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The Gruesome Twosome

USA 1967
produced by
Herschell Gordon Lewis, Freddy M. Sandy (executive) for Mayflower Pictures
directed by Herschell Gordon Lewis
starring Elizabeth Davis, Gretchen Wells, Chris Martell, Rodney Bedell, Ronnie Cass, Karl Stoeber, Dianne Wilhite, Andrea Barr, Dianne Raymond, Sherry Robinson, Barrie Walton, Marcelle Bichette, Tom Brent, Mike Todd, C.A.Dukes, Barbara Kerwin, Kim Kerwin, Nat Warden, Irene Stoeber, Michael Lewis, Robert Lewis, Frank Slander, Donna Merrill, Irene Speel, Joseph Delino, Sherri Lane, Ray Sager, Herschell Gordon Lewis (voice)
written by Allison Louise Downe, music by Larry Wellington

review by
Mike Haberfelner



Lovely Mrs Pringle (Elizabeth Davis) runs a wig shop with her retarded son Rodney (Chris Martell), and their wigs are made of real human hair. Now this wouldn't be too unusual, but since we are in a Herschell Gordon Lewis film, Mrs Pringle and son have a rather original method of getting fresh human hair: She rents out a room in their house to college girls, then Rodney kills them and takes off their scalps - for recycling, so to speak.

College girl Kathy (Gretchen Wells) gets a little worried about the many disappeared girls, so she decides to do a little investigating on her own - much to the dismay of her boyfriend Dave (Rodney Bedell). However, the first man she suspects of the crime is caretaker Mr Spinsen (Karl Stoeber) when she witnesses him burying bones ... but when it turns out he has merely buried soup-bones as a surprise for his dog.

Dawn (Dianne Raymond), a close friend of Kathy's, wants to rent a room at the wig shop - with the expected results. Worried about her friend, Kathy follows every clue there is, even if that means breaking up with her boyfriend Dave - and one of the clues leads her to the wig shop. Mrs Pringle tries to get rid of the girl with some feeble excuses but Kathy is determined to solve the mystery ... and soon comes face to face with Rodney, who immediately attacks her ...

 

Now this is a nice one: Herschell Gordon Lewis taking on the girl detective genre - but with his usual twist to it, meaning there is quite some gore thrown into the mix (if not quite as excessive as in some of his other films and the effects not terribly convincing). Quite probably though, The Gruesome Twosome is not one of Lewis' best films, its direction seems rather impersonal and functional and its black humour is not quite as biting as in his masterpieces - but taken by its own terms and seen as a mindless crime and gore comedy, the film is very entertaining and enjoyable indeed, and some setpieces are simply priceless, like the movie Kathy and Dave watch in the drive-in, or the two wigs talking at the beginning of the film - a scene added only at a later date to pad out the running time.

In short, no classic by any stretch of imagination, but good lo-fi drive-in fun indeed!

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review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Robots and rats,
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love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
-
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
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Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner

 

Out now from
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On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
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WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
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directed by
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written by
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starring
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out now on DVD