dive back into the world that Paul Verhoeven showcased. There’s plenty of lingering questions surrounding many of the sketchy characters showcased in the film, but none of it was really worth exploring in the first place. Did anyone care about a follow-up with Penny? Sure, she had a mini arc in the first film and turned out to be James’s mistress, but there was nothing that stood out about the original character that warranted a sequel. As previously stated, this feels like a way to cash off the name from the first film. Hollywood is a business so it makes sense, but considering the fact that nobody talks about the sequel over ten years later, was Showgirls 2: Penny’s From Heaven really worth it in the end?