Monday, 27 October 2014

31 Days of Horror: The Gore Gore Girls (1972)

The Gore Gore Girls (1972)
Director: Herschell Gordon Lewis
Starring: Frank Kress, Amy Farrell, and Hedda Lubin
Running Time: 81 min

Huge fan of producer/director Herschell Gordon Lewis work!  For what movies like "Blood Feast", "The Wizard of Gore" and "Two Thousand Maniacs" may lack in budget, sometimes cohesive scripting and acting, they certainly make up for it in camp value, seriously twisted gore scenes and a hell of a lot of fun.  I can't wait to check out a film that is still banned in Australia, even after 40+ years.

  After of the vicious murder of stripper Suzie Cream Puff,  "Globe" journalist Nancy Weston approaches infamous private detective, Abraham Gentry on behalf of her editors.  Her proposition is that they will pay him twenty-five thousand, if Gentry can find the killer and the "Globe" can have exclusive rights to his story.  Gentry agrees and starts his investigation right away.  He reluctantly takes Weston with him to the strip club where Suzie Cream Puff last worked to get some background on her there.  When they arrive, he has words with the waitress Marlene, who doesn't care for his snobby attitude.  However once his verbal jousts with her are done, he gets right to work and through another stripper, he gets a lead about a creepy cat named, Joseph Carter who was "stalking" Suzie Cream Puff.  He pays the girl for the information and gives Marlene on last verbal jab as he leaves.
  As Gentry is following up on this lead, another stripper, Candy Cane is brutally murdered.  Luckily, she worked at the club that Gentry and Weston were going to visit next.  How fortunate?  Anyway when they arrive, it seems Marlene is working there to.  Gentry and her mince words and then he notices a man crushing fruit at the bar.  The odd man draws a face on each of the pieces of fruit and then he smashes them.  Gentry speaks to the bar tender and finds out that this crazy man is a Vietnam vet named Grout, who works as a bouncer at the bar.  While Gentry is talking to the bartender, a mob of women libbers storm the strip club!  Gentry rushes to the stage and saves the girl stripping and brings her to his car and then rescues an intoxicated Weston and sends her drunk ass home in a cab.  He drives the stripper home and pumps her for information, which is she gladly gives up and once he has the information he needs, he bids her adieu. Unfortunately just after he leaves, the killer attacks her and gives he ass a good pounding with a meat tenderizer.  Will Gentry and Weston ever find the killer and save these strippers or will this be the last dance for all of them?

  This is great movie and it happened to be Mr. Lewis's last picture for 30 years.  The story is kind of sleazy and trashy but the plot is somewhat solid.  Unlike "Bloodfeast", from what I remember or "Wizard of Gore", this story is pretty straightforward and there isn't a lot of head scratching between scenes.  There is a killer on the loose and Gentry is trying to find him.  The ending is convoluted, but we'll get to that later. 
  Also, I like the characters, I think Frank Kess (The Gore Gore Girls), does an alright job playing the arrogant Gentry.  He has some good banter and it's funny watching him try to ditch and avoid the charms of Nancy Weston, who is played by a very charming Amy Farrell (Airport).  Even the Russ Badger (The Gore Gore Girls), who plays the Lt. Anderson has a couple of good zinger.  I was most surprised that they were able to get legendary comedian Henny Youngman (Goodfellas, Amazon Women on the Moon) as a sleazy strip club owner but I guess everybody's got to work.  These are not Oscar winning performances but they know they're lines, the motivations of their characters and are fun to watch.
  Finally, the best part of the whole film is the gore.  In the first couple moments of the film, the killer destroys the face of Suzie Cream Puff by smashing it into a mirror and I was totally hooked.  Each murder was more brutal then the last and the effects were done pretty well.  There are hot irons to the face, nipples being cut off, faces mangled and as I mentioned early, asses being pounded into ground beef.  Director Lewis really goes all out on the gore on this film.      

But... this is still a a B-movie and there are some things that may not sit well with people.  They spend a lot of scene time in the strip clubs watching the dancers.  I know this is a movie about strippers but they could have had more time for a couple murders or some witty bantering with Gentry or something.  This does the boost the level of trashyness and if your into 70's style dancers then more power to ya.
  Also, even though most of the story is solid, Lewis makes the killers motivations and Gentry's discovery of the killer's identity unnecessarily complicated.  It concludes with an irritating double ending, which make the picture feel really awkward.  As well as how the killer was handled at the end of the movie was really quick and it seemed almost comical.  It's a weird end to a strange movie.  

  Anyway, this is one of Lewis's best films that I've seen and I'm sad that it took him 30 years to make another.  This film is fun and trashy and has some of the goriest scenes that you'll encounter for this time period from an American director. This is not for the faint of heart, but would you want to watch it, if it was?


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