Gruesome Twosome

Gruesome Twosome
Ddirected by Herschell Gordon Lewis
Sstarring: Elizabeth Davis, Gretchen Wells, Chris Martel, Rodney Bedell, Ronnie Cass
1967, USA

"The most barbaric humor since the gullotine went out of style!"

Wacky gore-hound guru Herschell Gordon Lewis (director of such greats as Blood Feast and Two Thousand Maniacs) returned to the genre after giving the gore film a rest for awhile and focusing his talents on the nudie movies of the mid-sixties, going back to the genre he started in. Regarded as one of his more "gruesome" movies Gruesome Twosome is still a campy romp with the trademark bad acting and poor film-making in general. Gruesome Twosome has a noticeably crazy old lady named Ms. Pringle (Elizabeth Davis and her mentally disturbed son Rodney (Chris Martel, this guy is really trying too hard in playing his part) who run a little wig shop.

Ms. Pringle lures young women looking for quality wigs made out of real hair into the clutches of her son so he can systematically slaughter them for their hair. Most of the girls falling into the clutches of Ms. Pringle and Rodney are from the nearby college where a young woman played by Gretchen Wells tries to figure out who is committing the murders. She becomes especially entangled when some of her friends go missing. Lets face it, Gruesome Twosome is a terrible movie with arm pit acting and a need to fill up time with extended scenes of sixties swing music. The parody and campiness of it all make it bearable, it puts a smile on my face when I see people like Lewis making dung heaps like this and getting a legit release.

The intro is probably the best part of the whole film, it begins with a couple of head mannequins with faces and wearing wigs talking. Director Lewis admitted to inserting this scene in at the beginning since the movie itself wasn't long enough for release. When you watch an H.G. Lewis gore film you get every cheesy pennies worth! The unintentionally funny dialogue and bad acting, the bad gore effects (although one scalping is particularly unrelenting and "gruesome"). Those who do not appreciate Lewis's films would do themselves good to watch a documentary on him or an interview where you can fully understand where he is coming from and agree he was an innovative genius in the exploitation film field. A fact I find funny about Gruesome Twosome is that the writer is a woman by the name of Allison Louise Downe. The funny part is the film has been called exploitive towards women since only they are the victims. I guess you could kill men for their hair but it just wouldn't be as effective.

-Richard Taylor



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