The Godfather of Gore, Herschell Gordon Lewis, made several gooey films after his immortal Blood Feast in 1963. But after another 10 years, Herschell put away his camera, and focused on his advertising career. Today, he's a respected authority in the field, but few who seek the insight of the 70-something guru know of his illustrious career as a horror auteur. Thankfully, his cinematic swan song, The Gore Gore Girls (1972, 81 minutes, aka. Bloody Orgy), remains as a lasting testament to his OTHER vocation.
The movie: Abraham Gentry (Frank Kress) is a smirky, gentleman P.I. -- sort of a cross between neatnik Felix Unger (of The Odd Couple) and Dr. Sidney Freedman (of "M*A*S*H"). Gentry is hired to uncover the murderer and mutilator of a gorgeous young go-go dancer. But no sooner than he's on the case, another stripper falls victim, then another ... and topless joint owner Marzdone Mobilie (comedy legend Henny Youngman) is none too pleased. Gentry, with eternally randy reporter Nancy Weston (Amy Farrell), begin to zero in on the killer. Yet not before one of the dancers gets her face IRONED and receives an involuntary boob job with a pair of scissors, well, sorta. True to form, Herschell's gore sequences are remarkably gruesome, but tempered by his darker-than-dark sense of humor. You'll recoil in disgust and titter with laughter all in the same breath. Kress is particularly enjoyable as the wonderfully obnoxious sleuth. He's perpetually condescending, while tracking the lunatic who has left behind a bloody trail of slaughtered strippers.
Notables: 11 breasts. Six corpses. Nipples roll. Mallet to the head. Cane polishing. Go-go dancing. Lactation. One white Corvette. Acid attack. Fainting. Multiple eyeball squishing. Produce abuse. High-speed bartending. Angry feminists. Butt-steak tenderization. Electric iron to the face. French-fried stripper. One bloody cucumber. Gratuitous Henny Youngman. Cane clobbering. One road pizza.
Quotables: Gentry phones the police after discovering a mutilated dancer, "A friend of mine stepped into some trouble and seems to have lost face." The card shown at the end reads, "We announce with pride: This movie is over!"
Time codes: The bubble-gum murder (14:30). Do we really need to get THIS close? (22:10). The most civilized riot ever caught on tape (32:56). Creative, but disturbing use of a kitchen utensil (40:46). So, THAT's where chocolate milk comes from (49:25). Take my Youngman, please! (54:45).
Audio/Video: Largely sharp full-frame print. Decent mono audio.
Extras: Another stellar commentary track by director H.G. Lewis, along with Something Weird Video's Mike Vraney and Shock Film's Jimmy Mazlin. Among the track's revelations was that the movie's budget was a mere $63,500 and it's the ONLY film Herschell submitted to the MPAA ratings board (it received an X, so he just didn't put a rating on it). He also talks about his life after the movies, and his discovery that he had FANS. One criticism, would be poor audio -- Mazlin wasn't close enough to the microphone to be heard clearly and there are a handful of buzzes and pops. The disc also contains the same exploitation art gallery as featured on The Wizard of Gore. Another extra is a hellacious clip from Love Goddess of Gore Island. It's a real doozy.
Final thought: One of the sickest, sleaziest movies it has been my pleasure to witness. A bona fide classic by a master genre filmmaker. Highly Recommended.
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G. Noel Gross is a Dallas graphic designer and avowed Drive-In Mutant who specializes in scribbling B-movie reviews. Noel is inspired by Joe Bob Briggs and his gospel of blood, breasts and beasts.