All good things must come to an end. And in 1972, Herschell Gordon Lewis, the creator of the gore film, and innovator of graphic violence in cinema, had his last hurrah. Well, at least his last one for a very, very long time. More on that, later, but unaware to Lewis at the time, this would be it for his active film career. And despite my opinions on this film, I have to admit, the old man went out with a bang. The Gore Gore Girls is a first in several different areas. This is Herschell's first gore film which has profanity other than a "damn" here and there, as well as the first to show nudity, and acknowledge sexuality. An obvious change in the times. Also, this was the first and last film Herschell Lewis submitted to the MPAA for a rating. And for his trouble, he was given a big, fat X, which he could have applied himself. But anyway. Yeah. Sounds like something I would really dig, but it's just not. In fact, it leaves quite the bad taste in my mouth.
Herschell's "This is a business, not art" outlook on directing is heard loud and clear throughout the entirety of this obnoxious, substance-lacking, cheese-fest. None of his movies are meant for superior brains. But this one especially seems like it's intended for only the most dimwitted of trash lovers. A bit of a precursor, if not inspiration for the modern Troma film. And of course, a pretty simple story. Strippers at a sleazy club have been getting slaughtered by a maniac at an alarming rate. A hot reporter enlists the help of private eye, Abraham Gentry, who is supposedly good enough to be a total douche bag at all times and get away with it. Uninterested and unimpressed with pretty much everything but himself, and only concerned with getting paid, the douche bag tries losing her several times. Even going so far as to get her wasted so she'll *beep* off, but this tenacious lady wants some of that, and hopes to help in this investigation if at all possible. Meanwhile, we are treated to some rather inventive murders, one of which includes the killer snipping off the tips of a woman's nipples, and filling up 2 glasses with milk. One of which comes out chocolaty. Of course it does...
While I consider this to be Herschell Gordon Lewis' most overrated (gore) film, I can understand why so many considers this the ultimate in HGL gore. Sure, it's got a lot of that. And it's a little harsher than usual, and there's a noticeable bit of puns, toilet humor and a self awareness not present in Herschell's earlier gore epics. Sounds great. It really does, but something about this movie just rubs me the wrong way. The acting, I can of course handle. But the dialogue seems to have been written by a blithering idiot, and the characters, as well as the actors themselves, were far from likable. Especially that main character, Abraham Gentry. A smart ass dick smoker with a stupid one liner waiting every 10 seconds. A character seemingly meant to be a smooth, pimp daddy who is far too bad ass to give this hot chick the time of day. Whoever wrote this garbage obviously didn't realize they were making this guy out to be more of a homo than anything else. But such stupidity does add a couple of "so bad it's good" cool points. That, along with the unusually painful looking kills, make this one far from unwatchable.
It's too bad HGL decided to take a 30 year break after getting into the advertising business. Yet, come the 80's, Herschell's old gore films would gain a new level of notoriety from a new generation, as well as from the old one, which made him the legend he is today. With the help of Mike Vraney and Something weird Video, Herschell's massive catalog would finally get the long overdue VHS (and eventually DVD/Blu-ray) releases they deserved. A preservation project the late, great Vraney would do for the memories of many great, and not so great directors of forgotten old school B-movies. The films of Herschell Gordon Lewis would become the crown jewels of Something weird. And in 2002, Herschell went on to make his first jewel in 30 years, with the long awaited sequel to Blood Feast. Blood Feast 2 All You Can Eat. A masterpiece I would much rather remember him for. And he's made another one since then, and has another one on the way. Good 'ol H.G. may be older than dirt, and he's made a lot of terrible movies, but it feels so good to have him back! 4/10