The Gore Gore Girls (1972)

Comedy, Horror, Mystery
Frank Kress, Amy Farrell, Hedda Lubin, Henny Youngman
A ditsy reporter enlists the help of a sleazy private eye to solve a series of gory killings of female strippers at a Chicago nightclub.
  • Lewis Motion Picture Enterprises Company:
  • X Rated:
  • IMDB link IMDB:
  • 01 Dec 1972 Released:
  • 09 May 2000 DVD Release:
  • N/A Box office:
  • Alan J. Dachman (screenplay) Writer:
  • Herschell Gordon Lewis Director:
  • N/A Website:

Trailer:

Take My Film... Please5/10

The last gore film of Herschell Gordon Lewis is perhaps one of his goriest and remarkably one of his funniest..intentional and unintentional. Lewis has eyeballs squeezed, nipples cut off of breasts with scissors(one breast has white liquid flowing while another has chocolate), a woman's rump bludgeoned and then salted, a host of throats slit, a woman being run over by a truck, and a woman having her face shoved in a boiling bowl of french fries(you might have noticed in this scene that the pot was tall and not very wide in the first shot prior to the actress having her face embedded in the pot then in the close-up the pot is short and wide to accomodate her face). No question about it, the film definitely has a misogynistic edge to it. Women are beaten and killed senselessly(isn't that every Lewis film?). The story about an amateur detective being paid by a newspaper to solve the crime was not THAT bad...certainly better than most plot constructs used in other Lewis vehicles. Frank Kress as Abraham Gentry certainly also is one of the best actors ever used in a lead in a Lewis film. His acting style was fresh and he could convey irony and wit. The rest of the cast was so-so, with lots of naked girls jiggling(none of them particularly attractive and looking in that sleazy, has-been 70's kind of fashion). Henny Youngman, the only big name to grace any of Lewis's horror films, stars as a night club owner and talks so fast you will have trouble hearing what he says! Lewis wants to sicken you in this film, but he also goes for the laughs and some of them work. The photographers in each murder scene are hilarious as is the general mood of the film when some poor girl isn't losing appendages, skin, or having her eyes gouged out. The score is like some sleazy jazz theme and Lewis even has the temerity to use pieces of classical music and opera such as the Anvil Chorus. Despite all the twisted killing, the film kind of grew on me. Now, maybe I am the sick one. Watch out for the ending...it is Lewis having some more fun...and the revelation of the killer is one of the most ludicrous explanations put on film. Look fast too because the killer meets his/her end so fast you'll have to rewind it to see what happened.
The Pinnacle of Lewis' Career9/10
A series of murders haunts the local strip club scene. A newspaper decides to hire the legendary Abraham Gentry (Frank Kress) to track down the killer, since the police seem obviously inept at the task. Using his advance payment at local strip clubs and interviewing the dancers (with such names as Candy Cane), Gentry begins to compile a list of suspects, including an ex-Vietnam vet who loves to crush produce. But, who is the killer?

"The Gore Gore Girls" is Herschell Gordon Lewis' best film. While not his "masterpiece" and not a film he will go down in history for, this one (his last film until "Blood Feast 2" thirty years later) really pushes the exploitation genre to a peak. Crushed brains, eyeballs pulled out, lots of stripping and the enjoyable Frank Kress. Say what you will about Montag the Magnificent or Mayor Buckman or Fuad Ramses (all great Lewis characters). Abraham Gentry is just so suave and cocky, he could have appeared in sequel after sequel and I would devour them like flamingos with shrimp. But, shockingly, this was Frank Kress' first and last film. Where did he come from? Where did he go? Was he not interested in working after Lewis retired? We are all losers for his absence.

What has made this film controversial for many people is not, believe it or not, the excessive gore, but a perceived misogyny inherent in the movie. Quite honestly, I did not see it. Sure, Gentry is not particularly kind to women. And yes, the film flatly exploits women (taking place in a strip club, for the most part). But it also has a women's liberation movement subplot (shown in what I would call a neutral light), and there is really nothing here that cannot be seen in any other horror or exploitation film. Nude women in the late 1960s and early 70s? And you are shocked by this?

Less controversial, but far more memorable, is the gore. While perhaps not memorable to many people in the mainstream, one scene here will stand out for those familiar with the work of Herschell Gordon Lewis. Lewis had previously offered grisly torture in "The Wizard of Gore" and some great death traps in "Two Thousand Maniacs!" (the barrel roll, anyone?). But in "The Gore Gore Girls" he pushes the splatter to eleven on the blood and guts scale. Which scene am I referencing? The french-fried face? The iron? The scissors on the milk-squirting nipples? No. In one scene, a stripper is actually murdered by having her buttocks tenderized into hamburger with a mallet. No stabbing, no bone-crushing, no poison. Just excessive paddling. And for good measure, be sure to recall that the killer added a little bit of seasoning to the carnal creation.

Add all this to the fact the film co-stars Lewis' most charming and attractive actress yet (Amy Farrell as reporter Nancy Weston) and we have a winner of a film. By far my favorite Lewis film, which is saying a lot as he is quickly become one of my favorite directors. Thank you Something Weird Video for providing us with such great cult films. And a special thank you to Andrew Borntreger, for pointing out to me that the bottle of acid in the film is "made in Poland"... I am not really sure what to make of that, but it seems all too proper in a flick like this.

The commentary track is also quite informative, as Lewis will point out Ray Sager (he is easy to miss), talk about Henny Youngman's denial of being in the film, and explain why he disappeared from movies for thirty years. Believe it or not, at one point his films were considered lost and not worth finding, so he went into advertising. I have met Herschell twice now, and never tire of his stories... give them a listen.
Some people's favourite Herschell Gordon Lewis movie, but not mine.5/10

Herschell Gordon Lewis' movies are an acquired taste, and 'The Gore Gore Girls' is a perfect example of this. Many people find the combination of silly humour with extreme gore shots involving the torture and murder of women difficult to get a grip on. I don't have a problem with that so much. HGL doesn't take the material seriously as a film maker, and doesn't expect the viewer to either. Many regard this as his best movie. It certainly gorier than 'Blood Feast' or '2000 Maniacs', and has slightly more sophisticated production values, but overall I found it a little repetitive and dull, and nowhere near as entertaining as those two or 'Color Me Blood Red'. The plot involves a "gentleman detective" investigating the bloody murders of go-go dancers. The detective is played by the unknown Frank Kress who is fairly amusing. Veteran Henny Youngman appears briefly as a club owner and is not amusing at all. I suggest you only watch this if you have seen and enjoyed earlier Lewis efforts, otherwise give it a miss. Apart from the infamous meat tenderizer, face-frying, and nipple scenes there's not all that much to recommend this one. Plus the DVD commentary is one of the most tedious and uninteresting I've ever heard.
Cheap effects increase the disturbing factor.5/10
Popular Video Nasty that features some explicit and brutal death scenes. The plot is easy to follow and also easy to get hooked by it. A private detective is after a killer on the loose whose victims are strippers from different clubs. So we have a serial killer and strippers. That's all I need to know to like it.

An ex marine is the principal suspect because most of the strippers' murders are similar to his combat techniques when he killed soldiers. There's a feminist group that is against a specific club, and whose leader is another suspect.

Who is behind the murders and why?

There's plenty of nasty gore and some violent scenes that are better remembered for it's cheese factor. Still the effects look cheap but nasty which adds more to the disgusting factor against the movie. The porno movie look and feel that this movie has it's great and gives it a tone of sleaze.

Watch it at your own risk. It's not a movie for everyone.

6/10.
HGL gore epic has its moments.6/10
Legendary splatter master Herschell Gordon Lewis takes violence just about as far as he can in the standout scenes of this typically insane film. The only problem is, the movie tends to be tedious in between all of its outrageous highlights. It's certainly sleazy enough: the story has a series of go go dancers being mutilated in unspeakable ways by a demented killer. Nancy Weston (Amy Farrell), a ditzy reporter for a newspaper, hires renowned private detective Abraham Gentry (Frank Kress) to determine who the murderer is. "The Gore Gore Girls" features all of the hallmarks of any HGL film. The acting is often atrocious; exceptions here are lead Kress, who actually plays his unflappable if somewhat smarmy hero with wit and style, and the famous stand up comedian Henny Youngman, who plays his strip club impresario with gusto. Unfortunately, Youngman often talks so fast and loud one can't make out all of his quips. Farrell certainly is easy on the eyes, and due to the story line one can expect a fair amount of skin bared. One can also expect an odd ball character or two, especially hostile weirdo Grout, who loves to sit at bars and smash & smush produce. The persistent soundtrack is likewise good for some amusement. Making the whole thing worthwhile is the great flair HGL brings to his gore scenes. They're so far over the top, and so protracted, that it feels as if what he's really doing is spoofing himself. There are throat slittings, head mutilation, boiling a face in oil, and the piece de resistance, the slicing off of nipples which results in a flow of milk from one breast and chocolate milk from another. If nothing else tells us just how much HGL's tongue is in his cheek here, that'll do it. Fans of the director, and vintage exploitation / horror should lap it right up, others need not watch. There's undeniable padding; even at 85 minutes, this goes on a bit longer than it really needs to. And the identity of the killer will come as no surprise, although I can't imagine how many people would watch this actually hoping for a good murder mystery. As utterly crazy, trashy entertainment goes, one could definitely do worse than this. Six out of 10.