Ratings Key



★★★★
= Excellent. The best the genre has to offer.
★★★
1/2 = Very Good. Perhaps not "perfect," but undoubtedly a must-see.
★★★ = Good. Accomplishes what it sets out to do and does it well.
★★1/2 = Fair. Clearly flawed and nothing spectacular, but competently made. OK entertainment.
★★ = Mediocre. Either highly uneven or by-the-numbers and uninspired.
1/2 = Bad. Very little to recommend.
= Very Bad. An absolute chore to sit through.
NO STARS! = Abysmal. Unwatchable dreck that isn't even bad-movie amusing.
SBIG = So Bad It's Good. Technically awful movies with massive entertainment value.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Gore Gore Girls, The (1971)

...aka: Blood Orgy

Directed by:
Herschell Gordon Lewis

One of his best, this side-splitting trash fest has everything a fan of H.G. Lewis could possible want; amateurish porn quality acting, extremely corny wise-ass dialogue, unfathomable one-liners, more than a few moments of technical ineptitude, cops portrayed as complete dim bulbs, rhythm-deficient topless or scantily clad women cutting it down on the dance floor to a generic canned music score, comedy that is both intentional and unintentional and some hideously bloody, monumentally tasteless gore murders... and all with a lighthearted tone. Overall, it's an extremely entertaining mixture and in fact, was one of the first movies to get an X rating for graphic violence (if that's not a recommendation for you...). After an "exotic striptease artist" named Suzie Creampuff has her face mangled on a broken mirror, loopy tabloid magazine writer Nancy Weston (Amy Farrell) decides to offer famous, arrogant, wisecracking detective Abraham Gentry (Frank Kress) 25,000 dollars to find the killer. The two begin frequently visiting the Marz Heaven Striperama to check things out and trade hokey come-on lines. In the meantime, more strippers are biting it in very nasty ways. One dancer named Candy Kane is merrily blowing bubbles and fondling her breasts in a mirror when stopped dead in her tracks when her throat is slashed, her tongue is cut out and her head is hacked to a billion bloody mushy pieces with a meat cleaver. When a stripper named Lola's advances are rebuked by Abraham, she reaches in the refrigerator for the next best thing (a cucumber) before having her throat cut and her ass pulverized by a meat tenderized (the killer sprinkles salt and pepper on it). There's plenty more gore as more throats are slashed, eyeballs are popped out and squashed, skin is melted off in a boiling pot of French fries, a face is fried with a hot iron and, most memorably, nipples are cut off with scissors, spewing out milk (...regular and chocolate?!) The dialogue, especially comments from brain dead cop on the case Lt. Anderson (Russ Badger) and the long dialogue scenes of Nancy and Abraham and their "cute" little come-ons can be painful, but it's all good dumb fun. When it comes to female nudity, the quotient of tits and bare asses is up to par for an early 70s exploitation movie. Though many of the ladies cover their nipples, there's a great black dancer with a huge afro and headband who strips out of her paisley dress to a sheer bra, pasties and g-string.

Some of the supporting characters include a crazy Nam vet named "Grout" (Alex Petrovic) who draws faces on pieces of fruit and smashes them with his fist, a hateful drink girl named Marlene (Hedda Lubin), whose wigs and outfits (including a shirt with painted on nipples) change from shot to shot and fast-talking nudie club magnate Marsdone Mobley (played by famous comedian Henny Youngman!), who wants "Money, money, money!" and arranges to put on the "greatest striptease show of the century" with amateurs to help boost profits (and yeah, because his regular dancers either quit or are dead). Youngman, who would later deny that he was even in this movie, doesn't have much to do here, but does get a brief comic monologue on stage where he cracks a few jokes (including one about Tom Jones). There's also a feminist group led by a fascist ball-buster named Mary who carry signs that read things like "Lewd is crude!" and "Quit with tit!" and threatens "We'll rip her hair out from both ends!"

There are lots of questions to ponder while watching this masterpiece... Who exactly is dismembering the strippers? Will you lose your lunch at a chocolate milk spewing titty? Will combining hot vegetable oil and afro sheen cause a kitchen grease fire? Will Grout finally run out of fruit? Will Mary tell "these strip tease bitches" just what she thinks? Will Abe run out of 10 dollar bills to pay people off with? And better yet, will he finally put down his damn walking stick, stop acting so shy and warm up to his lusty lady friend? Will Nancy stay sober long enough to help uncover the killer and defeat the likes of Ruby Diamond and Ramona Moana in the amateur strip competition? And most importantly, will you, the viewer, be relieved when you see the end credits disclosure "We announce with pride: This movie is over!"

H.G. Lewis (who also produced, scored and did special effects for this, his last directorial effort until 2000's BLOOD FEAST 2: ALL U CAN EAT) was ably assisted by the usual suspects on this epic; Allison Louise Downe (who was assistant director and did some of the fx) and Ray Sager/Szegho (who plays Barney the bartender and was second unit director). Writer Alan J. Dachman, the son of the backer, also has a cameo as a stoned-out street corner informant. The budget was 63,500 dollars (not bad for this type of film) and the Something Weird special edition DVD comes with a great commentary track from Lewis (who says the title had to be changed to BLOOD ORGY for some markets because they didn't "get" the title) and some gallery art.

★★★

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