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Friday, August 3, 2012

The Gore Gore Girls (1972)

The Gore Gore Girls (1972) - The Godfather of gore Herschell Gordan Lewis brings us this film of a crazy psychopath who kills girls in a strip club and then mutilates their bodies. The film pulls no punches, the very first scene we see a figure from the neck down in a black leather coat with black gloves coming up behind a woman, Suzie Cream Puff (Jackie Kroeger) in a dressing room or bedroom. Immediate the killer begins to repeatedly smash the woman face into the mirror. Not satisfied with the results the murderer then stabs the woman repeatedly. The whole scene last 40 seconds before the credits role and defines what is to come.
  Nancy Waxman (Amy Farrell) is a reporter who, for her paper hires the famous private detective Abraham Gentry (Frank Kress) to help solve the stripper murders. The paper is looking for exclusive rights to the story and I guess the cops are inept enough that the paper doesn't think they will solve the crimes. Gentry got a lead in like 5 minutes and off he goes in his sweet early sixties corvette with Waxman in tow.  Making sure we don't forget that this is a murder mystery we shift to the scene of another murder. A woman, Candy Cane, comes into a room violently chewing gum and notices herself in the wall mirror. You would wonder why on earth is she being so blatant about chewing gum. Well that is the hook and as she stands there touching her own breasts, like a fumbling fifteen year old boy, she blows a bubble, as the killer comes up behind her. Clocked with a rubber mallet she we get the gag which is the bloody bubble. Of course for good measure the killer then slices the throat of the unfortunate woman and then I guess because low budget gore is a thing for Herschell Gordan Lewis she is violently mutilated by the killer in what can only be deemed a disgusting gross display of gore as he smashes her head open and plays with her brains
  Through their leads from the club it is Waxman and Gentry who find the body. Gentry is a snide prick who makes quips about the dead and seems to have a real disdain for people in general. Lt. Anderson (Russ Badger) seems inept enough that he will never solve the murders. I think that they were going for the lovable jerk with an air of Sherlock Holmes, what they got was an unlikable prick you want to punch in the face.
  As they go from lead to lead we get to see some strippers dancing in pasties and are forced to listen to Waxman and Gentry verbally spar. Gentry is working on the case and every now and again he has to talk to a waitress or bartender to further his endeavors. Always he is difficult and it really is not very pleasant to watch. Then there are always strange things in these films. Like when Gentry goes to talk to Barney the bartender, not only is there a strange setup, with Gentry unable to get to the bar because the patrons won't let him in, but there is a strange 30 second double speed scene of the bartender making drinks. It was so weird and out of place that you barely notice that there is a second guy at the bar drawing faces on vegetables and then smashing them with his fists. Gentry of course noticed and got the stories from the bartender. Grout smashes the veggies to relieve the tension from his experiences in Vietnam. Is he a suspect or a red herring?
 This is really not a very good movie and when Gentry breaks the fourth wall it is all I can do not to just shut it off. The striptease with the circus music made no sense, but who am I to critique Lola Prize's routine.  The women activist barging in angry at the strippers but not the men watching them seems a bit misplace, The "Lewd is Crude" and "Quit with Tit" signs are amusing but ugh!
  Poor Lola gets killed too after she talks to Gentry back at her apartment. She recognized the killer so it must be someone we have seen before in the film? We learn from her conversation that the lead woman in the anti-stripper movement could be the killer or at least she is threatening to the stripper, and that one guy owns all the clubs Gentry has been to, Marzdone Mobilie (The late great comedian Henny Youngman). Again we are forced to watch a gruesome display of mutilation as the killer takes a meat tenderized to Lola's ass and then salts her before ripping her eyes of in squishy grossness all the while that silly circus music is playing.
  There are some more primitive yet creative murder scenes but you can watch this film is you want to see. Each is just gruesome and shown in the goriest of detail. The cops in this film are just there for comic relief bungling fools.  Mary McHenry (Emily Mason) the leader of the women's lib group is a suspect, also the veggie smashing Grout could be the killer, so could the bartender Barney. Another possibility is the angry waitress Marlene (Hedda Lubin).
  When the killer is revealed it happens so quickly and without excitement that the film really disappoints. The killer even dies in the most stupid of ways, I can't really understand why this film exists other than as an experiment in gory effects. The women in the film are targets for the killer and idiots. Even Nancy is easily manipulated and a bit of a lush. Really all she wants is a story and a roll in the hay with the smarter in control Gentry.  The snide and condescending Gentry is so unlikable that there is not even hero in this film. When he breaks the fourth wall a second time, and a third time it is infuriating. I suppose you can call it cute, or stylistic if you want but there is really no context for it. In the end if you want to see the early development of gore effects this is a movie you want to see, but if you are looking for an interesting smart balance horror film you will have to look elsewhere.
Rating (3.7) 5.0 and up are recommended, some more recommended than others.

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