Hollywood Chainsaw Hookers 20th Anniversary EditionGoing into a film with a title like Hollywood Chainsaw Hookers, you don’t really expect much: some chainsaws, some hookers… and maybe a backdrop of Hollywood if the producers are feeling especially ambitious. And as long as these are your expectations, you certainly won’t be disappointed. Made over a period of five and a half days in 1988 (hence the 20 year anniversary edition this year) for “between $50 and $58,000,” Fred Olen Ray’s film about a private eye who stumbles into a den of chainsaw wielding hookers after being hired to find a missing girl, has been called “the fourth greatest B-movie of all time” by Maxim magazine, a distinction it wears proudly. What criteria Maxim used to rank its B-movies is unknown, but I’m guessing this film got points for the title alone.

There’s not really much to the story, though the continuous voiceover by Jack Chandler (the aforementioned private eye, played by Jay Richardson) attempts to add a bit more substance to the plot than there actually is. The story centers around his quest to find a missing girl, though really all he does is sit in his office with his Indiana Jones fedora and hit up a few bars… in his Indiana Jones fedora, all the while doing his best Humphrey Bogart impersonation. Nestled in between our protagonist’s story are a few grisly scenes of soft-core porn and murder. This might be the time to mention that this film was produced by L.A. Video – a porn production company looking to go “legit.” Did they manage it with this movie? Not quite.    

Most of the scenes drag on a bit longer than necessary, but considering that the script is intentionally cheesy, it can hardly be blamed on the actors. For a movie that’s only 70 minutes long, Hollywood Chainsaw Hookers can really feel slow at times and even the excessive nudity doesn’t do much to alleviate this dragging quality. The film culminates in an underground temple where the various hookers gather to worship with their leader “The Stranger” leadenly played by Gunnar Hansen (Leatherface from Texas Chainsaw Massacre).  There’s an impressively tongue-in-cheek chainsaw battle here and one of the strangest striptease dances put on screen (it involves two chainsaws), but overall, this is a film for die-hard B-movie fans only. 

Zach’s Rating: D+
Perfect For: Those wondering what Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez’s Grindhouse was striving to be
Stay Away if: You’re looking for Texas Chainsaw Massacre

To purchase Hollywood Chainsaw Hookers 20th Anniversary Widescreen Edition, visit Amazon

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