SHOWGIRLS: EXPOSED Director Marc Vorlander Fires Back!

Founder and Editor; Toronto, Canada (@AnarchistTodd)
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SHOWGIRLS: EXPOSED Director Marc Vorlander Fires Back!
Yesterday Twitch posted the second trailer for Marc Vorlander's upcoming Showgirls: Exposed - his unofficial sequel to Paul Verhoeven's Showgirls that has been known variously as Showgirls 2, Showgirls: The Story of Hope and Showgirls: The Return. I was not particularly kind in my commentary on the trailer. And today Vorlander responded. I'm giving him a post of his own here to state his case, but head back to the comments thread on the original post for my response.

The difference between controversial art and crap is very easy: controversial art is hated, panned, discussed..., crap simply dissapears into nowhere immediately, exactly like Rena Riffels project, that is also based on Showgirls and can be used in this case perfectly to demonstrate the difference.

Dear Todd Brown, I'm looking forward the moment when you will review the film itself and you start writing on your computer another hate tirade against my work and you will slap-bang realize that you are using the same phrases like critics did 1995. You will look around and find out that you are sitting in a test tube with a label on it: "How to create the same promotional phenomenon like Showgirls 1995. Test #1".

Thanks for passionately hating my work so less objective. I can not take this serious, but I appreciate it since it fits perfectly in the calculated behavior of self-styled movie critics that would not even detect art if you would engrave the word in their glasses to help them with it.

It's demontrative that my work is acclaimed by many professionals from the industry and other artists and hated so much by folks that never made it there.

Marc Vorlander

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mrhibbertJune 7, 2010 12:54 PM

This is brilliant.

kindaikunJune 7, 2010 12:56 PM

Wow. Awful director and sad enough to respond to random criticism online. Truly a god amongst men.

GaryMLJune 7, 2010 1:08 PM

Try watching it without the music, or with music of your own. It's interesting to see what the footage really is. A good chunk of it looks like handheld video taken in and out of a strip joint, including a bad zoom in/zoom out of a dancer's behind. Another chunk is stuff he seems to have actually staged and planned out, like hiring two women to make out (with a dog?) and the lobby of a nice hotel where people walk in and out. The third part looks like experimental footage probably shot for film class, including the meteor over the graveyard and the guy wearing the skull mask. Other than the girl crawling on the floor over her own trail of water (which was the first bit released a while back), I doubt any of this footage has anything to do with a real movie. He might be using it to con-vince people into giving him money to stitch together a bunch of stuff he's shot over the years, add in a few topless girls, and sell it as "art," but there's clearly no story here other than how an unknown director was able to attract attention by using a popular film title and some cobbled-together video he put together while claiming to have a huge budget and legit ties to big names.

Paul Verhoeven might not approve, but William Castle would. 7, 2010 1:34 PM

And what work is this that is 'acclaimed by many professionals from the industry and other artists', a quick glance at IMDB shows that he has made nothing other than this! Plus, since when do industry professionals give honest feedback to people's faces? Films are made for an audience (especially when they are given a public release) and if they don't like it then clearly something is wrong.

Oh and I've worked on plenty of films (shorts mainly, but a few are award-winning nonetheless and I do it professionally) and I think Showgirls: Exposed looks like sub-student level filmmaking that would never even get a sniff at a decent release if it didn't have the Showgirls name attached to it.

MarkJune 7, 2010 1:40 PM

I thought exactly the same as the above poster.

It looks like a mish-mash of different clips thrown together, I doubt this is a real movie tbh.

MarcJune 7, 2010 5:40 PM

Todd, at first thanks for beeing so extremely fair to publish my statement in an own topic...!

The uneven look of the footage is intention. All footage was shot between July 2009 and April 2010 with the same type of camera, a Canon G1.
Let's not forget that Showgirls is known as "one of the worst movies ever"..., if you want to continue this cult legend, you would'nt be smart to ignore the trashy aspects of this cult.
The sometimes poor picture quality is intention, if you take closer look, you will detect some known effect filters that were used to create that style intentionally. Some effects I created by filming with an open aperture...
Yes my work is crazy and not even remotely mainstream of any kind..., but who cares? I don't! I'm doing this because this is my own original style, I never thought about to satisfy any expectations of someone.
It's a dark surreal pop musical - cult trash crossover, you don't have to like it, but you should respect that this art, even if you don't like or understand it.

"Love the footage" (Geoff Schaaf)

"Stunning Images" (Mark L. Lester)

"Great project" (David Carson)

Are this 3 known filmmakers wrong, or are you, Todd? I think nobody is right or wrong, good art has to be controversial. My film definately is controversial.

@ ranylt: To know at least a bit about movie history helps a lot, careful reading also. Mark L. Lester is a legendary movie director, not a title creator, but he created this title.

checkmd5June 7, 2010 5:57 PM

after viewing the trailer for Rena Riffel Showgirls movie ( I could understand why they wanted to work together initially. it appears they "feel" they have a similar style to David Lynch or Wayne Wang but neither come close. they both seem like high school attempts at making a film I wouldn't even compare to college film student level. it also seems like both movies are trying to use a similar promotion as the original movie did ( )
In the end I see no originality with either films and just attempts to cash in on a movie.

mrhibbertJune 7, 2010 6:15 PM

This is still brilliant.

GaryMLJune 7, 2010 7:01 PM

IMDB Pro has the project listed as completed with a budget of $25 million, yet you're saying all of the footage is shot with a Canon G1? Is that just for the teaser, and the actual film is shot in another format?

conbarbaJune 7, 2010 7:29 PM

Mark L. Lester legendary director!


zartekJune 7, 2010 8:58 PM

Dear Marc, I hope you don't mind my rebuttal to your claim of making a controversial movie. :)

Personally I have no problem with calling your movie art, I believe that once someone claims something they made is art, it is. Who am I or anyone else to say it isn't? Since when did art always mean "great and important"? As wikipedia says "Art is the process or product of deliberately arranging elements in a way to affect the senses or emotions". So the argument that you haven't made art is pointless.

Your main response to the article and ensuing comments seems to be defending your movie as something controversial, which is a nice defense against those who seem displeased with the teaser, seeing as that's what would happen with a controversial movie, although I don't see what's so controversial here. Are you aiming for the exact same goals that the original movie aimed for? Would a sequel to 'Salò, or the 120 Days of Sodom' be controversial if it contained the exact same content, themes, and messages? No, I don't see how it could. Not having seen your movie I can't say that yours is any different than the original but from your responses here it seems like you only bring up things already addressed in the first movie. Is there more to your movie than something that's intentionally "uneven" and meant to provoke a negative response?

The style I'm seeing in this promo clip looks no more uneven or experimental to me than an alt-porn film. Is Joanna Angel in this? Maybe it would make a good double feature with 'Neu Wave Hookers'. That's not to say the style is ugly but I don't see that as being controversial either. A cheap look, intentional or not, can be good and interesting as shown to us by the Kuchar brothers, Kenneth Anger, John Waters, Jack Smith, and many others but this clip is missing that feel. To me it doesn't feel different, or avant-garde, the way that those other directors movies do. The quality of the special effects and cinematography feels more like a semi-professional Youtube production or, as already mentioned, a porn or softcore feature. Although, to be more complimentary it does remind me of the footage I've seen from Alex Cox's newest movie, Repo Chick. The look of that movie is very disappointing to me but as Alex Cox has made some great movies there's a good chance I'll end up seeing that anyways.

The only controversy I'm seeing here is that people seem to think you're a bit of an ass. I think so too, from what I've seen here, but who isn't nowadays? The comments at first only attacked your movie in the same way 'One Missed Call' or 'Glitter', to name a movie that failed to make back its production budget, were attacked, and rightfully so. Would you call these movies controversial? I'm sure Glitter already destroys your title of "The Most Discussed Film of the Decade", although I'm sure many movies do as that title really seemed far-stretched.

Are you aiming for shock value as a controversial subject, such as the hint of bestiality or frequent nudity? If so I hate to say it but it's very hard to be shocking in a world that has Gaspar Noe, Takashi Miike, Lars von Trier, Lukas Moodysson, Hisayasu Sato, Asia Argento, David Lynch, and movies such as Come and See, The Guinea Pig Series, Angst, Begotten, or even garbage like Slaughtered Vomit Dolls (which also has a style that reminds me of the footage here). How do you shock a society whose teenagers send scat films back and forth to giggle at? This paragraph feels a bit too much like having dinner with Andre. ;)

Well, whatever your aims are, I wish you luck. I am very pleased to read that you don't care about fulfilling what others deem as a suitable style and you stick to your guns. We need more directors like this; more auteurs. I don't think you should take posts like this one from Twitch as an attack on you. It's Todd's own personal reaction to the footage AND it's promotion for your movie. Posting the opinions of three other people, filmmakers or not, doesn't negate Todd's thoughts at all. All four of them are neither right or wrong.

Based on the footage of this movie that I've seen I would say that I have no interest in seeing it unless it does kick off some real controversy, or someone as respectable as Jonathan Rosenbaum comes out with a similar, positive review as he did with the original Showgirls. I think the event that piques my interest the most is when a movie is very horribly reviewed by many yet greatly praised by few. Something like 'The Brown Bunny' (great movie!) is a great example of this, maybe you can hope for this kind of similar controversy. It's a shame you didn't get Tiffani Amber Thiessen to star in your movie, seeing as "Jessie Spano" nude was a reason many people saw the original Showgirls; it's one of the reasons I saw it.. Well, that and Paul Verhoeven, I swear!
I most likely will see this movie now, because I admit I would feel a little uncomfortable having so much to say to a director without giving his movie a real chance.

Good luck with the movie and remember you don't have to defend yourself. Let your art do the talking.

Momo the CowJune 8, 2010 5:20 AM

Wow, me and another guy on the other thread all left remarkably similar comments. I guess we should be happy to have people like Vorlander to bring out the best empathetic impulses in us, despite our aesthetic reactions to his work or words.

MarcJune 8, 2010 5:31 AM

@ Todd: You are right, "The original" is a shot against competing sequel projects.

Folks, I'm reading every post here and I have fun with it no matter if you love, respect or hate my work.

About what a "photo play" is..., a photo play or photoplay is a old word for film, like motion picture and was used in the silent era in the US. I liked it and I left the two words seperated because I'm playing with Images, so I thought it fits to my work.

About the budget..., Verhoeven is still suspected by his own cast and crew (I know this from first hand) that he let dissapear most of the 40 million budget in his own pocket in 1995.
He did Showgirls without A-listers, only exception were Soundtrack producer Dave Stewart and DP Jost Vacano.
Hmmm..., I have David May for Soundtrack (and 3 other number 1 music producers...) and I have Geoff Schaaf. Verhoeven had a stage, I have a luxury hotel..., I thought 25 million is not so expensive in relation to that. If you think using digital lenses and not 35 mm makes a huge difference in budget, you are wrong.
I don't know the budget in detail, I'm not primarily interested in money. I had all the money I needed, all crew has contracts that they are satisfied with and I'm still trying to let disappear some millions into my own pocket like Verhoeven (LOL).

ranyltJune 8, 2010 12:55 PM

Me not know film history or how to close read? HAAAAA!

You're amusing, anyway.

DaveBSeptember 2, 2012 1:52 AM

We got this movie as an obviously burned copy at a convention and although I'm a fan of independent movies and open for experimental work I have to say this movie is atrocious. I'm not even sure what this crap is and if it qualifies as a movie at all. Reading through the comments here explains a lot and makes clear that the ''director'' is as much of a train wreck as his "movie''.