The once beloved word Grindhouse has been so overused as of late when it comes to cult film that it is all but meaningless. Does it refer to the time period of the seventies before the mandatory “R” rating of all modern day film where nasty hyper sexualized violent movies played in double, triple features in small filthy theatres or small town drive-ins? Does it refer to the Planet Terror/Death-Proof double feature by Rodriquez and Tariantino which sought to reclaim the authentic feel of a double feature from long ago by using stressed film, fake trailers and a finished hardcore product which still packaged the same tame lame MANDATORY R rated viewing experience that might as well have been filmed on digital all along? Whatever the true, “according to Hoyle” meaning of grindhouse, Full Moon has recently released a ten volume series of movies which hopefully will introduce this overused phrase once again to a whole new generation of moviegoers most of whom, who cannot remember when it actually meant something.
Filmgore is a little documentary/compilation from 1983 starring Elvira, Mistress of the Dark. In typical Elvira fashion a snippet of film is played while Elvira, occasionally makes dumb puns about them, even interrupting the action various times to do so. This is really nothing new, yet because the film is called Filmgore the action this time is primarily devoted to grisly scenes of murder and disembowelment, again narrated by the famous Goth Goddess in her trademark cleavage conscious attire.
Is this good? It is difficult to say. While this was made in '83, the film samples were are all taken from the Golden age of Grindhouse, before the affordable VCR killed the entire scene, so at least its street cred is honest. And while Elvira is (and always was) a very poor narrator, making puns, jokes, and plays on words regarding adult footage that would strike most children as condescending, all the things considered, I would rather watch her joke dumbly about the depictions of onscreen gore than the Crypt Keeper any day of the week, despite his masterful effect work, rapier wit, and “killer delivery” of jokes so bad, they were evil. Any man who was a teenager back in the eighties will simply understand this…
Aside from the passable entertaining fusion of sex and violence which always carries this genre, Filmgore, as does any compilation, breaks down the strengths of the movies, which are as follows.
Blood Feast (1963)
Two Thousand Maniacs! (1964)
The Astro-Zombies (1968)
Carnival of Blood (1970)
The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974)
Drive In Massacre (1977)
Dr. Jekyll's Dungeon of Death (1979)
The Driller Killer (1979)
Honestly I can’t say if this is the best way to experience these flicks, because a two hour tape of kill shots pretty much exposes the best moments of each of any horror film, and some of them like Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Two Thousand Maniacs deserve to be experienced in full length first. But this time I have to give it to Full Moon Features. The film choices offered in this compilation are indeed from the proper Grindhouse timeline, and Elvira makes a nice bit of eye candy as well as a visual hallmark to discern the exact moment in history when unrated, underground horror forever became a big, breasty, R-rated unfunny joke. I am giving it a three because it is a disk of filler, after all, but you MUST subtract a skull under any of the following conditions:
1. You haven’t seen at least seen three of the films featured above in full length form.
2. You honestly don’t remember who the hell Elvira was (or at least why she was the first attractive female show host in history whose close-up camera never seemed to center on her face),
3. You have EVER checked Google Images to see what Cassandra Peterson looks like these days. (Seriously, I thought vampires were supposed to age better than that?)
Extras include the obligatory Full Moon trailers, and more content than many will ever need (or most will ever want).
Want your own bloody best-of? Order a copy here!