23rd Mar2015

‘Hollywood Chainsaw Hookers’ Blu-ray Review (88 Films)

by Paul Metcalf

Stars: Gunnar Hansen, Linnea Quigley, Jay Richardson, Dawn Wildsmith, Michelle Bauer, Esther Elise, Tricia Burns, Fox Harris, Jimmy Williams | Written by Fred Olen Ray, T.L. Lankford | Directed by Fred Olen Ray


he United Kingdom has an infamous history when it comes to censorship. The debacle of the eighties with many films, either good or bad becoming the victims of censorship is something that we’d rather forget. Films were looked down on even for having certain words in the title, with one example being Chainsaw which was probably because of the dubious connection to Texas Chainsaw Massacre.  One of these movies that dared to test the censors with such a name was Hollywood Chainsaw Hookers which 88 Films have now released on Blu-ray as part of their Slasher Classics Collection.

While there are plenty of chainsaws on show in the movie it shouldn’t be taken seriously and in reality doesn’t feature anything that should result in censorship, though it inevitably did.  As a parody noir it features plenty of blood and even a few flying limbs, but never reached the intensity of Texas Chainsaw Massacre, even though Gunnar Hansen was one of the more noticeable stars.  What the movie should be taken as in reality is a fun film about a private detective Jack Chandler (Jay Richardson) trying to save a young woman Samantha (Linnea Quigley) from a secret Hollywood chainsaw cult, with quite a few of its members being…hookers.

Just the fact that Linnea Quigley is in this movie will tell most fans of eighties horror what to expect.  Adding Michelle Bauer to the cast just adds to the Scream Queens attraction, and when you add Hansen himself this feels more of a horror event rather than a serious horror that wants to make any serious impact.  It may not make for the best movie, but with its controversial history and the fact it never takes itself too seriously it manages to become one of the most well-known horrors of the eighties.

Hollywood Chainsaw Hookers is a low-budget film that features the two things that were popular in a lot of slashers of the time, blood and nudity and has plenty of both on display.  It’s interesting listening to the commentary included featuring Calum Waddell and Justin Kerswell discussing the censorship issues in the UK, especially discussion they have on the most memorable scene featuring Michelle Bauer going crazy on her victim with a chainsaw and what their thoughts are on it.  It goes to show just how ridiculous censorship has been in the past, we just have to hope it never goes that way again.

Looking at the special features included with Hollywood Chainsaw Hookers there are actually two commentaries included for the main feature.  One of the main highlights for the release though has to be the inclusion of Linnea Quigley’s Horror Workout also with added commentary featuring plenty of insights into the creation of what has to be one of the most unique workout videos ever made.  With other features including interviews with the cast of the film there is plenty of behind the scenes features to keep any fan of Hollywood Chainsaw Hookers happy.  The level of quality put into the special features, especially the inclusion of the workout video show the level of respect that 88 Films have put into this release.

Fans will love 88 Films release of Hollywood Chainsaw Hookers and for the uninitiated they are in for a memorable experience of a film definitely of its time.  It may not be a very PC release with the level of nudity on show, but what do you expect from a film with a name like Hollywood Chainsaw Hookers? For people who want a horror film that doesn’t take itself too seriously and features some iconic cult horror stars, this is the release for you.

**** 4/5

With plenty of special features and the inclusion of Linnea Quigley’s Horror Workout as a bonus feature, 88 Films release of Hollywood Chainsaw Hookers is a very good release that should keep fans happy. It is available on Blu-ray in the UK now, courtesy of 88 Films.

Review originally posted on PissedOffGeek

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