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Hollywood Chainsaw Hookers (1988)

DVD Cover (Retromedia 20th Anniversary Edition)
Director:
Fred Olen Ray Fred Olen Ray
Starring:
Gunnar Hansen Gunnar Hansen
Linnea Quigley Linnea Quigley
John Henry Richardson John Henry Richardson
Dawn Wildsmith Dawn Wildsmith
Michelle Bauer Michelle Bauer

5.5 / 10 - Overall Rating

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Genres: Horror, Horror Comedy, Parody / Spoof, Sex Horror, Slasher Film
Los Angeles private eye Jack Chandler is hired by a worried mother to find her missing runaway daughter, Samantha. As Chandler searches for her whereabouts, he uncovers an evil cult that worships an Egyptian god, whose followers commit human sacrifices with chainsaws to appease their deity. He soon learns that Samantha has revenge in store for the cult leader and his bevy of blood-thirsty, chainsaw-wielding hookers. --TMDb
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Review by Chad
Added: August 10, 2008
Today's film is a release that has taken some unfair criticism over the years - I've read reviews that say that it's "too cheesy", "too reliant on T&A", and of course, "the gore is extremely fake." To that, I reply: "Well, duh." Let's be real here... this is a movie directed by the master of cheese and titillation in one Fred Olen Ray, it features scream queens Linnea Quigley and Michelle Bauer in the leading roles, and let's not overlook the "you get what you pay for" title of Hollywood Chainsaw Hookers. With all of those things in mind, did anyone truly pick up a copy of this release with expectations of a horror classic? I should hope not, because that's not what you get; what you do get is a cheesy slice of slasher history that is damned fun to watch.

We begin with an introduction to Jack Chandler (Jay Richardson), a private dick who has taken what should have been a fairly routine case: find a runaway teenager who chose the glamour of the big city over getting "bounced on the wrong knee" of her stepfather on a nightly basis. He eventually finds the girl, Samantha (Linnea Quigley), but he also finds out what she's been up to: she's involved with a cult of chainsaw-worshiping lunatics led by a man credited only as "The Stranger" (Gunnar Hansen), a man who uses the sex appeal of his commander-in-chief Mercedes (Michelle Bauer) and countless other prostitutes to lure men into the waiting blades of a chainsaw. I think it should go without saying that getting on their bad side is a very bad idea, and that is exactly what Jack has done by sticking his nose where it didn't belong.

As you could probably tell by that synopsis, the plot is fairly thin and serves only to get us from one sex scene to the next chainsaw dismemberment; however, there's actually more depth here than what I had given it credit for going into it. It's not Shakespeare, of course, but going by b-movie standards, it's certainly deeper than it had any right to be. As an added bonus, the storyline itself is actually fairly interesting in a campy sort of way, even when we're not being assaulted with violence and gratuitous nudity (not that there's anything wrong with either of those). Besides, who can pass up watching a young Linnea Quigley, clad only in a thong and some body paint, performing "The Virgin Dance of the Double Chainsaws"? How about Michelle Bauer, clad only in a shower cap and a demented smile, going to work on an unlucky John with a chainsaw while an Elvis song blares in the background and the King himself watches on through the oily eyes of a plastic-coated painting? Here's a hint: those two scenes are worth the cost of the DVD alone.

On the acting side of things, I was once again surprised by some above-average efforts. Now, before I continue, I should point out that I'm judging this cast based on b-horror standards, not by those set forth by dramas and intense character studies - you're not going to get that here, and you should be ashamed of yourself if that expectation even crossed your mind. Jay Richardson is great in the leading role and plays the sleazy, wisecracking dick to perfection (and if you think the obvious "dick" jokes were lost on the filmmakers, think again), both Linnea Quigley and Michelle Bauer were obviously having fun with their roles in true scream queen fashion, and of course, we have Gunnar Hansen who... well, three out of four isn't bad. I love Gunnar as much as the next horror geek, but his performance here was downright dreadful, even if it was fun watching him rev up the chainsaw once again.

How about "the good stuff"? When it comes to T&A, one only has to look down the roster of who appeared in front of the camera and pick out the female names; with the exception of a few extras, all of them provided the goods in terms of skin, flesh, and jiggling boobies. Oh, and did I mention "The Virgin Dance of the Double Chainsaws"? The gore isn't on par with the effects found in today's crop of torture porn releases, but it was perfectly acceptable for a horror flick with plenty of comedic undertones, and... well, did I mention that scene with Michelle Bauer, a chainsaw, and an Elvis painting?

Overall, Hollywood Chainsaw Hookers is a film that offers nothing more than what the title implies: campy fun, over-the-top violence that could only have sprung from the loins of the eighties, and of course, plenty of T&A. It's true that it doesn't deliver any more than that, but sometimes, that's all you need for an entertaining eighty minutes in front of the tube. 8/10.
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Farley #1: Farley - added 08/11/2008, 12:31 AM
Is it just me or are some of those stills on the "Scream Queen Hot Tub Party " review as well?
Chad #2: Chad - added 08/11/2008, 06:24 AM
Indeed they are - Scream Queen Hot Tub Party featured clips from various slasher flicks, this one included.
Papabeer #3: Papabeer - added 06/08/2011, 03:41 PM
I saw this movie for the first time when i was about 16 years old, and been on the look for it for years.
It is not for sale in the netherlands, so last year i've bought it on ebay and i can enjoy this GREAT movie whenever i want.
Linnea is stunning and the first kill has to be one of the best "guy gets killed by naked girl with chainsaw" scene's ever.
9/10
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