Hollywood Chainsaw Hookers (1988)

Hollywood Chainsaw Hookers (1988)

With a title like Hollywood Chainsaw Hookers, it’s safe to say that there are certain expectations that the film have to deliver on: copious amounts of trashy, ridiculous sex & violence. If only the film actually delivered on the premise promised by the title then maybe it could have been regarded as a classic. Instead, the film has a number of glaring issues that prevent it from being anything but a curio of 80’s vhs culture.

The film wants to present itself as a film-noir parody inspired by the classic splatter film Blood Feast. The plot is focused around a grizzled gumshoe looking for a missing person amidst a spate of chainsaw murders in a decadent Los Angeles, and by saying that I’ve already made the premise sound more interesting than it actually is. The plot is horrifically paper-thin; with uninteresting characters, and a blatant misunderstanding of police procedure that makes me feel that the film had no amount of research put into it. The film wants to be a comedy, but it’s just not funny. There are at best a couple of jokes that I find mildly amusing, but the rest of the jokes are poorly written and fall dead on arrival. I understand that it’s difficult to write a comedy, but the jokes could have been so much better if the writers went all the way with the comedy instead of underplaying a lot of potentially hilarious set-ups.

The production value of Hollywood Chainsaw Hookers is really poor, the film looks as basic as it gets for the 80’s. The ‘cinematic’ lighting is very bland, and it doesn’t do the actresses any favors during scenes that are supposed to be erotic. Continuity is broken with horribly obvious inconsistencies occurring throughout the film. Most disappointingly, the special effects are almost non-existent. I think the effects budget was spent on one shoddily done effect of a chainsaw ripping open a character’s chest near the end of the film, because the other so-called “special effects” is basically the crew throwing cups of fake blood and plastic body parts at the actresses, which look as cheap and as embarrassing as it sounds. Part of me feels like it was done because the chainsaws used were real and there are a lot of safety concerns when using dangerous machinery that can cut through flesh like butter, but if Pieces could put the effort in to create a realistic shot of a chainsaw cutting through flesh six years earlier on a similarly low budget, why couldn’t the makers of Hollywood Chainsaw Hookers bother doing something similar?

The main interest behind Hollywood Chainsaw Hookers, however, is the star power. The films stars 80’s legend Linnea Quigley (Return Of The Living Dead) and horror legend Gunnar Hansen (The Texas Chainsaw Massacre). Linnea’s performance as the heroine of the film is actually not bad. Linnea puts quite a bit of effort into making a quirky and funny character despite being given a poor script, and her scenes are quite entertaining to watch because she’s a very charismatic actress who’s putting in more effort than any other actor. Gunnar Hansen, however, it’s quite obvious whenever you see his character on screen that he couldn’t care less about the film: giving a performance that I can only describe as the bare minimum. There are a couple of scenes where he gives a little bit of enthusiasm, but since it was near the end of the film, I think the reason behind his enthusiasm was because he knew his paycheck was coming soon. I mean, it isn’t like the man can’t act, Gunnar Hansen’s portrayal of a sympathetic yet psychopathic Leatherface in The Texas Chainsaw Massacre – a role inspired by mentally handicapped children which was an idea that Gunnar Hansen himself had – proves that Gunnar Hanson can be a very good actor when he wants to. However, I seriously don’t blame him for not bringing a first class performance on a film called “Hollywood Chainsaw Hookers”. The rest of the actors give similarly bad performances; apart from Jay Richardson who plays the lead gumshoe. It looks like Jay Richardson is trying his best to give a decent performance, but the character just isn’t funny, well written, or interesting enough to really make me care about him.

The film does has one redeeming quality though, at 65 minutes it’s one of the shortest feature films I’ve ever seen, and if anyone chooses to watch it the movie progresses very quickly and doesn’t outstay its welcome. However, in all honesty, feel free to skip this one. There’s too many flaws that make the film unable to stand out or become memorable. I wouldn’t even say it’s “so bad it’s good’, in my opinion it’s just bad. There are much better trash flicks out there that are funnier, stupider and more entertaining on bare-bones budgets such as Street Trash or I Drink your Blood. Hollywood Chainsaw Hookers was just disappointing, there’s just too much wasted potential.

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