Every so often comes a film so vile that its own lack of a single redeemable element becomes its saving grace. The surreal decision to cast Saved By the Bell alumna Elizabeth Berkley as the protagonist, combined with the even more absurd premise of an exotic dancer's oddly intense dream to climb the ladder from a sleazy strip joint to a topless Las Vegas extravaganza, makes this joke among movies a rather funny one, indeed. Though director Paul Verhoeven's attempt at giving a no-holds-barred look inside the intricacies of the sex industry was an indisputable failure, certain aspects of the pornography business are unwittingly portrayed so humorously that the meaning behind them becomes slightly more palatable. A feminist view of the same subject matter could easily be disregarded as a biased or politically correct look at the age-old business, but the over-the-top, laughably bad nature of Showgirls unintentionally manages to desexualize softcore pornography, and, in doing so, puts the nuances of the industry, from the undertone of hatred toward women to the status differences between sex workers, into the light. The spectacularly trashy film strove to go above and beyond what everyone wanted to hate it for, thus making itself a laughably contrived production rather than a biting exposé. Showgirls also set a bar for what not to do when attempting to highlight adult issues, which helped forge the path for more recent endeavors of a similar nature, such as the documentary Live Nude Girls Unite!, sex workers' art shows, and the resurgence of interest in all things burlesque.