Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Suzy Cream Puff, Candy Cane and Pickles, or Thoughts on The Gore Gore Girls

If Russ Meyer and George A. Romero had a baby, gave that baby up for adoption, and that baby was raised by Ed Wood, he would grow up to be Herschell Gordon Lewis, the 70’s grindhouse auteur and king of the exploitation titles that tell you exactly what to expect, including Blood Feast (1963), Two Thousand Maniacs! (1964), She-Devils on Wheels (1967), and The Wizard of Gore (1970).  And make no mistake, these are actual grindhouse films, not the glossy, retro-fashionable Urban Outfitter tributes like Planet Terror (2007) and Death Proof (2007), these movies are fast, low-rent, and sometimes painful to watch.
The Gore Gore Girls (1972) follows Abraham Gentry, a gentleman/dilettante investigator as he investigates a series of grisly murders at a Chicago go go bar, (go/go, gore/gore, get it?) along with lady journalist Nancy Weston.  With community theater levels of acting, sets in the filmmaker’s apartments and actual go go bars, and a soundtrack that ranges from jazzy porno to surfer jams for the strip scenes you would think the movie would be saved by the abundance of explicit and clever murder scenes, and you’d be half right.  The gore effects and mutilations are below what you’d expect in a LucioFulci movie, and yet somehow even more disturbing owing to the cheap film style and anonymous 70’s actors that add an unpleasant snuff movie aesthetic.  However Frank does drive a gorgeous 1966 Corvette, so there’s that.
Watch out for Henny Youngman as the club owner.  Originally titled “Blood Orgy” and rated X, The Gore Gore girls would barely register as PG-13 if released today, but the movie has a decidedly 70’s misogyny that contemporary audiences may find uncomfortable and even more disturbing than the discount gore effects.

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