The Gore Gore Girls (1972) – The Dungeon Review!
How is it that I have not reviewed Herschell Gordon Lewis’ 1972 film The Gore Gore Girls before now?! The film from which I nabbed my online moniker is a goretastic, gratuitous and ghastly eyeful that truly lives up to its name! It is excessive, it is disgusting and it is often funny as hell!
The Gore Gore Girls opens with stripper Suzy Cream Puff fussing in the mirror and an unseen black-gloved assailant bashes her face into the mirror over and over and over again. Just for the hell of it TheY mutilate her face and pluck an eye out and then jams it back in. It is a big gory mess and that ain’t remotely the biggest gory mess in The Gore Gore Girls!
This is super private dick extraordinaire Abraham Gentry! Gentry is offered $25,000 by Nancy Weston; a reporter for The Globe. He gets another $25,000 if he discovers who the killer is. Gentry is smug, sarcastic and wonderfully arrogant and unlikable! He definitely puts the “dick” in private dick!
Gentry visits the strip club where Suzy Cream Puff had worked and speaks to Ginny. Ginny gives Gentry a fair amount of insight on the dead stripper who wanted to be an actress and was stripping to pay the rent. Suzy apparently had a fervent fan who offered her a significant sum of money which she mocked openly. It just so happens that the cheque was kept in the club cashbox. Ginny produces the cheque complete with address and Gentry has his first suspect; Joseph Carter! Gentry also manages to make a sworn enemy of the strip club waitress.
Gentry questions a drug addict about Joseph Carter as Nancy looks on. With a little cash, the addict is prompted to give Gentry the information he needs.
Gentry and Nancy head to the home of Candy Cane. Gentry sure has a nice car! Little do they know that they will find Candy Cane’s corpse! Candy Cane likes to blow bubblegum bubbles! She is killed mid-bubble which fills up with blood. Again the killer makes an unholy mess of her face. No picture…I have got to leave some gory details for your own viewing!
“A friend of mine stepped into some trouble and seems to have lost face.”
Gentry heads to another strip club called “Tops and Bottoms” where he notices Grout a bartender, bouncer, and general help sort of guy who likes to smash fruit to relieve tension. Apparently he is a war vet who also liked to smash people’s heads; and we have suspect number two! Gentry also gets Nancy excessively drunk to keep her out of trouble and out of his way.
A bunch of angry protesting women show up and rush the stage during Miss Lola Prize’s act. The women’s group is led by Mary McHenry; suspect number trois! Gentry takes Lola back to her apartment and questions her.
Poor Lola Prize gets a particularly nasty beating while still alive. “This one had her ass beaten in.” The city’s stupidest cop Lieutenant Anderson is fooled by Gentry into going on an irrelevant path. Gentry than pays the other cops to give him information first. Anderson REALLY is an idiot!
This gal is attacked while ironing. Her throat is slashed and then her face is seared with an iron. She is than laid down and the iron is applied to her face until she is completely blackened. Than her nipples are cut off with a pair of scissors and two champagne glasses are filled with her breast milk! Her friend/roommate comes in and has her face deep-fried! At this point I would like to refer you to yesterday’s GIF of hysterical screaming lady who goes completely out of her freaking mind at the sight of these two gals!
Mr. Marzdone Mobile played by Henny Youngman owns most of the city’s strip clubs and makes his headquarters in the largest of the establishments. He decides to hold an amateur stripper contest as business has been a little precarious between the women’s protest groups and the murders!
Gentry gets Nancy Weston very drunk…AGAIN! Gentry provokes Nancy into entering the amateur stripping contest which she wins!
At this point Gentry leaves a very drunk Nancy as bait for the killer who does indeed turn up! When you think it is all over, the film continues for several more minutes as we are given a play by-play of the killer’s motive and how Gentry figured out who did it. Normally I don’t like over-explained endings but this is some pretty funny stuff. It is one outrageous explanation!
A friend and myself became completely obsessed with John Waters in the mid-90s. We bought or rented all of his films and several books by and about the director. We made it our goal to check out everything and anything that influenced Waters. One of those Waters influences was Herschell Gordon Lewis. I was a horror fan from childhood and was weened on the horror of the 50s and 60s. The horror films were my dad’s influence who was a huge horror and science fiction fan but he never introduced me to Herschell Gordon Lewis! My friend and I started with Blood Feast which we loved and moved on to The Wizard of Gore which was equally entertaining and then it was The Gore Gore Girls. We invited a small group over for The Gore Gore Girls as we had been especially entertained by Mr. Lewis resume thus far! Our friends were mortified! One of my cohorts exclaimed that I would forever be known to him as Goregirl. I first used the name when I started selling stuff on Ebay in the late 90s as GoreGirlGear. This recent excursion through Lewis Land has reinvigorated the Goregirl in me! I will definitely need to revisit and review some of my gory favourites in the new year to share with you all! As you can see from the images I included this is a sketchy looking DVD copy but it still looks better than what I had on VHS. I can’t believe I did not include The Gore Gore Girls on my favourite films of 1972! Granted, it is not technically as sound or nearly as pretty as a film like What Have they Done to Solange? but I have watched The Gore Gore Girls a hell of a lot more times than Solange! Frankly I need a good spanking for not including it on that list. Lewis has a great sense of humour about his horror films, and his films in general. He always includes cheesy one-liners and The Gore Gore Girls is full of them. Hell, this one even comes with an appearance from comedian Henny Youngman! The Gore Gore Girls was Lewis’ last horror film, and his last film period until 2002 when he returned to filmmaking with the fantastic underappreciated sequel to Blood Feast; Blood Feast 2: All You Can Eat. I have watched a good chunk of H.G. Lewis’ 36 directorial efforts and have enjoyed almost every last one of them. Lewis really pushed the limits of what was acceptable and certainly upped the ante in regards to the levels of gore included in film with Blood Feast in 1963. North American audiences never seen anything like Blood Feast! Not too many folks have seen anything like any of Mr. Lewis horror films frankly! They are tacky, corny, gross and ridiculous. They are also, clever, shocking, funny and full of heart. I have had an unbelievably good time revisiting the films of Herschell Gordon Lewis for this feature and my namesake The Gore Gore Girls has been one of the most entertaining of the lot! Highly recommended! There will be lots more Herschell Gordon Lewis fun to come before the month is through!!
Dungeon Rating: 4/5
Directed By: Herschell Gordon Lewis
Starring: Frank Kress, Amy Farrell, Hedda Lubin, Henny Youngman, Russ Badger, Jackie Kroeger, Nora Alexis, Phil Laurenson, Frank Rice, Corlee Bew, Emily Mason, Lena Bousman, Marina Salli, Norman Dachman, Menda MacPhail