H.G. "Gore-Gore" Lewis, at it again
Serdar S. Yegulalp | Huntington, NY United States | 07/25/2000
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Typical Lewis fare: sick mother-and-son duo run a wig store which keeps itself in stock through the scalping of unsuspecting college-student victims. (Boring alternate plot thread has Nancy Drew-like student tracking them down, of course.) Gross little movie made all the weirder with bizarre, nonsensical (shilling for hallucinogenic) interludes that Lewis threw in to pad the running time, like the foam-rubber finger puppets that open the movie. Controversial in its day, no doubt, but now just goofy. Tons of zombie-level acting and "corpses" that blink after getting butchered prove that the ragged charm of Lewis's movies are now, in retrospect, mere contempt for the audience. Still, if you like that sort of thing..."
(5 out of 5 stars)
"If you've never experienced a Herschell Gordon Lewis film this is as good a place to start as any.Everything,literally eveything about his ultra low budget epics is so wonderfully inept yet the end result is always hugely entertaining and compulsively watchable.The other-wordly like acting is a hoot.The camera hardly ever moves.Shots are framed badly.If you can take the excessive gore(which adds to the surreal tone)that is present in most of Lewis's films check a few out for something quite unlike anything you've seen before."
A mother, her son, and his new electric knife!
B-Movie Nightmares | Sparks, NV United States | 02/26/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"For those of you unfamiliar with the work of director Herschell Gordon Lewis, I advise you to start with 2000 Maniacs (his best in my opinion) or Blood Feast. For those who have seen those classics, I would consider this a "minor" yet worthwhile work along the lines of Color Me Blood Red. You get four good gore scenes, which may not seem like a lot, but when the movie only runs about 1 hr. 15 min. that's actually pretty decent.The plot concerns the elderly Mrs. Pringle and her drooling, mentally deranged son who run a wig shop. The wigs are made out of human hair which the son obtains by killing and scalping beautiful young women. Clearly the old-woman-helping-her-son-kill idea influenced several newer horror films, most obviously the classic Mother's Day. Mrs. Pringle also has a stuffed cat (I'm guessing a leopard) named Napoleon who she talks to repeatedly throughout the movie. Napoleon has a central role in this film; those familiar with Lewis' work will appreciate the fact that an embalmed animal can steal a scene from some of the human actors involved. Objects also become actors in the much-discussed introduction to the movie, which features two styrofoam heads with wigs talking to one another. It's this kind of low-budget inventiveness that makes Lewis' movies entertaining. Sure it pads out the running time, but what the heck! it's creative and bizarre. I also enjoyed the movie that was playing at the drive-in: the camera never shows the couple's faces but instead shows their actions at the dinner table during their conversation. Their hands pour beer, handle food, crush potato chips, and smash fruit in a way that corresponds with what they're saying. Truly weird.The heroine of The Gruesome Twosome is a meddling college girl who is trying to figure out the recent murders. Don't expect rocket science or great acting here. Do expect her and her college girlfriends to start dancing in unison, whether in the dorm room or at the beach. I especially liked the girl who danced on the bed while eating a KFC drumstick. Careful not to choke!The usual nice extras are here from Something Weird Video. There's a short film about wig making, Lewis' running commentary through the feature, and Lewis' gallery of exploitation art (print ads, posters and other promotional material from his films). I really enjoyed the ads, but in some cases the small print was difficult or impossible to read. My main complaint about the DVD (and every other Something Weird release of Lewis) is the inside cover. If you've never seen the movie before, don't look at it! It gives away key gore scenes in full-color close up. Other than these minor drawbacks, I recommend Lewis' horror films to fans of gory sick humor and bizarre, low-budget film making."
A Hair Raising Film!
Stanley Runk | Camp North Pines | 10/13/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"College chicks looking for a room to rent find it in Mrs. Pringle, on old loon who runs a wig shop. Problem is, the college chicks don't get to rent a room. Instead Mrs. Pringle shoves them into a dirty back room where her retarded(I'm sorry, Mentally Handicapped) son, Rodney, proceeds to slaughter and scalp them. Helps keep the wig business going, ya know!
Yes, what we have here is another Herschell Gordon Lewis schlockfest. His first three films, dubbed the "Blood Trilogy" were in collaboration with producer, David Friedman. The Gruesome Twosome is Lewis' first gore flick after the partnership dissolved, and in a way begins a new trilogy. All of Lewis' gore films have the same feel, but the three after The Blood Trilogy(Gruesome Twosome, Wizard Of Gore and Gore Gore Girls) are a bit different. The gore is a bit more nasty and the films just seem a bit darker and nastier. What makes Lewis' films more icky than many other films is that he doesn't do gore in quick cuts like most directors do. The camera is right there lingering on the carnage and it's not going anywhere. Rodney slices a woman's stomach open and then sits and playfully sifts through her innards. The squeezing and playing with organs would be elaborated on in the next two films, as well as Blood Feast 2. It's almost like it's own kind of pornography. The few gore scenes in this film are well handled and not bad looking, with the exception of the scalping victim where you can very clearly see where the appliance starts on her head. Lewis's gore scenes have an interesting mix of ultra fake looking mixed with very real looking.
For the Gruesome Twosome, Lewis appears to have, at the most, a half an hour of an idea. He just wants to get women into this room so Rodney can slice them up, but what do you do with the other 30+ minutes of the film? Lewis put the editing of this film into the hands of someone who ended up cutting the film down to less than an hour, so in order to add a few minutes of run time, he had to add that ridiculous intro with the wigs. But that's not all. The film is full of filler, more filler than any other Lewis film. One scene has girls in a dorm talking about the murders, then they abruptly stop and dance around on their beds while eating KFC!! After this goes on for about a minute you find yourself saying, "What the hell is this??" Throw in more pointless dancing on a beach and long sequence in which our leading lady follows a suspect, and you got filler, filler, filler!
But for all it's filler and not so interesting subplot, it's still Lewis and does still have his charm. It's not my favorite Lewis film, though it does have it's moments(there's a scene where some characters are at a drive-in theater, and the film they're watching is hilarious).
Needless to say it's for Lewis fans only."