Hollywood Chainsaw Hookers (1988)

Alright, we’re through the muck of the first 300 editions of B-Movie Enema. It’s time to roll that odometer over and get going on a new batch of 300. To get this batch started, I need to cover a movie from 80s/90s B-movie maestro Fred Olen Ray. To be honest, I think there are only about five or six movies of his that I could choose from to cover… and not want to gauge my eyes out. So, I went with the classic 1988 black comedy horror, Hollywood Chainsaw Massacre.

It’s kind of hard to believe I’ve never covered a Fred Olen Ray movie before on this site. One could argue that the man made stuff that is ripe for the pickin’ by yours truly. And don’t think that this movie hasn’t come across my desk and been considered before. The same goes for his other classics like Cyclone, Alienator, Evil Toons, and Dinosaur Island. Pretty much every single one of those movies, as well as Sorceress, which he produced, has been sought out and vetted to be slotted in one of these Friday mornings, but always kept getting pushed back.

Considering I do have enough of his films, I probably can just go ahead and do a whole theme month. Maybe I’ll have to consider that down the line.

Fred Olen Ray was born in the mid-50s, and likely grew up on a steady diet of late night monster movies through his childhood and teenage years. He runs the distribution company Retromedia which often releases his own stuff, as well as some archival stuff, onto DVD. He’s best known for making mostly video store and late night cable type stuff. He often does action, a little bit of horror and sci-fi, and he often works a lot with naked women. I guess good for him, right?

Most of his movies are pretty much considered low to mid-budget and often not well received. For many, they can be good mindless entertainment with varying degrees of busty girls willing to take their clothes off and primary distinguishing factor is the color of their hair – or whatever shade of blonde they may be. It really depends on the movie you’re watching. He’s worked a TON over his now roughly 40 years in the business. With very few exceptions, every year since 1986, he’s either written, directed, or produced (or a combination of all those things) at least 2 or 3 movies a year. There are a few years where he didn’t get that many done, but very few. He’s kind of like one of my faves, Jess Franco, in that he just cranks the stuff out.

Considering he’s often produced films made by Jim Wynorksi in the 90s, I wouldn’t be surprised if he operates very similarly to another B-movie maestro, Roger Corman. Make movies cheap, make them fast, make sure you pay everyone, and try to get at least one person that will bring marquee value, and you’ll be able to at least break even every time you release a movie.

There are three things of note, though, about Fred. He’s made a lot of TV Christmas movies. I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s made a lot of the stuff my mom watches on the Hallmark Channel. I’d love to be over there one day and see his name pop up and then say, “Oh yeah! I know him! Cyclone! Man, Heather Thomas’ tiiiits!” and then hold my hands out like I’m simulating holding up a big ol’ pair of honkers. Surprisingly, to many of you at least, my mom would find that hilarious. Also, he loaned a nobody named Quentin Tarantino a 16mm camera to go out and shoot an amateur film called My Best Friend’s Birthday. That film is mostly lost, but it should come to no surprise that Tarantino would know Fred and owe something to him for the career he’s had. Finally, in 2010, Fred Olen Ray won a Daytime Emmy for producing a soap opera. So… how’s about that?

But we’re not here for a soap opera, oh no. We’re here for Hollywood Chainsaw Hookers! This stars Linnea Quigley as a teenage runaway. Of course, we all know Ms. Quigley for the several films she’s appeared in on this blog. Now, she’s being tracked by a private detective. In the course of trying to find Linnea, this detective comes across… get this… a cult of Egyptian chainsaw-worshipping prostitutes lead by a guy named “The Master”. Fuckin’ rad.

One of those hookers is my favorite scream queen of the era, Michelle Bauer. She’s been in a recent movie on this site, Nightmare Sisters, and would have been in many of the other Fred Olen Ray movies I could have chosen from. But I’m quite the fan of her look, er, I mean work. No, you know what? Fuck it, I’m gonna be this guy. Michelle Bauer is about a billion percent filled with the things I like in a lady. Growing up, I was always into brunettes most. I also often liked curly hair. I think I also liked that she didn’t look like a bimbo. She looked like she had a little fire to her, a little more than just a giggly, dumb look to her. She’s just super hot, okay?

See?

Also in this movie is Gunnar Hansen playing the Master. You know, I guess he would have to be that guy if you have a movie that features a chainsaw cult. Hansen was Leatherface in the original The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. He was born in Iceland and he and his family came over and settled in Maine when he was young. They eventually moved to Austin, Texas and that’s how he got to audition for Leatherface. After his second movie, The Demon Lover, he decided to move back to Maine to focus on writing. He wrote for and edited several magazines in the northeast United States. He decided to come back to acting in 1988 for Hollywood Chainsaw Hookers, which led him to make a bunch more movies in the 90s and 2000s. He died in his home in Maine in 2015.

I appreciate a few things about this movie. The first are the aforementioned Linnea Quigley and Michelle Bauer. The second, the not-quite-75-minute runtime. Third, Fred Olen Ray looking out for all the heathens who watch this movie.

Aww, thanks, Fred!

We then meet a platinum blonde hooker being interviewed while she sensually smokes a cigarette. She’s asked about a john of hers. She tells the story about how they met up. Then, they went to a place to do it. They had multiple trips around the ol’ Uranus. But when they finished, the john said he didn’t have the money and asked if she could cut him a break.

That’s when she went to the closet to produce a “sexual enhancement device”. Now, I’m no fool. I know this isn’t a French tickler, or a vibrator, or even a dildo. Of course it is a chainsaw. Come on guys, it’s the only thing that gets most of us off. A chainsaw right up the butt.

Right up the butt.

The interviewer asks what she did with this sexual enhancement device. She is kind enough to show the guy – by lighting that motherfucker up and doing the murder.

After the credits, we get the classic narrator from the private investigator waxing poetic about Los Angeles and banging away on a typewriter. Naturally, he’s got a 5 o’clock shadow. You better believe he smokes. If you don’t think he doesn’t have a bottle of hooch and a glass within easy grasp, then you don’t know private dicks.

He tells the story of the movie, I guess. Because he talks about how, back in June, some sleazy shit started happening. That’s when we see Michelle Bauer (credited in this as Michelle McClellan) eying some out of town man meat at the bar. This guy, Beau, is a grumpy guy and she says he needs some TFC – tender fucking care. He realizes she’s a hooker. She takes offense to his assumption, and says she does a social service for all the big construction types in the city.

They go to a motel and she takes him to her room. She’s got booze, and an Elvis poster, and candles, and a skull… er. That last thing is weird. Anyway, she gives Beau some booze and puts some music on. It’s Elvis. I’m not sure what Elvis song it is. I don’t care. I really do not care because the little dance she does to the music is just… Well, it’s just the tits.

Also, what’s this about a skull on her dresser?

Never mind.

I like that she dances around and casually pulls out a plastic tarp to cover her Elvis portrait because sometimes she just gets a little carried away. Bauer’s little giggle is hilarious and cute. She also puts on a shower cap that barely covers her head. She jumps on the guy and and starts unzipping the guy’s pants. She has him close his eyes for a big surprise. She comes back to bed with her chainsaw and cuts him to pieces while a bearded man watches form outside.

The private dick comes back. He introduces himself as Jack Chandler. He was hired to find a teenage beauty runaway from Oxnard. He was working on a case completely unrelated to the chainsaw business. He says as much too. He also says sometimes the people he’s paid to find and murderers intersect.

Chandler goes to see a detective who is directly involved in the investigation with the chainsaw murders. He’s looking for Samantha (Linnea Quigley), but the blonde that was in holding is not Samantha, but another blonde named Lori. Lori is our girl we met at the beginning. She was being interrogated by the cops after being picked up, and they forgot to drain the gas out of the chainsaw we saw her with. Indeed, she killed the cops.

Shortly after sending Lori back to the lock up, we see a couple lab guys going through a brown paper bag collected from West L.A. In the bag are three fingers, a matchbook, and a few other random items. Chandler nabs the matchbook to follow up on that later. He admits later to being unnerved by how Lori looked at him and his cop pal, Harrison. He feels like she and Samantha have to be connected in some way. But he thinks about that a little bit while he goes to see his “sorta” girl, Sally. I don’t know what they do on their dates, but I’m guess it just involves a lot of uncomfortable lounging on each other.

When Chandler has to use one of the matches from the book he nabbed at the station and notices the name Mercedes (Bauer) and a phone number. He decides, since Sally was apparently out like a light, to leave and continue the investigation. He says that being a dick is a 24 hour a day job. Just as he is putting on his clothes, Sally wakes up and immediately asks, “Where the fuck are you going?” Her continued berating of Jack continues as he comes back in with a voice over saying how she looked longingly at him and begged him not to leave. As he says she wished him well and gave him a kiss on the cheek goodbye as we see her flipping him off.

This is a very funny movie. I like that it is playing up to and using tropes of the film noir movies set in Los Angeles as well as using sex comedy stuff like Bauer’s strip tease and over-flirtatious lines mixed with her exuberant use of a chainsaw. Then you have the broader jokes like the voice over from Chandler (probably a direct reference to Raymond Chandler with his first name of “Jack” being a reference to Jack Nicholson from Chinatown) being overly romanticized while the action the screen is anything but. It’s just a well written script for an exploitation comedy.

Now, we meet Lisa, she was at the bar with Mercedes. She comes in with a suitcase containing what she calls “24 inches of fun”. She’s hired by a dorky, neurotic photographer who wants to take lingerie and nude pictures of Lisa with a baseball bat. He says it’s to sell in a calendar – that little leaguers just love.

As he keeps snapping pictures of her, she keeps getting closer and closer with the bat. He’s confused because he doesn’t understand why she won’t stop coming closer because he’ll be out of focus if she keeps getting closer! Well, duh, Herman, she’s gonna knock him out. She then gets her 24 inches of fun and cuts him up.

Jack calls Mercedes’ number and agrees to meet her at the bar. He’s a tad nervous because he’s pretty sure this woman has something to do with the chainsaw murders around town. He gets to the bar. He doesn’t know what to look out for. All Mercedes said was that her headlights were great. I saw that dance with my most favorite Elvis song ever now (even though I will never know its title). I tend to agree. Anyway, he decides to play the scene at the bar. However, it’s clear he’s an outsider and sticking out like a unsweaty, still human formed guy at an annual shunting.

That kid is the toughest of the bunch.

Jack shows the bartender a picture of Samantha, but he doesn’t recognize her – or at least claims to not recognize her. He then flashes a picture of a chainsaw he tore out of a magazine at Sally’s. Still no dice. Just when he’s about to show the bartender how he can make a shadow bunny on the wall, Mercedes shows up. They get a table to talk.

Now, I think I can understand what’s going on here. You see, Samantha is at the bar. She’s dancing. I guess that’s a thing that goes on at this bar. But, no offense to Linnea Quigley because she’s drop dead gorgeous too, but I’m guessing no one recognizes the picture of Samantha because how can you not stare constantly at Michelle Bauer in this movie?!?

Anyway, I digress. Mercedes is a little curious how Jack came across her number. Jack, obviously not aware of what she is, says that a friend passed on saying he was very pleased with the headlights and the upholstery. To which Mercedes stares at him with a scary hot smolder and says she’s going to fuck his brains out. You know this is a comedy or a movie not happening in real life because Jack’s response is… suspect.

Mercedes goes to get her and Jack a drink, and he starts to notice the cute blonde on stage shakin’ it for the people not watching. See? I told you! At least in this movie… Michelle Bauer is in the bar. She is getting the attention. When he realizes it might just be Samantha he tells us that he “could have been knocked over by a pubic hair!”

Jack is drugged by Mercedes. He wakes up in a bed where a sexy blonde says she found him in the gutter. She says they are in her apartment. She asks what he remembers, and he says that he was with a woman at a bar and he must have passed out. She reveals he’s been tied to the bed. The blonde is soon joined by Samantha and Mercedes. The blonde, Ilsa, and Mercedes start tearing Jack’s clothes off, but soon, another person enters the room. It’s a big, bearded guy who has been watching the murders that have taken place. He comes in, and as he’s Dracula shooing his bitches off Jonathan Harker, he asks how dare they act like a pack of animals in his presence.

This is Gunnar Hansen, “The Master”. He wants to have a conversation with Mr. Chandler. He says that he may not be so sure about being happy that he arrived. The Master has Ilsa climb on top of Jack and cut a symbol into his chest. Jack asks about the chainsaw on the dresser. The Master says it’s an important part of their religion. He says the chainsaw is the great force that unites all things. Jack offers his theory on what they are. He thinks they are cutting people up and selling limbs and body parts to rich people to keep them young.

The Master has the same reaction as I did – “That’s an imaginative theory you have there, Mr. Chandler.”

No, as we already know, the girls are not honey pots in some sort of body part exchange. They are minions, disciples in the Master’s chainsaw cult. The cult goes back to ancient Egypt. The chainsaw purifies the sins of the flesh and so on and so forth. Doing this apparently is to make them immortal or something. I don’t know. All I know is that Gunnar Hansen has a bunch of sexy bitches around him. I may have to rethink my approach to religion.

Anyway, speaking of rethinking their approach to religion, Mercedes is gonna cut Jack up. He asks Samantha to help him out. After all, she is the whole reason he’s in this predicament. Luckily, the chainsaw runs out of gas. Samantha is conflicted.

Ilsa and Mercedes leave to get gasoline. Samantha eventually unties Jack and tells him why she ran away. It wasn’t because of her stepfather. In fact, she’s bummed out that her mom kicked him out so she would come home. What actually happened was she had a friend in Oxnard who got mixed up with the chainsaw cult. She learned about them through the friend just before the friend wound up dead. Now Samantha wants to get revenge on these motherfuckers. She just didn’t want her mom to find out.

She wants Jack to get out of there, but he won’t leave without her. Samantha says she’s being taken to the temple tonight to be the prime sacrifice in their holy chainsaw something or another. She has no intention of being sacrificed. She plans to burn the motherfucker down! I like her spunk.

He won’t leave without Samantha. Samantha won’t leave without getting her revenge. So Jack has to headbutt her to knock her out and get her away from there. On the way back to his office, Jack mentions something that I think I have to ask myself the very same question at least twice a week in the year of our Lord 2021 – “Maybe we’ve let our religious freedom go to far in this country.”

Amen, brother.

But then he says the funnies line in the movie: “I’ve never been much for politics, but I kept thinkin’ about that pretty girl’s warm head on my lap and then I wondered how many other pretty girls would never be able to put their heads on my lap because they’ve been cut off by that refugee from the BTL Club and his slice-happy sluts. I started to get mad.”

I also like that he also says that his first instinct was to go to the cops but that was all the way across town. I really like this movie a lot.

At his office, Jack calls Harrison to get the cops to go to the temple. To show her appreciation for taking matters into his own hands, Samantha comes onto Jack. Sally comes in on them and decides to dump Jack. That doesn’t really bother him. I mean, Samantha’s Linnea Quigley. He thinks she talks like a Frosted Flake, but she does have a nice pair of knockers. So…

They start driving around looking for the temple. They can’t seem to find it, and Samantha doesn’t really know what it looks like because she’s never actually been there before. It’s then that the lamest joke of the movie happens. A lame joke that still made me laugh out loud.

I do have to wonder if the sign was made with their chainsaws. It is impeccably cut.

Okay, movie… Now you’re pushing your luck.

They knock over the sign and they get discovered by a member of the cult. They’re told to wait in the waiting room. Lisa and Mercedes come out to tell Jack that he’s gonna get killed, and how much Samantha has disappointed the Master, but he’s given her one more chance to redeem herself. That’s when Lisa produces a syringe with a whole bunch of yellow goop in it.

They stick her in the butt with the needle. Apparently they injected Samantha with the blood of their ancestors. The Master comes out and says that Jack is going to be an excellent sacrifice for their god. So they bring Jack out and put him on the altar, and… You know what? I really didn’t quite expect things to go full on Egyptian sacrifice in this final act. This movie has been quite the surprise all around. It’s funny, It’s about the easiest, breeziest 75 minutes you can ever spend. It’s got babes. It’s got Leatherface playing an Egyptian. What more could you ask for?

I guess the gods did hear our pleas.

At one point in this ritual, Ilsa, the High Priestess of Anubis, carries a bowl with motor oil in it to give all the babes and various followers a taste of the “blood of Anubis”. They even pump crowd noise to make it sound like there’s a whole stadium of people in there. Now, I’m all for sexy babe followers. I’m even okay with sexy babe minions using chainsaws. The drinking motor oil is a tad weird.

Oh, who am I kidding? I’m into it.

That guy gets it.

So Samantha is brought out to dance the “Virgin Dance of the Double Chainsaws”. She dances around and it’s hot. They bring Jack in and put him on the altar. He notices that Samantha is acting weird. The Master says she’s currently “one with the gods” and he gives her a chainsaw to sacrifice Jack. She turns the tables on the Master and chainsaws him to death.

Then, the moment we all came here to see – two sexy babes going at it with chainsaws.

Samantha eventually gets the better of Mercedes and kills her. She frees Jack and they make out. The cops show up and go to round up as many of the cultists as possible. Harrison goes into the temple and finds Jack and Samantha. Samantha realizes that the Master and Mercedes’ bodies are gone. Jack thinks that maybe, just maybe, the Master got away. He’s not one to buy into all that mumbo jumbo stuff, but he can’t shake the feeling that he’s out there somewhere.

As for Sam, her mom was happy to hear that she was safe. Jack decided to hire her as a secretary. He couldn’t really afford her, but she’s a nice enough kid. Plus, you know, the tits and what have you.

The movie ends with a coming soon title card for Student Chainsaw Hookers: Bad to the Bone! Sadly, I do not think that ever happened. I found this movie to be really, really fun. It’s funny throughout most of the movie. It’s got a teenage boy watching Cinemax late at night when his parents don’t realize what he’s doing vibe to it. There’s no way this type of movie could be made exactly like this today, but the lack of any deeper anything in it makes you realize quickly this movie knows exactly what it is and it is not embarrassed by that at all.

And I quite like that in a movie.

We are going to eventually return to the filmography of one Fred Olen Ray, but we’ll have to get to that in 2022. For now, we need to celebrate the season. Christmas comes a day early here at B-Movie Enema when I finally get to a movie that has been long requested and long held for the right moment. So it will be merry times indeed because we’ll learn that when a girl has a heart of stone, there’s only one way to melt it. Just add Ice.

Join me next week as I finally cover the immortal classic, Cool As Ice!

But! In the meantime, go over to Facebook and Twitter and follow B-Movie Enema there. Then, be sure to go to YouTube and subscribe to the B-Movie Enema Channel so you can get you some B-Movie Enema: The Series goodness! Tomorrow, it’s the penultimate episode of the season – 1979’s King Frat!

Right now, I think I’m gonna call this chick whose number I found in a matchbook. I hope she has a collection of chainsaws!

Hey… Waitaminute… Chainsaws? In Ancient Egypt?

2 thoughts on “Hollywood Chainsaw Hookers (1988)

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