Friday, December 25, 2009

The Gore Gore Girls (1972)

The Gore Gore Girls
is a veritable feast for the go-go/detective/horror trifecta of senses. Veteran grindhouse director Herschell Gordon Lewis helms this sleazy tongue-in-cheek slasher "thriller" that combines go-go dancers, blood and some very non-Dashiell-Hammett detective work.

A go-go dancer is brutally murdered in her apartment. Looking for a scoop, a young female reporter named Nancy Weston bypasses the local flat foots in blue and enlists super-sleuth private eye extraordinaire, Abraham Gentry, to crack the case. Abraham is clearly the center of the story. Not one to use brute force he saunters through the seedy go-go underworld with the look of John Holmes and the debonair manner of Tony Randall. No thug is too tough for him. Any street creature can be bought. He looks like Bunny Breckinridge as he floats through each gruesome murder scene, casually pointing out each clue with his polished silver-handled walking cane.

And the murders are gruesome---but ridiculous at the same time. In one scene a meat tenderizing mallet is used on the posterior of a subdued go-goer that is bent over a chopping block. Of course the obvious next step is to season the rump (literally, with salt and pepper) before skinning her head and removing her eyes. At one point the killer goes so far as to make a manual extraction from a go-goer's chest. Gathering it into two champagne glasses, one hand toasts the other to end the scene.

As far as entertainment value the go-go dancers perform adequately. And there is no shortage of one-liners, sometimes punctuated with Abraham's wink to the camera. The closing monologue is like a 1970's version of a William Powell
Thin Man wrap up. Throw in a heavy bar bouncer that likes to smash melons to relieve inner tension, a radical feminist sub-plot and a cameo by Henny Youngman and you've got a 16 millimeter go-go train wreck that you can't look away from.

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