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August 15, 2012

Movie Review: Filmgore (1983)

Directed by Ken Dixon

Starring Cassandra Peterson

Think back to the days of grainy film, from the mid 60's to the late 70's. Think back to the golden and formative age of gore-cinema, movies filled with voluptuous and untalented actresses who were more then willing to take one for the team, bare their breasts and be gleefully dismembered in front of the camera.

Buy Filmgore on DVD

Although Filmgore's premise is to deliver the goriest movies of this time, what it actually does is give a pretty comprehensive cross-section of retro forbidden cinema. From the truly terrifying (but not necessarily gory) Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974), to the true classic gore-fest's, including Bloodfeast (1963), The Driller Killer (1979), and the nightmarishly fun Two Thousand Maniacs (1964).

And then thrown in for good measure are movies like the hilariously horrible Drive In Massacre (1977), and the cult classic cheese-fest, The Astro Zombies (1968, and which stars two giants of the genre, John Carradine and B-movie film goddess Tura Santana). The remainder of the compilation is fleshed out with what can only be described as just plain old terrible movies, Carnival of Blood (1970), Doctor Jekyll's Dungeon of Death (1979) and Snuff (1976, and although a flop of a movie, it did have a gory finish).

All movies were condensed down to about a 5-15 min. shortened version of the feature, with our host Elvira (Cassandra Peterson), periodically interjecting with her ever-famous corny one-liners. She looked fabulous of coarse but looking back in hind-sight I wonder if she ever wishes she had fired her writers for consistently giving her the worst material imaginable.

With the way the film is set up, had all the included movies been entertaining, it would have been a total blast to watch, but since there are some real stinkers included, it bogs down, especially at about the half-way point when the gore element completely disappears and it kind of degenerates into a B-movie mish-mash of bad acting, bad camera work and alas, no gore. I would imagine the average viewer would probably give up on this film long before they had a chance to see the final movie sequence, which ironically is one of the best of the bunch, Two Thousand Maniacs. With that being said though, the first half of this compilation is pretty good stuff, chock-full of blood and guts, gleeful dismemberment, and grainy scenes of glorious mayhem.

I really believe had they cut this movie down from 2 hours to say 80-90 minutes it would have held the average movie-goers attention much better and left more of an impact. Students and fans of this type of trash-cinema will look past its deficiencies and probably have a fun time of it, the casual viewer might grow a bit bored with it (not everyone has the stomach for mega-doses of this type of cheesiness). And although not the best of its kind (See Mad Ron's Previews from Hell), it's still a fun and entertaining little trip back in time. The gore, when its there, is some of the best and most inventive of its era. For the most part, this is fun stuff, and for me personally, anything that has the voluptuous Tura Santana in it, is worth a watch.

6 out of 10 Reviewed by KennyB

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