Well, the title of this movie says it all. We will be in Hollywood where we will follow a couple of hookers who use chainsaws to kill their unsuspecting victims. We know what kind of movie this is, they know what kind of movie this is, and they know we know. So, why bother watching it? Stay with me for just a little bit longer and you’ll find out. Hollywood Chainsaw Hookers is an eighties horror comedy featuring a lot of nudity and a surprisingly cheeky noir script. We will be following a private detective hired to find a teenager who ran away from home.
His quest will lead him to Hollywood where he will find her in, where else, a strip club. Jack Chandler, the smooth P.I. narrates the whole thing while constantly smoking and drinking. This creates that perfectly sleazy and hedonistic eighties atmosphere. It was funny to see such an outlandish twist on an age-old noir story. If you’re looking for the real stuff, check out seventies classics like Night Moves and Hardcore. Both of them feature a private detective looking for a teen who ran away from home. And while those stories took expectidly dark turns this one went a different route.
I don’t want to spoil anything but let’s just say that things will become very interesting during the final third of the movie. As someone who’s a fan of these cheesy B movies featuring gratuitous nudity and bizarre plots, I have to admit I didn’t see it coming. Hollywood Chainsaw Hookers is also an incredibly short (68 minutes) and pacey movie. And within the first five minutes, we get both full-frontal nudity and a lot of blood. I want to be clear about something, the nudity here is more just there. It’s not erotic or pornographic in nature. It feels more like “horny teenagers would love this” than anything else.
The whole movie feels more like a dark comedy than anything else. For example, the movie that led me to this one, The Night of the Demons, is equal parts horror and comedy. Here, everything is silly and tongue-in-cheek, including the gore. Something you realize when our voluptuous vixen claims her first victim, slicing them up completely nude with a chainsaw. When I say the words chainsaw and movie, what’s the first thing that comes to your mind? Yes, the iconic seventies horror Texas Chain Saw Massacre. The actor who plays the infamous Leatherface, Gunnar Hansen, also stars in this movie.
Apart from him, we’ve got our trio of scream queens led by none other than Linnea Quigley. You might remember her as Trash from another eighties classic The Return of the Living Dead. While most of the performances were quite cheesy, I have to single out Michelle Bauer and John Henry Richardson. They were both excellent and I especially liked John’s rendition of a stereotypical chain-smoking whiskey-drinking private detective. The director is a B movie legend Fred Olen Ray, a man with over 160 movies under his belt. I fondly remember watching his nineties oddity Evil Toons as a teen and loving it.
Ahhh, just imagine coming home one night in the late eighties and popping this video cassette in your video cassette player. Shot in just six days on a miniscule budget, Hollywood Chainsaw Hookers looks freaking amazing. The cinematography was absolutely dazzling, as you can see in the screenshots above and below. I think someone put in a bit of extra work to make this movie look really good and it fucking shows. It has that seventies grindhouse vibe Quentin Tarantino loves so much. The only thing it’s missing are a couple of foot fetish scenes. However, you shouldn’t worry about that because we will get something even better.
We will get The Virgin Dance of the Double Chainsaws! You’ll have to wait ’till the end to see it though but it will be totally worth it. It’s just as bizarre and sleazy as the rest of this movie. You can also practically hear Fred telling our cast what to do. Now you hold it up like this and look at the camera and make these faces. Oh yeah, I’m loving it, this is a golden take, yeah keep going, keep going. Actually, that entire scene was, according to Fred, shot just to kill some time. Eventually, it became hugely popular.
Moreover, the scene was shown on daytime TV numerous times despite it featuring nude Linnea. The producers of those shows thought she was actually wearing something underneath the paint. And there you have it folks, I’ve spent more time talking about a trashy B movie from the eighties than I’ve done talking about actual masterpieces. I guess I’m now that “they just don’t make them like this anymore” guy. And that’s okay.
Director: Fred Olen Ray
Writer: Fred Olen Ray, T.L. Lankford
Cast: John Henry Richardson, Linnea Quigley, Gunnar Hansen, Michelle Bauer, Dawn Wildsmith, Esther Elise
Fun Facts: The movie was actually shot on short ends, unexposed film stock leftovers. They were significantly cheaper than whole and unopened rolls of film stock.