SLASHER MONTH: The Gore Gore Girls (1972)

This was a parody of everything that had come before in the gory and sleazy Herschell Gordon Lewis and if anything, goes even further than all that had been done in the past.

Reporter Nancy Weston (Amy Farrell) has offered detective Abraham Gentry (Frank Kress) $50,000 if he can solve the murder of Suzie Cream Puff (Jackie Kroeger), as long as she gets the exclusive. Following him on his investigation, other food-themed dancers like Candy Cane and Pickles get killed with evidence that points to a man named Grout (Ray Sager), a Vietnam vet that misses smashing the heads of dead people during war and finds vegetables a poor substitute. Or maybe its the feminists who are protesting all the male gaze in the go go club. Oh yeah — Henny Youngman also shows up as Mr. Marzdone Mobilie, a man who owns plenty of jack shacks and strip clubs.

Gentry keeps Weston drunk most of the time or gets her onstage to dance in an amateur contest but he’s just really trying to lure the killer into his clutches. He’s a horrible person and in fact, nearly everyone in this movie is completely despicable, some kind of alternate world where everyone is absolute scum. I say this with beaming happiness.

The only movie that Lewis ever sent to the MPAA — it got an X, so no surprises there — this is the kind of movie where a woman’s breasts are cut over with scissors to drink chocolate milk out of them, but it can still have themes of PTSD from Vietnam in 1972, years before any other filmmakers were articulating this issue.

But at heart (and guts and brains), this is a movie where a woman’s butt is beaten with a tenderizing hammer and then seasoned with salt and pepper. Or a bubble gum chewing dancer dying as her bubble is filled with blood? Then somehow there’s a level-headed appearance by the feminist group in the movie that pretty much has them saying everything that Lewis probably knew he was guilty of. Literally exploitation and education at once, but lost on everyone who just loved a director who often had characters just play with entrails for long stretches while he zoomed in. And then he invented direct mail.

You can watch this on Tubi.

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