On Sept. 22, 1995, Showgirls dropped in theaters to howls of disdain from critics and audiences alike. But then a strange thing happened: MGM began to engineer a turnaround for the movie with midnight screenings in downtown Manhattan flanked by drag queens (and just regular old queens). These folks, in turn, began to see the movie for the delirious, campy, astoundingly vulgar spectacle it really is.
Now, twenty years later, the movie has become gospel for a certain type of viewer. This video traces that evolution, and nods to star Elizabeth Berkley, who remains one player who’s never quite gotten her due amid the movie’s late-night rehabilitation.