The Gore Gore Girls (1972)

In 2003 a bunch of new appointments were made to the OFLC. A curious era of relative censorship liberalisation ensued. Films that had been banned since the 1970s were suddenly unleashed on a country that was miraculously unharmed by them after all; others that would’ve been banned by the previous board members got through OK (albeit usually with a fight). Obviously there were exceptions to this common sense, and this was one… the stupid details are here, and all I need to say is that the “minority view” was correct. The gore scenes actually are kind of HOLY JESUS FUCK WHAT SICK FREAK CAME UP WITH THAT IDEA, but at the same time they’re so spectacularly excessive that you can’t take them seriously on any level, especially cos no one in the film is taking what they’re doing seriously either. It’s a Herschell Gordon Lewis film, for fuck’s sake, and the most shocking thing about it is how little his technique had really developed since Blood Feast, nine years and nearly thirty films before this; questionable camerawork and mise-en-scene, eyebrow-raising performances, shoddy sound, marginally appropriate library music, and of course the gore. Only the hairstyles and the possibilities of nudity were particularly different. Plot is desultory—private detective of doubtful heterosexuality must find out who’s killing a series of strippers—and, really, the violence is what Lewis was interested in; I know there’s a school of thought that Lewis knew his time was passing and that he intended this film as a parting fuck-you to the coming generation of gore specialists and to ensure he went out in what passed for style with him. Risible in almost every way, there’s also something perversely winning about its particular mash-up of dodgy horror and dodgier comedy; like Blood Feast, I found myself enjoying this far more than I probably should have.


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