Gore Sleaze Striptease Crap
Trivia This is the only film Frank Kress, who plays Abraham Gentry in the movie, ever did, but I can't for the life of me find out why.
The killer dresses from head to toe in black and carries a big toolbox. In 1972. Hmmm...
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Gore Gore Girls (1972)
4th Apr 05
Local news reporter hires local Private Investigator to investigate the bizarre murders of a string of San Franciscan strippers. Boobs and gore follow.
If you’ve never seen any of Herschell Gordon Lewis’s movies you maybe be in for a shock and in more ways than one. The main issue – and why they’re getting the review treatment on this fantastic web site of ours – is that they have some brilliant (if a little early and fundamentally amateurish) examples of extreme cinematic gore. The other issue – and why I’m warning you ahead of time – is that Herschell Gordon Lewis made some of the most atrociously bad movies ever made.
It’s a bit like diving. You know how if you dive down too quickly your ears go funny and you have to come back up? Well it’s a bit like that. Like most weird cult movies (Manos: The Hands of Fate anyone?) it’s initially hard to get over quite how bad the movie looks, feels and sounds. It’s cheap, it’s dirty, it’s sleazy and it’s really old, and from the moment you press ‘play’ little alarm bells keep ringing in your head. The majority of the world’s population would almost definitely ‘turn that shit off’ within the first five minutes and, to tell you the truth, who can blame them?
But if you give it time, if you let yourself get acclimatised to Herschell Gordon Lewis’s world, you might just be in for a real treat. Gore Gore Girls was the last gore movie the guy made (before, of course, the recent Blood Feast 2: All you can eat) and it shows. The gore is better, the story is better (well, a bit) and the movie has the sense to poke a big finger of fun at itself. Gore Gore Girls is unintentionally amusing in some of the most inopportune moments, but by the same gesture it does have some genuinely funny bits, although admittedly some of these are examples of gags misfiring so badly that they pass through unfunny and get back to funny again. Um, does that make any sense? I think you know what I mean.
The story goes something like this. Local news reporter Nancy Weston (Amy Farrell) hires local Private Investigator Abraham Gentry (Frank Kress) to investigate the bizarre murders of a string of San Franciscan strippers. Gentry is a proper pansy – foppish I think you’d call him – who walks and talks like an American Oscar Wilde mixed with Felix Unger from The Odd Couple. He reluctantly takes Nancy on a trail through a handful of titty bars, flashing cash to get answers from the suitably weird clientele. He also tends to get Nancy pissed a lot (by ordering her a ‘special drink’ involving 4 shots of tequila) and then leave her, so he can actually get on with the detective work without all her yakking.
This provides much of the movie’s plot and gags – some of the conversations with the strippers, barmen and general strip joint frequenters are just great. A scene where Abe has a quiet chat with a barman starts with him waving cash under the barman’s nose and the guy saying to his mate “Hey Charlie take over for a while will you, I gotta take a shit!” It then ends a minute or so later with Charlie shouting back “Hey Barnie, you done that shit yet?” Great stuff, but the conversation between is just as good. You see, there’s a fat guy at the bar called Grout who has a favourite past time which involves drawing faces onto large pieces of fruit and then mashing them with his bare hands. According to the barman, it’s something he picked up in Vietnam, although the authorities found out that “he was doing it to the gooks and our boys!” This sets up Grout as the number one suspect. Or is he just a red herring? My God, is a plot developing here?
When he’s done asking around the bar, Gentry’s routine usually involves him putting Nancy into a cab then interviewing a stripper in private, concentrating mainly on whether they knew any of the dead girls, whether any of the dead girls had any enemies, that kind of stuff. Then, after Gentry’s gone, the killer usually turns up and offs the last stripper Gentry talked to in a very gory fashion.
Ah yes, the gore. Well, the film opens with a girl in a dressing room getting her face smashed into a mirror, and then having her eyeballs gouged out. Ouch. Later in the movie, a girl is killed by repeatedly having her arse smacked with a steak mallet and, when she’s dead, the killer pours salt and pepper onto the wounds, then gouges her eyes out. Even later, a girl is attacked while doing her ironing and gets her actual face ironed – both sides! Then he gouges her eyes out just before her flat mate turns up, who is killed by having her face submerged in a chip pan. I kid you not, the girl gets her face boiled in oil and it’s really gross, one of the grossest things I’ve ever seen actually. I can’t remember whether she gets her eyes gouged out after though (if she had any left, that is).
Anyway, back to the plot. Suffice to say that Gentry soon comes up with a brilliant plan to catch the killer. He talks a big fat greedy strip club boss (who tells terrible jokes) into holding an amateur strip contest. Then he gets Nancy drunk again and tricks her into entering, with predictable results. With Nancy as bait, it’s only a matter of time before the killer shows.
Yes it’s all very Scooby Doo, and in many ways all very shit, but it’s so entertaining that I can’t help but recommend Gore Gore Girls to anyone who’s remotely interested. It has the gore, has the nudity and has both intentionally and unintentionally hilarious bits, but that’s not all. It also has its own sense of style and weirdness which helps a lot in making the general cheapness of the whole deal much more palatable.
Why does the second victim have a lit cigarette between her toes when Abe and Nancy arrive? Why does Abe then go and smoke it? What’s with the big bible bluff subplot with the chief of police? How come the acid jazz soundtrack to each strip (i.e. jazz musicians on acid) is on such a short loop that it repeats several times throughout each performance and isn’t even in time to the girls’ dancing? What’s with the Benny Hill style speed bartending sequence? Why does that coroner fall asleep at the crime scene? How does Abe survive when the killer throws acid at him? And – finally – how does the killer meet their demise? I wound it back a couple of times and still didn’t understand. Thank goodness for Abe’s epilogue as he explains the whole plot to anyone who missed it – very Hercule Poirot – or I’d still be confused.
Drink plentifully, collect together friends that don’t mind watching a movie involving girls getting killed in really nasty ways, and get Gore Gore Girls on DVD. It’s a really bad film that is consequently really fun to watch and contains loads of nudity and gore – what else could you possibly want? Rest assured this baby’s coming to a Zombie Club soon…
Versions The UK DVD by Tartan Films is completely uncut and the DVD includes the original trailer which is as ridiculous as the film is. That'll do you, surely...