The Gore Gore Girls

November 6, 2010 at 10:55 pm (8 Heads, Gore Gore Girls) (, , , )

The Gore Gore Girls – 1972 – United States

It’s Halloween. My intent was to do a voodoo flick, White Zombie or even Horror of the Humongous Hungry Houngan. Instead I saw Herschell Gordon Lewis’ The Gore Gore Girls. I’ve dug every HGL movie I’ve seen (not seeing The Magic Land of Mother Goose), but Gore Gore Girls, along with Two Thousand Maniacs, is his most madcap and bewildering.

In the awesome opening, a black-gloved killer pulverizes a woman’s face against a mirror. Saturated monochromatic red lighting and chaotic jazz music create tense and beautiful atmosphere unseen in an HGL flick. Past this stylish highpoint, the typical awkward acting and inane dialogue get underway. A haughty gay detective and his cute kooky assistant investigate stripper murders. Expect half-baked PI clichés scattered amidst topless dancing and gory murders.

Gore Gore Girls is HGL’s most (intentionally) funny flick. Witness quipping dialogue (women’s lib rioters attack a stripper and one shouts, “We’ll pull her hair out! On both ends!”), outrageous characters (psycho Vietnam vet smashing fruit with drawn on faces), and gags. At a few amusing moments, the detective casually breaks the fourth wall, so offhanded it’s easy to miss—unprecedented subtlety for HGL. The humor even undermines the violence and sexiness. In one scene, a girl dances and fondles her breasts, blowing enormous bubbles with gum. When the killer axes her, she spews blood in the bubble, spattering it red. While HGL’s gore is his most shocking, it’s tinged with ludicracy—a face is ironed, a head is deep fried, a woman’s bare ass is beaten bloody with a tenderizer and then salted. Weirder and nastier still, the killer cuts a woman’s nipple off and squirts bloody breast milk into a glass.

Stylistically, HGL is in top form too. His rough technique is well realized. Shaky camerawork, fuzzy shots, blown out color, awkward framing, and uncomfortable close-ups abound, along with the HGL’s (un)usual blend of noisy music. The score mixes jazz, surf, classical, and weird musical Foley. Note the peculiar discordant rendition of the Anvil Chorus.

HGL’s last flick before “retirement” (30 years later came Blood Feast 2: All U Can Eat), Gore Gore Girls is the climax of his career. Gore-wise it’s his most extreme, but also the culmination of his chaotic aesthetic, and still one of the most unusual and entertaining flicks in the “splatter” genre he pioneered. Presumably, all HGL fans have seen Gore Gore Girls. Those who haven’t, or are unfamiliar with his work (what are doing reading this blog?), check it out.

Rating: 8/10 Shrunken Heads: This and Two Thousand Maniacs are the HGL flicks to see.

Obeah’s Obscure Note: Green Jelly’s song Super Elastic from their album 333 contains several samples from Gore Gore Girls, including “She got out of the wrestling game, and into stripteasing.”

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