Don’t ask me why, but in 1984, Lindsay Shonteff, who spent most of his career making spy spoofs like The 2nd Best Secret Agent in the Whole Wide World decided to make a Shot On Video* giallo.
Is it any good? No.
Is it weird? Yes.
Is that why we watched it? You know it.
Starring Jane Linter — who never made another movie — and Joseph Peters, who played a Hooded Ghost in two of The Adventures of Justine films, which are very similar to Gwendoline, this is all about a man stalking an exotic dancer who is only dancing to raise money for her wedding.
The stalker, Jay Preston, lives in a world of Mayfair-esque lad mags, call girls and yes, a blow-up doll to sate his strange passions. But soon, when he watches Jennie on stage, he knows that he has found the woman who can satisfy him. Sure, she has a fiancee, but fantasies don’t take into account the real world.
This, of course, means killing her fiancee, murdering multiple people to earn enough money to keep moving from motel to motel, then forcing her to dance for him and him alone when he isn’t assaulting her or killing her parents. You may ask yourself, “Really, who is all this depravity for?” Then you realize that the 1980’s had a burgeoning video nasty market in the UK and see where Shonteff was trying to make some much-needed cash in the economic crunch of 1984.
Sadly, the director already made a much better version of this kind of story back in 1969 with Night, After Night, After Night, but hey, you’re looking for giallo that no one else has and you need to get your kicks somewhere, right? And look who has the skinny on some scummy VHS era hackwork that only two other maniacs on IMDB have reviewed? Me. I’m not proud of it either, but here we are.
Despite having a lead character who blames a woman for his inability to even make a complete bowel movement — a first! — this is one of those movies where the lead character is an exotic dancer that somehow never gets naked, which really seems to challenge this movie’s goal of being repellant filth. Imagine if David Hess said poopy in his rants. It just doesn’t work. If you’re going to be a cesspool dwelling movie that upsets people enough to get on the cover of tabloids, go for it. Instead, other than its ranting leading man, a final act turn toward proto-American Psycho satire and a shotgun blast of an ending, this is a rather tame affair. You know, except for that blow-up doll.
*He also made another SOV movie, a post-apocalyptic film called The Killing Edge.