The Gore Gore Girls (1974)
Herschell Gordon Lewis
Alan J. Dachman
Frank Kress, Amy Farrell, Hedda Lubin
A private investigator is hired to look into a string of brutal murders of a local club's strippers.
The Godfather of Gore brings a much sleazier movie to the screen with The Gore Gore Girls. When someone begins killing the strippers employed at a local club, Abraham Gentry is hired by The Globe as a private investigator on the case. Reporter Nancy Weston brings the case, and the money to hire him. Each murder is more brutal than the last and the killer’s unexplained creativity is endless. There is no singular methodology to this string of murders.
Frank Kress is Abraham, and brings new meaning to the entirely disconnected private investigator with an obnoxious amount of foresight. Amy Farrell (Airport 1975) is the ditsy reporter who is far more interested in Abraham Gentry than in the case. Most of the cast, including Kress, was in nothing else before or after this film. In general, the acting is pretty standard to a Lewis film. The one recognizable face though is Henny Youngman (who was known for his one-liner stand up comedy routines, while holding a violin) as the club’s owner. And that right there should indicate the true tone of this film. It’s a series of punchlines and gory visuals with a cast of over-stereotyped characters.
This might get a rise out of some people, but it seems to me that The Gore Gore Girls is H.G. Lewis’ version of the Italian giallo. It’s far more slapstick, but it has many of the elements of a giallo. There’s the anonymous gloved killer, a strategic use of shadows, and the trademark twist. It’s almost as if he created a far more gory version of Blood and Black Lace with self-parodying gallows humor.
Despite your opinion of his talent as a filmmaker, Lewis has one hell of a sense of humor. It may be ‘sick and twisted’ to some, and offensive to others, but for most of us cult horror fans it’s a great balance of absurdity and tongue-in-cheek stereotypes. He even has good humor about his own works, and is always poking fun at them.
The gore is dialed up several notches in this movie in comparison with Lewis’s 60’s splatter films. You’ve likely never seen so many eye removals, and some of the scenes are completely over-the-top, horrific and unsettling. But as I’ve pointed out already, the entire movie is laden with dark humor and slapstick to balance it all out.
As a whole, you really either love or hate the films of Herschell Gordon Lewis. I love them, but I know plenty of horror fans that don’t. Thankfully that makes deciding on whether or not to watch it fairly easy. If you like Lewis’s other movies, you’ll enjoy The Gore Gore Girls. If you don’t like his other work, this one is no different. Simple as that.