I’m always glad to be on the receiving end of breaking-news press releases from forgotten movie actresses. Hence my extreme pleasure in learning that Rena Riffel, who played Penny Hope in the one-and-only Showgirls has stepped forward to set the record straight on the various long-hoped-for sequels to the Joe Eszterhas/Paul Verhoeven ecdysiastic classic.
Riffel warns that “some media outlets” (not this one—we have our standards) have been propagating false information about her participation in a follow-up called Showgirls 2 under development by a “German Showgirls fan-turned-Hollywood director.” Ms. Riffel was indeed contacted about lending her star power to Showgirls 2 but declined because it was “horrifically graphic.”
Riffel (whose recent credits include Trasharella in Space, Caligula’s Spawn and The Making of Gnome Killer 2) is writing and directing her own Showgirls sequel in a more, we trust, tasteful vein. A brief teaser can be seen on YouTube. It includes such sure-to-be-immortal dialogue as “Gold digging is swell, but fool’s gold is the kiss of death” and “If you want a big tip, then bitch-slap this bitch.” (The latter line delivered by none other than Michael J. Anderson, the little man from the dream sequences in Twin Peaks, a considerable boost in credibility for a film whose other co-star is a guy in red-wig drag.) As for the plot: “It’s sort of a ‘Whatever happened to Penny Hope? 15 years later story. … my take on what becomes of a 30-something stripper who is still obsessed with dancing and fame.” For the record, Ms. Riffel is now officially 41-something.