Current Issue Sample

Fall Horror Harvest

Hollywood Chainsaw Hookers (1988)

Rating: 3 stars

D: Fred Olen Ray. Gunnar Hansen, Linnea Quigley, Jay Richardson, Dawn Wildsmith, Michelle Bauer. 90 mins. (Retromedia, $14.98 DVD) 8/08

Chalk up a reel winner for prolific B auteur Ray with this lively, low-budget T&A gore romp, joining the digital ranks in a 20th Anniversary Widescreen Edition. Though Ray resorts to the rather hoary narrative device of relating his tale from a mock hardboiled P.I.'s POV (well played by Ray regular Richardson), we do indeed get the promised gang of chain-toting tarts ("They Charge an Arm and a Leg!") who kill for the love of their crazed Egyptian cult leader (somewhat woodenly interpreted by former "Leatherface" Hansen). There are more yoks than shocks in this post-modern ode to splatter pioneer H.G. (Blood Feast) Lewis, plus plenty of pulchritude provided by the ever-lovely Linnea, then enjoying her gutter-flick Goldie Hawn heyday, who dances topless during a lengthy club scene. A fun, informative commentary track with Ray and writer TL Lankford supplies many an amusing backstory; their only regret seems to be that they recorded it on a Sunday morning rather than at 3 a.m. sharing a bottle of Jack (our type of guys!). Ray also contributes a new making-of documentary, with interviews with chainsaw starlets Quigley and Bauer, among other eyewitnesses, along with the original theatrical trailer.

~ The Phantom