River Of Grass
Cozy and Lee go on the lam after an accidental shooting in Kelly Reichardt's debut feature
On Film4: 4 Sep 1:00AM
"Seeps With Carnage In The Most Barbaric Humor Since The Guillotine Went Out Of Style!"... Demented son scalps female lodgers for his mother's wig shop in this classic Herschell Gordon Lewis schlocker
After a slight lull in Lewis' hard-gore output (1967 saw the release of his go-go extravaganza Blast-Off Girls and the somewhat subdued, in blood terms, A Taste of Blood) he came back all guns blazing with this "Ghastly Color" tour-de-force.
Mrs. Pringle (Elizabeth Davis), a strange old woman who talks to her stuffed bobcat Napoleon, runs The Little Wig Shop, offering 100% human hair. She also advertises rooms to rent. Local college girls, looking for accommodation, are lured in and then thrown into a back room where Mrs. Pringle's son, the grunting Rodney (Chris Martell), promptly scalps and dismembers them with an electric knife. When Kathy Baker (Gretchen Wells), a keen mystery fan, becomes concerned for her friend Dawn's whereabouts (by now very bald and very dead!), she sets out, against the advice of her beef-cake beau (Rodney Bedell), to find out the truth.
A hilarious impromptu dormitory go-go dancing sequence is made even more intriguing by the overt presence of a bucket of Kentucky Fried Chicken wings (Lewis' other, equally successful, career in advertising led to this product placement from The Colonel). Also of interest is the swinging beach party scene which features the director's son, Robert Lewis, on guitar.
Featuring some inspired and truly original acting techniques and with dialogue as carefully crafted as "I think this kid has flipped his wig!", this is well-trodden Lewis territory.
Disembowelling, eye-gouging, drive-in thrills and drag-strip racing, The Gruesome Twosome has something for everyone.
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On Film4: 31 August 2014