The Girl Grabbers is the story of a Nick And Louie; a couple hoodlums who terrorize the streets of Greenwich Village where they accost passerby by knocking the groceries out of the hands of old women and squeezing the butts of younger ones. By doing the latter, they literally lived up to the premise of the title theme by the time it flashed onscreen, something so few films do anymore. If the film would have ended here, I would have had to give it four skulls just for its purity of premise. But sadly, Nick and Louie didn’t stop there; they spy a weird redheaded woman named Tania and follow her up to her place. Failing to rob her, they rape her, and that’s when they unknowingly set a revenge fantasy into motion that should have been the ideological grandfather to any Death Wish movie, but falls short.
The woman’s boyfriend Paul arrives minutes too late to stop the sexual assault, so he does what any movie protagonist does in such a situation to compensate for his feelings of inadequacy; he scours the mean streets looking for the two jerks, which leads him to a bordello where one of the girls, Lynn, just happens to be one of Nick’s working girls. So smooth is Paul, so lost in character as “one of the friends of Nick’s” that we as the audience can almost forgive him even as he has sex with Lynn. Of course his actions don’t go unnoticed. It turns out that both Nick and Louie are connected to a much bigger criminal enterprise - “a drug deal worth millions” - headed by a particularly unpleasant, high strung man named Frank, who can only speak in anger, threats and retaliation. He is none too pleased to find out that someone - anyone - is sniffing around Nick, for whatever reason. So when Paul comes sniffing around, they tie him up and kidnap his poor girlfriend once more to try and figure out the best way to make them all go away forever. Lynn is retrieved too, and Paul’s indiscretion with Lynn is soon revealed. So sensing they had so much in common, and to maintain the spirit of brotherhood Nick and Paul share partners once again, an awkward consent optional “four way” because Paul And Tania are strapped upright to their chairs for the entire duration of it. Of course Frank soon realizes in his infinite anger, paranoia and prudent wisdom that there is only one way action to deal with a man, his wife and a hooker who “know too much”. It is on a final grim car ride where a man and two women must make a desperate grim bid for survival.
This was a loose bit of sleaze that will find no resonance with any of its intended audiences, at least these days. Revenge heads will find little catharsis in the bloodless gunshot violence at the end, and sexploitation freaks will find little sauce in symbolic rape scenes of a redheaded woman being stripped topless then groped clumsily while her assailants cackle madly, for several minutes. By the time you are watching a product where a suggestive fade out or two would have actually elevated the action to a new level of dark drama than actually filming, playing it... you know that the finished work is probably better read about here instead of watched in its entirety as well. These girl grabbers just didn’t captivate me. (Take that, Gene Shalit).
Extras include several trailers of movies that are better and worse than this one, all at the same time. I assume you know what I mean by that…