An infamous swimming pool-based clinch from the much-criticised 1995 film 'Showgirls' received the dubious honour yesterday of being named the worst sex scene in the history of cinema.
Paul Verhoeven's film, starring Elizabeth Berkley and Kyle MacLachlan, was critically mauled on its release, to the extent that it is now viewed by some as a cult classic.
Empire film magazine named a scene in which Berkley and MacLachlan couple energetically in a swimming pool as the worst sex scene of the many hundreds it surveyed.
"It's supposed to be the best sex in the world but, as Berkley thrashes around in the water, it looks more like the first ten minutes of 'Jaws'," said the British-based magazine.
Second place was awarded to 'Damage', a 1992 European art-house film starring Jeremy Irons as a lawmaker who has an illicit affair with his son's fiancee, Juliette Binoche.
Among the increasingly unorthodox love scenes is one in which Irons's character expresses his feelings by banging his lover's head on the floor.
"How such quality people cooked up such a farrago is a mystery to rival the Bermuda Triangle," was Empire's verdict.
In third was 2002's 'Killing Me Softly', a flop criticised perhaps even more than 'Showgirls', starring Joseph Fiennes and Heather Graham.
Lit by a roaring fireplace, the scene has Fiennes's character, a mountaineer, use his climbing ropes to choke Graham during their love-making.
The scene was "ridiculous in the extreme", said Empire, notably "the intense concentration on Fiennes' face".
Other titles in the top 10 include Madonna's 1993 potboiler 'Body of Evidence', where she drips hot candle wax on Willem Dafoe, and part of recent Ben Affleck-Jennifer Lopez flop 'Gigli'."Unfeasibly bad, the pair, while sexy as hell on their own, together here couldn't generate enough heat to toast bread," the magazine complains.