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“Jack - I am going to fuck your brains out!”

“I didn’t like the sound of that…”


Sam Kelso in action with a brand-obscured chainsaw!

Feature


When LA Private Detective Jack Chandler takes on routine case to find a young runaway, his life of booze, cigarettes and guns becomes infinitely more complicated the moment the trail leads to a string of bizarre murders, not to mention the discovery of an ancient chainsaw-worshiping cult, with his missing girl chosen to be the supreme sacrifice to their God, allowing them to live for another thousand years.  They’re not going to let a lowly private dick get in their way, but Jack won’t let a case go unsolved without a fight.  An irresistible force is about to meet head-on with an immovable object, as Chandler vows to save her from a messy demise as not only will it cover next months’ rent, but also because - as he puts it: “She’s got a great set of tits…”.

We remember the time that Fred Olen Ray’s most widely-circulated movie hit the UK rather well.  Coming from that most infamous of B-movie distributors Colourbox, it was manufactured in large quantities and quickly snapped up by just about every independent video emporium across the country, under the rather odd retitling of Hollywood Hookers, with a silhouette of the missing appliance inserted between the words.  We saw this release sitting high up on the shelf at one of our usual haunts - purposely stuck right between the horror section and the adult movies -  and whilst we were intrigued by it, our attention diverted by other titles we had been waiting for, and it was pushed back down the priority viewing list.  They were probably adorned with shiny covers, so Fred Ray’s movie stood no chance….

Jump forward about two years, and we encountered it again in the place most folks would come across films from Colourbox: at the local boot-fair, and we picked it up for the princely cost of £1.  OK, it looked like shit, but it was par for the course for VHS released from this particular label, but we stuck with it and were thoroughly entertained by a movie which has a lot more going for it than most (who haven’t seen it…) would claim.  The loving/loveable goofiness, the knowing humour, the Chandler-like dialogue, the cast - it had just about everything for a beer-fuelled night in front of the TV, and drenched in tits!

Where the Hell to start with this?  How about the description “fun”?  Yep, Hollywood Chainsaw Hookers is exactly that.  From the pre-credit sequence of a hooker brought in for questioning about hacking up a client turning the murder weapon on the officers interrogating her, you know that it’s rip-roaring mayhem all the way!  From stunning servants of the Egyptian god Horus snaring unsuspecting Johns for making “…McNuggets with a chainsaw” to the much-celebrated Virgin Dance of the Double Chainsaw where Linnea Quigley seductively boogies with a couple of McCullochs whilst wearing nothing but elaborate body paint, it’s got more laughs, sex, violence than an Italian comedian’s booze-fuelled date-night!  The big question is this: what makes it rise above not only Fred Olen Ray’s other work, but most others of the same era?  Let’s take a look…

Ah, Ms Bauer. Or is it Ms McClellan?  Or maybe Pia Snow?

Firstly, it succeeds where many haven’t.  Numerous films have tried to either emulate Noir or just bluntly take the piss out of it to the point where such attempts harmed the actual movies they were ripping off, a genre which only Mickey Spillane and a select few could really bring to life, let alone successfully spoof it.  Even when Steve Martin put himself in among actual Noir footage in the comedy Dead Men Don’t Wear Plaid, something just seemed very much off about the whole venture, imitating - as a great man once said - the sounds, but not the language.  Here the Noir style is successfully transplanted to modern times and finds the perfect vessel in Jay Richardson, able to sell the moody dialogue without seeming as though he is desperately aping movies past.  All of the staples from the genre are in present and correct in Hollywood Chainsaw Hookers, including the down-at-heel private dick with a peerless line in pity glibness, along with trouble on the domestic front, an uneasy relationship with a senior police officer, rendezvous at the local gin-joint - you name it, it’s there.  The good news is that it all works perfectly, and not just in context with being a low-budget T&A movie: there are numerous A-list projects which failed in capturing it as well as they do so here.

Speaking of Richardson, he really is the of the show.  One of the great soldiers in the low-budget army of exploitation, Richardson is  revelation as Jack Chandler, the only “private” dick in Hollywood, and we just can’t stress enough how hilarious he is here, combining sly humour, shades of melodrama, earthiness and all played with a knowing tone which lets the audience in on the joke.  We’ve seen him in many things, and the only time Richardson has been quite this good, and we’re talking GREAT as opposed to solid, is during the opening sequence of Fred Olen Ray’s Bad Girls From Mars, where he plays an OTT actor getting an outer-space blow-job.  He’s now doing the American equivalent to those “Have you had an accident in the last 10 years…” commercials now, but we forgive him in light of his past good work.

Anyone familiar with the movie might forget that there is an element of mystery to the plot, refusing to be merely a “nutter with a chainsaw” movie it could have lazily been.  Ray throws in that the hookers might either just be killing their Johns for the sake of money, or that they are picking them up for the purposes of supplying wealthy, elderly clients with new body parts, and keeps the Egyptian chainsaw-worshipping cult for later on in the movie.  Many other directors would have just thrown it in from the start to have more immediate fun, but Ray layers the script and gets much more out of it in the long run.  Such restrain is also shown through the almost simplistic music running throughout the movie, really setting the atmosphere and giving a bleak, ominous tone to the proceedings, almost as though it’s the better educated cousin of the score to Herschel Gordon Lewis’ Blood Feast.  See what we did there?  Egyptian cult movie to Egyptian cult movie…

Next on the Muppet Show: The Virgin Dance of the Double Chainsaws!  Yaaayyyy!!!

The chainsaw scenes are comparatively tame next those shown in other movies, not only because of being played strictly for laughs, but also due to the amount of gore shown being in pretty much in the same league as the original  Texas Chain Saw Massacre. The one the exception comes in the form of a severed hand gag, registering as intriguingly similar to a sequence which didn’t make the final edit of Texas Chainsaw Massacre Part 2, only that set of disconnected digits was flipping as defiant bird.  Still on the subject of similarities with other genre classics, our hero finds himself splattered in the face by the blood of a dying baddie in much the same way Bruce Campbell was drenched at the climax of The Evil Dead - both playing it for gruesome laughs!   Hollywood Chainsaw Hookers has been successful out to score it’s own imitators, but none have even come close, rather like a dinner-lady tasting a gourmet meal and attempting to assemble the ingredients in the school canteen by taste alone.  You only have to watch as much as you can stand of the awful Bloodsucking Pharaohs in Pittsburgh to find that imitation is the sincerest form of rip-off.

Linnea Quigley is a delight as young runaway Sam, and even though she was about 30 at the time, successfully plays younger than her years and exudes an immense likeability which she never quite recaptured over the course of so many other films.  Here she is a winning combination of naïve, smart, funny, demure and hyper-sexual, possessed of no small amount of charm whilst still able to take the most magnificent head butt, with actually connecting but refusing to break character!  The chemistry between Quigley and Richardson is priceless, with the film being all the more entertaining for it, even forgetting the uneasy feeling that there was a significant age difference between the two characters.  Keep an eye out for when she comes out of the sarcophagus for the aforementioned Virgin Dance of the Double Chainsaw: yeas, she is under the influence of mind-altering hypnotics, but the glazed expression on her face comes from being in an enclosed space whilst sucking up exhaust fumes!

Most would assume that Gunnar Hansen got there through a single entry on his CV alone, and they would be pretty much right, but here he shows that comedy really is a concept he can get a hold of, and not just skidding around corners whilst wearing cowboy boots.  The smooth voice is ridiculously at odds with his hulking frame, and perfectly suits the juxtaposition between The Great One’s pretentious dialogue and the intrusion of real life in to his strange world.  This is perfectly illustrated when Chandler makes fun of Hansen having trouble getting his chainsaw started, prompting his to snap “…ah, shuddup!” in a manner not usually reserved for the high priest of an ancient Egyptian chainsaw-worshiping cult.

Screencap - looks bleedin' great, dunnit???

The oddball charms of Dukey Flyswatter (aka Michael Sonye of punk band Haunted Garage) are showcased here in a few scenes far better then they were in an entire movie of Surf Nazis Must Die.  This is the guy who co-write video-nasties favourite Frozen Scream, for Chrissakes!  Fred’s ex-wife Dawn Wildsmith plays the strung-out hooker who cuts up a couple of clumsy cops with a deeply unsettling menace, spitting out her lines as though each were hydrochloric acid burning her mouth.  Why is she as effective?  Fred has very effectively cleared up both this mystery and his relationship with her was eventually doomed to fail with the simple words: “She really was that nasty in real life…”

Above most other things which make the movie work is that it’s possessed of an energy and zeal many other low-budgeters would love to emulate.  Fred Ray has the intrinsic gift of wringing the most out of every resource, and making sure that the proceedings are still as fun as those costing infinitely more.  Just because you haven’t exactly got money to spare, there is no excuse for having things be leaden to the point of tedium.  Yes,  Hollywood Chainsaw Hookers uses a load of the familiar cost-cutting measures, but it hides such things by papering over them with  a light covering of vivaciousness as opposed to clumsily sticking a wardrobe in front of it all.  If we had to be honest, the only area where the low budget seriously shows is when the action switches to the suburban LA Egyptian temple, and in spite of Fred Olen Ray working his usual magic of raiding props from other productions (in this case, Grace Jones’ sarcophagus from the movie Vamp) the whole area seems rather cramped, but it’s unsurprising when you find out just where it was shot…

In another edition of “It’s a Funny Old Movie World”, and this time we point out that Michelle Bauer originally danced to a completely different song during her striptease in Hollywood Chainsaw Hookers to the one eventually dubbed onto the completed film (we think it’s Elvis’ She Wears My Ring),  leaving her carefully choreographed movements looking nonsensical, much to her chagrin.  In this particular Funny Old Movie World, co-star Linnea Quigley suffered the same fate three years earlier when her striptease in Return of the Living Dead to “ Nasty Girl” was rendered illogical when the track was changed to Tonight We Make Love ‘Til We Die in post-production.  Don’t expect another edition of “It’s a Funny Old Movie World” any time soon, as we only came up with it as a mediocre segue for imparting an instance of coincidence between two of the cast of Hollywood Chainsaw Hookers without resorting to any degrees of Kevin Bacon.

Michelle Bauer is just out of shot - he's not stroking his spoke!!

The fate of Hollywood Chainsaw Hookers when it went up against censor-boards on both sides of the Atlantic are tragic.  The aforementioned retitling in the UK was a result of James Ferman’s idiotic and inflexible stance that power tools used as murder weapons would promote a rash of copycat crimes, but that  Hollywood Chainsaw Hookers introduced a sexual element was beyond the pail.  The deal was this: remove all instances of chainsaw gore, sexual gratification obtained by said chainsaw gore, along with other token cuts and change the title (as the word “Chainsaw” was offensive when used in a sexual context…) and everything would be hunky-dory.  The  resulting video was almost ridiculous, with Colourbox putting up a card after the movie to apologise for the ruined version viewers had just watched, and were not shy about pointing the finger of blame.  Ray himself was annoyed with the title change alone, stating that: “…they [i]basically gutted the joke” of the premise, as proven by the rendered-redundant tagline of “They charge and arm and a leg”.

Before it even got the opportunity to enrage the BBFC, Ray took the movie the MPAA, where he expected the content of it to pass with no problems.  He was wrong.  In fact, the censors (who were notorious at the time for being petty when it came to horror films) demanded the merest of token cuts totalling literally a few seconds (spread over the course of the main gore scenes!) but Ray was incensed that the board were victimising him and because he was a low-budget independent.  He refused to cut a frame out of principle, and so he passed up the valuable “R”-rating which would probably have bolstered his name as a maker of theatrical movies rather than the assumption he was straight-to-video, and might even have seen him get picked up by a studio.  At the Schlockfest in 1995, Ray lamented how his rather bull-headed approach to the MPAA let a potential theatrical hit slip through his fingers.

Ah yes, the dear old Schlockfest.  Fred and Michelle Bauer were the guests of honour at a packed Everyman Cinema in Hampstead, including interviews with them, autograph sessions and a screening of the only 35mm print of Hollywood Chainsaw Hookers in existence!  It was that screening where we realised it was so much better made than any crappy video release had proven, not to mention the first time the uncut version had been played in the UK.  We had the pleasure of meeting Fred & Michelle, popping their John Hancocks on to various things (including a copy of HCH already signed by Hansen) and chatted about a few things.  We asked him about the curiously long play-out on The Alien Dead, and Fred seemed quiet engaged and relieved that it was something obscure!  The pic below was taken after one or two sherbets, and Ms Bauer was surprisingly amenable considering one of us trod on her rather expensive handbag whilst getting into the shot!  For the big screening, we managed to smuggle in one of Pizza Hut’s finest, and the waft of freshly-cooked Italian food filled the auditorium. We little in the way of shame about it, because as great a venue as the Everyman was, they charged the earth for food aimed strictly at upper-middle class cineasts.  Be it at home or in front of the silver screen, Hollywood Chainsaw Hookers and pizza (along with alcohol…) are the basis for a damn good time.

Now, how does it all look…

Identites have been withheld to protect the guilty...

Video


There is a statistical probability which determines that over 99.999 percent of anybody who has ever seen Hollywood Chainsaw Hookers has done so on home video, leaving the minute amount to did get to see in in the confines of a cinema in an exclusive club of being able to determine just how it originally looked.  You read a lot of reviews on other sites where the image quality is matched against the memories of those harking back 30 or 40 years, and we’re always sceptical about such recollections.  In the case of us and Hollywood Chainsaw Hookers, yes it was 20 years ago, but with the Colourbox edition being so utterly mediocre - crap, even - we were absolutely blown away by how the 35mm print looked.  No longer did it appear that it was filmed by an undergrad DP on videotape - this was a professional movie really deserved better than the VHS Hell which awaited it.  THIS is why we are able to comment on how it’s supposed to look!

The transfer here is just as big a revelation, looking as filmic as you could hop to get.  Yes, there some initial wobbles, with a green tramline running down the right hand side of the screen for the first few minutes, along with some print debris, but this is because it had to be restored from an answer print, as Ray himself explains in the commentary.  However, once it has settled down, it’s nothing short of stunning!  The level of detail is wonderful, from Jay Richardson’s piecing blue eyes to the intricacy of Linnea Quigley’s body-paint, you’ll see it not only as never before, but as you never though possible!  Did you notice the VHS copy of Armed Response on a hooker’s mantelpiece before?  No?  Nor did we, until now!  The resolution is so good that you wonder how the Hell you missed it all the other times!  We have to say that naked bodies look just jaw-dropping in 1080P, and the way said flesh is so perfectly and deliciously delivered into your home theatre, you'd be forgiven for thinking that the disc was mastered in Wonkavision!  The general thought is that all 80s low-budget movies looked like shit, as though made on video rather than for it.  88 Films’ Blu-ray of Hollywood Chainsaw Hookers changes all that, bringing both proof of competency for a generation of under-appreciated DPs and a newfound respect for their work.  Tops!

Audio


OK, it’s a low budget B-movie, so we all know exactly what to expect: a crappy, lossy mono mix, dumped from videotape onto Blu with all the grace of BigTrak’s trailer depositing its load.  No ‘effing way!  Not only do we have a DTS:MA 5.1 remix for your listening pleasure, but should you want a more faithful rendering of the original mix, then you’ll want to select the DTS:MA 2.0 option!  The multi-channel track gives a very nice experience, with a number of effects nicely sent to the rear speakers, and dialogue rooted firmly in the centre, along with making a nice show case for the previous-mentioned score.  There are no audio glitches to worry about, with the music given a slight reverb to enhance the encompassing effect, which is all you could expect from such a sonic do-over of a movie made under the same tight constraints.  The 2.0 stems are just as good, if not a hair better, presenting Hollywood Chainsaw Hookers as it originally (and reluctantly) played in the seediest of X-rated dives in America.  Prepare to snigger: not even the 1000 piece limited edition release in America had either of these two mixes: it only came with Dolby Digital 5.1.  Well, we did have to wait for bloody years to get the uncut version, so why shouldn’t we get something a little more advanced?

Audio Commentary #1: Fred Olen Ray sits down with fellow director David DeCocteau to thunder their way through Hollywood Chainsaw Hookers, and they certainly have a blast whilst doing so.  DeCocteau is no passive moderator, as both operate in the same world and know each other very well, allowing for a genuine duologue to take place, and it’s everything you could want to know.  Having thoroughly enjoyed LaserDisc commentary with Ray found on Dinosaur Island, we had high expectations and are very happy to report that this is every bit as fun, not to mention as information-stuffed.

Topics range from Ray’s wry statement about Hollywood Chainsaw Hookers overshadowing the rest of his career: “I think there are people out there who actually think I haven’t worked since I made this, but I keep kind of reminding them that I make about four films a year right now, that they’re just not seeing them!” to just how and where he saved money on the movie: “These are the Aztec temple sets from House II…we rented these.  You’ll be surprised what you can rent in this town!  Everything has its price!”.  Best of all is the tale of the most canny actor in the B-movie world.  “ This is Jerry Miller driving the police car,” points out Ray, “…a retired guy who owned his own police car, and he would rent it out to low-budget movie for a reasonable amount, but you had to put Jerry in the movie!  He had his own uniform and [his badge] said ‘Murphy’, so it’s always Officer Murphy, and he appears in movie after movie after movie!”  There is so much to be enjoyed here, be it the fates of various cast members or introducing Gunnar Hansen to the lucrative convention circuit, this is an audio commentary everyone will enjoy.  Fred Ray is second only to the mighty John Waters in the audio commentary stakes, and that is no faint praise.  Ray provides insight, context, wit, entertainment and guerrilla-film school every time you sit down to listen to him, and we can’t get enough of the guy.

Audio Commentary #2:  Calum Waddell and Justin Kerswell cast a critical eye over the high point of Fred Olen Ray’s CV, but both certainly sharing an affection for the movie and an admiration for Ray’s longevity in the business.  There is a lot of meat to both chew and digest, and worth 73 minutes of anyone’s time as they not only pronounce HCH as inhabiting the “Slasher Noir“ genre, but it being the very first spoof Slasher Noir!

Niggling questions you might have are answered by the guys, including the confirmation that the “Boycott Britain” signs shown in Bauer’s apartment were put in as a protest against the BBFC.  While you might think that Ray was some kind of psychic in predicting the problems HCH would have when seen by James Ferman & co, it’s not the case:  the source of the umbrage was the cutting of Fred’s previous horror opus Scalps. The Tennant-like tones of Waddell recall an sympathetic interview with Fred Ray by Chas Balun, which really opened up the world of Fred to him, and we’re pretty sure we read that one at the time!  Both participants share a dislike for the very town in which HCH is set, and LA really comes in for a bit of a pasting, with the best shot coming from Kerswell: “When I’ve been down Hollywood Boulevard, the thing that kind of strikes me as the perfect encapsulation of Hollywood is seeing a human turd on a star”.  

If we had to pull them on one little thing, it’s that mention of Michelle Bauer’s association with porno tells of  how although she appeared, she didn’t actually do any “action” in them.  We hate to burst Mr Waddell’s bubble, but unless he’s taking the Clinton/Lewinksy approach of what does/doesn’t constitute “sex”, then a blow-job definitely counts.  In spite of such trivial nitpicks, this is really good stuff, and great to hear critics watching what is essentially a T&A comedy without being snobby or pretentious about it in any way.  Anyone who sat through the infuriating commentary on the Pathfinder release of The Monster Club will be with us in our hatred in deriving cheap laughs from anything not perceived as “high art”, and will find much to like here.

Theatrical Trailer:  Narrated in typically laconic fashion by Jay Richardson, this is a pretty nice - and  revealing - introduction to the movie, showing many of the money-shots and enough stuff to get the target audience running for their wallets.  It shows great stuff and leaves plenty to find out for yourself, as all good trailers should. Apart from the bizarre choice of running a chunk of the opening credits at the end of it, this a is the perfect way to market the film, and just when it all might sound a little too smug, Richardson intones that it has: “…a cast of thousands” when four drunken extras running across the screen and back to (poorly) simulate many more!  This is the marketing equivalent of flypaper!!

Fred Olen ray’s Nite Owl Theatre: An intro filmed for Fred’s Retromedia DVD banner, our man with the cigar gets our feet wet (along with other fleshy outcroppings) for Hollywood Chainsaw Hookers, taking us on a tour of his palatial abode wherein we find a bunch of slinky gals playing topless Twister as everyone has a good time, including his long-time wife Miss Kim.  Watch, enjoy and wonder what the Hell is going on!

[image4]

Remembering Hollywood Chainsaw Hookers: 27 Years Later: Now we come to the absolute jewel in the extras crown with this entrancing look back at the movie, and fronting it all are Fred Olen Ray, Michelle Bauer, Jay Richardson, and Ray’s associate David Decoteau.  This covers some of the same ground as other material found here, but the years have seen a real fondness for the movie develop among them, maybe more so than they have for it when it was still fresh in their minds.  Everybody on here has nothing but happy memories and affection for everything about it, and there is hilarious anecdote after hilarious anecdote, including Richardson noting how it was patently obvious he wasn’t a smoker when making the movie!  Said actor also amusingly recalls his response when contacted about appearing in it: “…Do I want to be in a movie called ‘Hollywood Chainsaw Hookers’….Hell yes!” The nature of Fred Ray’s movies means that he reuses a lot of the same people, creating a bond between them which makes working together a pleasant experience rather than just business, and this is one of the main things you come away with when watching this documentary: they all have a genuine affection for each other.  In most jobs where glamour and looks are key, it’s the norm to find women with varying degrees of success hating others in their field, seeing them purely as rivals, but there is none of that here, and it’s heartening.  This look at Hollywood Chainsaw Hookers was bliss - pure bliss, loaded with laughs and an enveloped by an all-too-rare feeling of warmth.  The chainsaw treasures found within are best left to discover for yourself, but Richardson puts the lightning-in-a-bottle success of it best when asked about a sequel: “We’d better not.  Better just leave it alone.  We got by with this one…just don’t ask why”.

Archive Making Of Documentary:  Clocking it at just over 20 minutes, this is a mix of (comparatively) new footage of Fred discussing the production and distribution of the movie, along with older stuff with Michelle Bauer and Linnea Quigley chipping in some of their thoughts.  OK, it’s exclusively talking-heads, but what they have to say is pure gold for fans of the movie, opening up memories from three different perspectives.  About the only gripe we have is that the Bauer and Quigley interviews are culled from the Roan Group Laser Drive-In LaserDisc release from 1995.  Not that this is bad, as most won’t have seen it, but we brought it at around the time it came out, so am familiar with it all.  It’s a great inclusion, and nice to seen the girls mid-point between then and now, particularly if you haven’t heard about Bauer’s experiences on the shoot of the Grace Jones movie Vamp.

The advert and the reality!!

Linnea Quigley’s Horror Workout: Those wonderful folk at 88 Films just keep on giving, and here we have the legendary Horror Workout from America’s premiere 80s Scream Queen.  This is the stuff of legend to British Fangoria readers who saw the advert frequently printed among its pages and dreamed at what might be.  Of course, even through to the mid-90s the idea of being able to play NTSC tapes in the UK was a ridiculous concept, so they had to go back to squinting at Rosemary Connelly.  Wait no longer, folks - it’s right here!!!  Watch as the ex-Mrs Steve Johnson bumps and grinds her way through a series of archetypal horror situations in an elaborate parody of the Jane Fonda Workout video so very popular in the 80s.  Zombies, slashers, Satanists - they all join in to get those bodies moving, or at least what’s lefts of them in the case of the former.

Originally brought about through Murder Weapon director Kenneth J Hall’s quip that staging death scenes were like choreographing an exercise routine, he and his star decided to take to the logical conclusion and come up with a full-on Horror Workout.  With gleeful abandon and logs of vigour, Ms Quigley not only gets to burn a few calories, but also breaks the 4th wall whilst delivering quips on a few occasions, whilst not threatening the the-current Moonlighting in that field, but doing a neat job all the same.  For those interested in Linnea for more than just her comedic prowess, she gets her tits out within the first minute as she lathers up in the shower to be squeaky clean for getting all sweaty.

Structured with segments including standard workout by herself (in the much posterfied metal bikini) before staging a Thriller-like bout of zomb-aerobics, as they all try to finish their routine before the rapidly-setting sun completely obscures the proceedings.  Finally, she bumps & grinds with a bunch of equally easy-on-the-eye chums, all dressed in unavoidably 80s leggings and Lycra.  Not to make it our mission to point our any flaws during the aerobics sessions, but one or two of the other girls joining in are quite obviously not as adept at keeping to the beat as our girl with the lungs.  We won’t say how out they are, but let’s hope for their boyfriends’ sake they weren’t favouring the rhythm-method over any other form of contraception.  

Get this: it also comes with an audio commentary!  Yep, Quigley herself and director Kenneth J Hall guide you through such strenuous living, and they lift the lid on just how punishing it was to get the whole thing in the can (or on the tape…) in a mere two days, from the elements taken from Elvira’s Movie Macabre, which personnel pulled either double or triple duty, right down to the creepy fact that the opening sequence of lengthy Quigley nudity was filmed in her parents’ shower!  It’s both breezy and informative, making up for her lack of participation elsewhere on the disc and you’ll find it as curious as we did how mention of her former marriage to Steve Johnson is quickly nixed, even before his name is even said!  We’re still pretty miffed about the whole Linnea Quigley’s Shop of Horrors opening day fiasco, but let’s all forget such things…

Ultimately, Linnea Quigley’s Horror Workout is a fun exercise in…well, exercise, and something truly unique, and if you wanted to encapsulate the 80s  Fangoria horror scene in one project, this is certainly it!  The girls are smashing to look at, the set-pieces weirdly fun and it might just give the muscles in your forearm a good workout.  Did we also mention it’s one Hell of a laugh?  No?  well, we are officially remiss!  It bloody well is!   But here is the thing: we find it hard to get our collective heads around: Linnea Quigley’s Horror Workout is presented as an extra.  An extra?!?  This is something which only had its belated DVD release 18 months ago, and the tape spent a couple of decades fetching eye-watering prices on the secondary market, and they are GIVING away?  Shit!  Are the guys at 88 Films part of a secret society of millionaire philanthropists?  

Booklet: Topping it off is a mini-tome containing an interview with Gunnar Hansen.  Conducted by Calum Waddell, it spans his entire career and contains some interesting points about the man which many will be both unaware of and fascinated by.  Did we also mention that the movie comes with a reversible sleeve and one of those mega-cool red Blu-ray cases?

Actual screencap - it really does this good!

Overall


Hollywood Chainsaw Hookers is possibly the best B-movie to come out of the 80s, possessed of charm and everything else you could expect - let alone want - from the genre.  Performances are both knowing and solid, Fred Ray’s direction playful and energetic, with the fun clearly being had whilst making it permeating the very short-ends it was shot on.  Any film which combines ancient chainsaw-worshiping cults, strippers, McCulloch-driven mayhem, tits, death by baseball bat, Linnea Quigley, tits, Gunnar Hansen, Michelle Bauer, tits, strippers dancing with chainsaws, tits and teenage runaways is always going to be of interest, but something magical which worked its way into the movie to make it more fun than anyone would have imagined.  B-movies are at their best when watched with beer and pizza, but Hollywood Chainsaw Hookers is more than just that: it IS beer and pizza.  It’s delicious, utterly satisfying, gives you feeling so delightfully giddy that you have to experience it again and again.

88 Films have released the definitive High Definition package, with a revelatory transfer and disc-bursting selection of extras which manage to inform without boring the arse off of the layman - and they actually entertain, too!!  This has been a labour of love from the guys, and it really shows in the final product.  If you want them to keep up the good work, express your appreciation by sticking your hand in your pocket - or if you are under 25, using one of those wanky contactless cards - and picking up a copy of Hollywood Chainsaw Hookers for a great night in which won’t cost you an arm or a leg!

Thoroughly recommended!


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