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Nikita Vlasov
Nikita Vlasov

Hollywood Chainsaw Hookers(1988)

When private detective Jack Chandler (Jay Richardson) tries to track down a teenage runaway (Linnea Quigley), he runs into a cult of Egyptian chainsaw-worshipping prostitutes led by "The Master" (Gunnar Hansen).

Hollywood Chainsaw Hookers(1988)


At the time, the UK video release was not allowed to have the word Chainsaw in the title, so the film was released simply as "Hollywood Hookers" (a drawing of a chainsaw replaced the missing word on the cover sleeve).

The film begins with the disclaimer "The chainsaws used in this motion picture are real and dangerous! They are handled here by seasoned professionals. The makers of this motion picture advise strongly against anyone attempting to perform these stunts at home. Especially if you are naked and about to engage in strenuous sex." The film ends with the promise of the sequel Student Chainsaw Nurses, which was never made.

Jack Chandler: I'd stumbled into the middle of an evil, insidious cult of chainsaw worshipping maniacs. I had to wonder if we'd let our religious freedom go too far in this country, or maybe our immigration laws were just too lax.

Los Angeles private eye Jack Chandler is hired by a worried mother to find her missing runaway daughter, Samantha. As Chandler searches for her whereabouts, he uncovers an evil cult that worships an Egyptian god, whose followers commit human sacrifices with chainsaws to appease their deity. He soon learns that Samantha has revenge in store for the cult leader and his bevy of blood-thirsty, chainsaw-wielding hookers.

Jack Chandler (played by Jay Richardon) is a Private Detective searching for a young runaway named Samantha (played by Linnea Quigley) where he finds her involved with a Chainsaw worshiping Cult, led by the Stranger (played by the original Leatherface, Gunnar Hansen) and his chainsaw wielding hooker minions.

Wannabe film noir detective story with boobs, chainsaws, plastic corpse parts & fake blood flying around, cheap cardboard backdrops, bad acting, some involuntary humor and a certain charme & of course the great Linnea Quigley doing the chainsaw expression dance.

Samantha has gone missing in LA and her mom is worried! Don't worry mom Jack Chandler is on the case! A private investigator who's combing the dangerous streets to find answers. What does he find? An Egyptian god worshiping cult of chainsaw wielding women looking for their next human sacrifice! Holy smokes!

The chainsaws used in this motion picture are real and dangerous! They are handled here by seasoned professionals. The makers of this motion picture advise strongly against anyone attempting to perform these stunts at home. Especially if you are naked and about to engage in strenuous sex.

When private detective Jack Chandler (Richardson) tries to track down a teenage runaway (Linnea Quigley), he runs into a cult of Egyptian chainsaw-worshipping prostitutes led by "The Master" (Gunnar Hansen Leatherface from the original The Texas Chain Saw Massacre).

"They charge an arm and a leg!".Jack Chandler is a private eye tracking down Samantha the runaway. In his travels, he comes across a gang of chainsaw weilding prostitutes that like to carve people up for their cult.

Nevertheless, the kitsch-titled HOLLYWOOD CHAINSAW HOOKERS probably ranks as Ray's best movie, just for the moxie it demanded to begin with an absurd premise and follow it to its semi-logical conclusion. Seedy and deadpan-ironic detective Jack Chandler (Jay Richardson) gets hired to scour the bowels of modern Los Angeles for a missing girl by the girl's worried mother, only to find that young Samantha (Linnea Quigley) has gotten involved in an ancient Egyptian cult devoted to sacrificing people with their holy chainsaws. Just to make sure no viewer missed that this was a partial spoof of the TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE franchise (of which there had only been two in 1988), Ray cast as the cult's leader Gunnar Hansen, the same fellow who played MASSACRE's main monster Leatherface. On top of that, Ray has scream queens Michelle Bauer and Dawn Wildsmith serve as two of the "chainsaw hookers."

For most of his investigation, Chandler is blissfully unaware that the chainsaw-murders, in which prostitutes carve up their would-be clients, are taking place at all (there doesn't seem to be much news coverage of these bizarre murders for that matter). But as the snarky sleuth trails Samantha to a strip bar, he's taken prisoner by the Chainsaw Hookers, just on general principle. Samantha helps Jack escape, and he learns that her only reason for hanging around the cult is that she has a vague plan to bring all of the killers down for having sacrificed one of Samantha's girlfriends. Jack falls for Samantha and ends up joining her crusade, though he's not much of a fighter. The film's one big combative scene presents what I assume to be cinema's first depiction of "dueling chainsaws," as Samantha battles one of the hookers (Bauer, if I'm not mistaken).

One's enjoyment of the film's goofy, thoroughly profane humor will vary by individual: either you like lines like "you could have knocked me over with a pubic hair" or you don't. There's a bit of a quasi-feminist vibe here as the working girls labor to cut their johns into sausages (never shown in detail, of course), though one might point out that they still take their orders from a man they call "Master." Hansen arguably gives the best performance here. Sometimes he's portentous-- he claims that his cult was given "the chainsaws of the gods" by the god Horus. But other times he sounds like an ordinary cantankerous jerk, particularly when he can't get his chainsaw started to slice Jack into pieces. ("My dad used to get the same look on his face with his chainsaw," quips the detective.) That said, Linnea Quigley helped put the film on the trash-film map with her "virgin dance of the double chainsaws." The actress later claimed not only that she danced with fully running chainsaws, but also that she was completely nude and merely wore strategic paint to conceal certain areas.

This is the very definition of Grindhouse. There are several gratuitous shots of topless women chainsaw-ing through their victims, buckets of blood literally being thrown at them from off-screen, as they laugh in ecstasy. One could argue that in murdering their clients, this is actually an empowering depiction of women.

Although given a scant theatrical and then VHS release by producers Camp Video, Ray maintained ownership of the film and released it on DVD in 2001 in a letterboxed transfer and then in 2008 with an anamorphic transfer and commentary by Ray and co-writer T.L. Lankford (SCALPS). Scanned in 2K from most of the original negative, the MPEG-4 AVC 1.78:1 widescreen transfer looks mostly good given the budgetary restrictions and some sharpening (although not as extreme as on some of their DVD film transfers); however, the first reel of the negative went missing after HBO borrowed it to strike their television master so that footage had to be patched in from the film's original 35mm answer print. For the first seven minutes, the image is a little contrasty with harsher colors but it looks better than most of us are probably expecting a film of this budget to ever look; and yet, once we get to the negative source, clarity and crispness make a nice leap and it almost looks like a million dollar film (rather than a five-hundred thousand dollar one). The original mono track is dropped in favor of a Dolby Digital 5.1 upmix. It's not a stunning surround experience given the many buzzing chainsaws on the track, but it is not distracting either.

The retrospective featurette (23:14) from the DVD editions is carried over here where Ray reveals that the film was one of two ideas he pitched to porn label L.A. Video who wanted to go mainstream with the Camp Video sub-label. Ray had been brought in to rewrite the murder scenes for Trans World Entertainment's MOON IN SCORPIO directed by Gary Graver (who would shoot HOLLYWOOD CHAINSAW HOOKERS' second unit). Since Graver was doing an Orson Welles film festival in Europe, Ray directed the scenes with DP Scott Ressler (who had worked as assistant camera on THE TOMB and EVIL SPAWN) with the agreement with TWE that he could use the camera equipment on the weekends. He and Bauer separately recall the photo shoot he commissioned (and we see some alternate images) while Quigley recalls working with the chainsaws and calling in her husband/effects artist Steve Johnson (HOWING IV: THE ORIGINAL NIGHTMARE) to help Wildsmith paint her wardrobe for the climactic scene (and how clips of her in it played on network TV because the programmers did not realize she was nude with body paint). Ray closes with a remark that he expended more effort producing this featurette than shooting the original film; and, surprisingly, Ray has produced a new retrospective featurette for the Blu-ray with "Remembering Chainsaw Hookers 27 Years Later" (21:32) featuring Ray, Bauer, and Richardson. Ray and Bauer reiterate some of the same information and anecdotes while Richardson recalls how the film was his first chance to get back into acting and chuckles at his "one take performance" and how it led to years of additional collaborations.

An amusing extra is the vintage "Movie Time Hollywood Premiere" (3:53) in which later Oscar-nominated actor Greg Kinnear pays his dues condescendingly covering the film's premiere interviewing Quigley, Wildsmith, Camp Video's Jim Goff, Sybil Danning (who is "always interested in a seeing a good documentary"), and cabaret act "Les Stevens and the Lovely Carol". In both of the featurettes, Ray notes that he was not interviewed nor mentioned by the Camp Video representatives during the premiere. Also carried over from the DVD is the "Nite Owl Theater Intro" which Ray recorded with wife/current producer Miss Kim (BIKINI AIRWAYS) for the Retromedia labels first releases. The intro does not give any specificities about the film as Ray strolls through his "estate" and is tended to by topless housekeeping, but the outro gag does feature a chainsaw. The film's spoiler-some but amusing theatrical trailer (2:31) rounds out the package. (Eric Cotenas) 041b061a72


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