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A couple of clarifying comments are in order. Herschell Gordon Lewis
contributed a brief introduction to the video release of DOCTOR GORE
(aka THE BODY SHOP), wherein he touched upon his collaborative efforts
with J.G. "Pat" Patterson, director and star of DOCTOR GORE. Patterson
concocted the "gore effects" for THE GRUESOME TWOSOME and a few other
Lewis movies in the late 60s. Lewis remarks that whereas 2,000 MANIACS
was a "five gallon" film (referring to the amount of stage blood
required), the Lewis-Patterson productions were "fifteen gallon"
pictures. Lewis does not describe DOCTOR GORE as a "fifteen gallon"
film -- he's only talking about the films he & Patterson made together.
Lewis has confessed (elsewhere) that his introduction to DOCTOR GORE
was improvised before he'd even seen Patterson's film! So take it with
a grain of salt.
This may be an "unfinished" film, but like some unfinished novels it does have an "ending." It's just missing some connective tissue.
Patterson has definite stage presence & a dry sense of humor, helping to make this simplistic show somewhat more watchable than it should be. There's an extremely bare-bones plot -- even BLOOD FEAST is more complex -- and a gratingly repetitive musical score by William Girdler. A bit of nudity & lots of skin. The entire middle section of the film involves the construction of a "perfect woman;" this is concentrated gore for the bloodthirsty, and laughable.
Patterson the director is in way over his head, but he tries hard to tell his story creatively, if it's possible to use Frankenstein clichés creatively. But the best reason to see this film (on Something Weird's DVD, if possible) is that it features a perfect Nashville weeper, Bill Hicks' "A Heart Dies Every Minute." Ain't it the truth!
In answer to Aschepler from Arizona's knowledge of Pat Patterson and
the Dr. Gore movie, the trailers were not from the 50s and 60s nude
movies. They were B Movies made around the same time of Dr. Gore. How
do I know this? I was in one of his movies and I knew Mr. Patterson. He
liked magic and was a great fan of Houdini. On a wall in his office
hung an autographed picture of Houdini. He was a gentle man who loved
magic and movies.
His movies are fun to watch and they go back to a time before computerization, when we were more easily entertained and less demanding. Creativity (good or bad) was alive and well then.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
During the audio commentary on Anchor Bay's DVD of "Dracula, Prince of
Darkness," actress Barbara Shelley praises the charm of the
"hand-crafted" special effects, observing that modern CGI effects are
so perfect as to be unreal. She cites the theory of the "flaw in the
rose," which says that the minor imperfections of a thing actually make
it more beautiful.
Sort of like Scarlett Johansson's nose.
The theory also explains why low-budget indie horror films (particularly those from the 60s and 70s) are so entertaining. The lousy camera-work, amateurish acting and crummy production values serve to highlight the occasional flashes of brilliance, and nowhere is that more evident than in "Doctor Gore," a hayseed Frankenstein opus shot in the foothills of North Carolina.
Originally released as "The Body Shop," the film was produced and directed by J.G. "Pat" Patterson, who also starred in the film. A former TV horror host from Charlotte, North Carolina, Patterson had appeared in a supporting role in Herschell Gordon Lewis's "Moonshine Mountain" (1964), and had served as production assistant on several other Lewis films including the lighthearted sci-fi comedy, "How To Make A Doll" (1969). A year before "Doctor Gore," Patterson had written and directed "The Electric Chair" (1972), an obscure death-penalty shocker that played almost exclusively at drive-in theaters in Georgia and North Carolina.
Filmed near Asheville, North Carolina, "Doctor Gore" tells the story of "famous scientist and plastic surgeon, Dr. Don Brandon," who, after losing his wife in a car accident, sets about getting a new mate with the help of his inarticulate hunchbacked assistant, Greg. That's right, Greg.
It takes chutzpah for a director/producer to cast himself as the lead in a horror movie, especially when he looks like Don Knotts and sounds like Pa Kettle, which Patterson does. With his white short-sleeved smock and perpetually hangdog expression, he looks more like the town barber than a mad scientist. Cary Grant he ain't. Neither is he a spring chicken, and the scenes of him smooching and rolling around with nubile twenty-year olds are almost disturbing. Patterson does have spooky eyes, though, which helps because it allows him to use hypnotism as the device by which Brandon is able to get the little hotties to ignore the bad comb-over and thirty-year age difference.
Our aging Lothario's dilemma is that none of the girls quite pass muster. One has the right arms but the wrong legs, which is a problem for a man of discriminating tastes. So Brandon decides to create his ideal woman from scratch, to which end he sets about murdering and grave-robbing in search of the perfect parts.
The first of many astounding scenes occurs early on, when the doctor attempts to reanimate a girl's corpse using aluminum foil, alligator clips, and duct tape. Yup, duct tape. (A thousand-and-one uses, that stuff!) Of course, things go awry as they always do in such movies, and Brandon (a chain-smoking Patterson, with the ever-present cigarette dangling out of his mouth) dashes around flipping switches amid a shower of bottle-rocket sparks, like something out of a poor man's Peter Cushing Frankenstein film. Which is really what this is.
In all fairness, the laboratory sequences aren't bad. The lighting and photography almost aspires to the level of a Hammer film--but not quite--and the gore effects are surprisingly effective. Moreover, several scenes were shot at historic Seeley's Castle near Asheville, a fortress-like structure that looks so impressive, the footage could've been swiped from an Italian Gothic horror film.
Unfortunately, it's all downhill from there. Which is not necessarily a bad thing.
In the scene in which Brandon brings his patchwork bride to life ("Anitra," played by statuesque cutie Jenny Driggers), Patterson made the critical discovery that Driggers couldn't act. She was so awful, in fact, that Patterson expunged almost all of her dialog in favor of a hilariously sappy voice-over. Till this point the film is fairly lucid, however it rapidly descends to a level of incoherence that suggests the director either died or ran out of money. Amazingly, neither was the case. After a surreal montage of previous scenes--set to the mournful strains of country singer Bill Hicks's "A Heart dies every Minute"--the film ends with the bikini-clad Anitra hitching a ride from some guy in a beat-up van while hubby sits in jail, mad as a baboon. It's not clear how he got there, but be sure and watch for the slate-board sticking through the bars.
"Doctor Gore" is hardly what would be called a "critic's picture," but neither does it sink to the level of an Andy Milligan film, and it's actually a more polished production than most anything by Ted Mikels, Ray Steckler, or H.G. Lewis. Moreover, it's got lots of pretty girls, and some flourishes of genuine lunatic humor. "Doctor Gore" wasn't meant to be taken seriously. Patterson was kidding the genre, only nobody got the joke.
Not a movie for film snobs, however drive-in movie aficionados will eat it up.
I believe that if you are a fan of films such as the A.I.P. classic "How To
Make A Monster", Hammer Films' various Frankenstein pictures, and the gore
films of the immortal Herschell Gordon Lewis then "The Body Shop" (A.K.A.
"Dr. Gore") should be right up your alley.
This is not a movie that will not be enjoyed by film snobs, and deserves the respect of those of us who truly enjoy underground gems beyond thinking that they're "so bad, they're good". But rather, their beauty and enjoyment lie in the fact that they are less than perfect. You can feel the passion he had for for films and film making in J.G. "Pat" Patterson's single directorial effort "The Body Shop". Many people will groan and I'm sure laugh a few times while watching this film, but those of you who truly sit down to watch it, not to "try and watch it" (if you're entering with that attitude it's best to avoid these type of films altogether and stick to the latest big budget Hollywood star vehicles) and laugh ALONG with it will have quite a memorable and fun ride ahead of you.
SIDE NOTE: If you have ever wondered what Funny-man Louie Anderson would look like with a beard just check out the character of "Bill Hicks" of the films band "Bill Hicks and the Rainbow" who preforms "A Heart Dies Every Minute".
Towards the 2nd half of the film we see the good doctor in love with his
creation. I was feeling quite torn about a girl at the time and could
understand why the doctor felt such strung emotions. Sure, perhaps he goes
to far when he puts a cleaver through Igor's hump in a jealous rage, but
that's what he did.
Yes this movie is gorey and that's the real strong point. Watch this film if you are into amputations and operations that pretty young girls will not survive.
If your looking for a very funny and weird 70's horror movie, try to locate
a copy of "Dr. Gore". J.G."Pat" Patterson pretends to be Dr. Frankenstien
this homegrown gore-flick with the help of his hunchback,cigar-smoking,
bearded helper, "Greg". His goal is to create a perfect woman from parts he
manages to cut off unwilling subjects. I love all the cheap laboratory
effects(including wrapping a woman in Reynolds Wrap, then setting the stage
alive with fireworks),and I can recommend this movie to anyone who loves
cheap cinema and Herschell Gordon Lewis who tells about J.G. Patterson in
the preface of the film.
The Body Shop (1972)
** (out of 4)
Dr. Brandon (J.G. Patterson, Jr.) loses his beautiful wife so he decides to build another one with the help of his hunchback. Soon the two are kidnapping women and chopping them up for their parts.
Also known as DOCTOR GORE, this film is pretty much a mixture of FRANKENSTEIN, EYES WITHOUT A FACE and THE AWFUL DR. ORLOFF. This film is best remembered for features some gore but it's doubtful there's enough to keep most people entertained. I think it's best that you don't take this film too serious and just enjoy it's low-budget charm and sometimes gore.
Director Patterson, Jr., also cast himself in the lead and for the most part his performance is bad yet it's good enough for this type of movie. I thought the best thing that can be said about the film is that whenever it goes for some humor it usually works. I will gladly admit that I found myself laughing several times including the scene where the hunchback needs help getting his lab coat on.
Again, the film is mainly known for some of its gore but in all honesty there's really not too much here. There's more bloody in those early Herschell Gordon Lewis pictures but there are still some memorable moments here. The film goes on a tad bit too long and there's a long "romance" sequence that really goes on too long. Throw in a weird sequence with a country singer and another weird one with a sheriff and THE BODY SHOP is just campy enough to be slightly entertaining.
It's not just the fact that "The Body Shop", shot in 1973 and released on videocassette in the 1980s as "Doctor Gore", is badly made: it's that the film has a strangely larval quality, as though it came out of the oven too soon. (The notoriously awful "The Mummy and the Curse of the Jackals", which likewise was released to the home video market in the '80s, induces a similar sensation in the viewer.) Director J.G. "Pat" Patterson--who had worked with goremeister Herschell Gordon Lewis as an associate producer or assistant director on films like "Moonshine Mountain" and "The Gruesome Twosome", and handled the makeup effects in William Girdler's "Three on a Meathook"--takes center stage as Dr. Don Brandon, a plastic surgeon who comes unglued after the death of his young, beautiful wife. Determined to create a new woman who is physically identical to his departed Anitra, Brandon seduces and brutally murders a number of attractive ladies. Then he expertly stitches together their most desirable body parts with the help of his hunchbacked assistant Gregory (why does a plastic surgeon have a hunchbacked assistant and live in a gloomy castle?), animating the finished product with electricity. So yes, the movie is astoundingly terrible--and unintentionally funny--even by gore flick standards, but there are a couple of points of interest for horror cinema obscurists. The first is the potency of Patterson's gore effects: they're much more graphic than the ones he devised for "Three on a Meathook", sometimes jarringly so. Patterson was competent neither as a director nor as an actor, but he certainly deserves more credit as a makeup effects artist. The second is the introduction that Herschell Gordon Lewis filmed for the VHS release of "Doctor Gore", which is included among the bonus features on Something Weird's DVD edition of "The Body Shop". Lewis talks about the early days of the gore film phenomenon and (while he later admitted that he hadn't actually seen Patterson's movie when he filmed the intro) extemporaneously, but kindly, eulogizes his late partner in crime. J.G. Patterson's contemporaries remember him as a nice guy, and he suffered the nice guy's traditional fate: he was shortchanged, ripped off and died without accolades. If Lewis-style carnage is your thing, you owe it to yourself--and to Patterson's memory--to see "The Body Shop".
DR. GORE (1973) ½* J.G. "Pat" Patterson, Jenny Driggers, Roy Mehaffey. This was the second and last film by director and lead actor J. G. "Pat" Patterson. (Mr. Patterson reportedly died a year or so after this movie was made.) It's the story of a "doctor" who loses his wife and then decides to build the "perfect mate." Like a modern-day Dr. Frankenstein, he goes out and kills half-dozen or so women and then sews together the parts he likes best. The resulting "perfect mate" is a blond, well-endowed, empty-headed bimbo. The film is so technically inept that it's more annoying than entertaining, and the few unintentionally funny moments the film provides aren't worth the effort it takes to endure the rest of it. Rated X in its day (probably for violence, since there's very little nudity), the gore is laughably phony by today's standards.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I know this movie is a low-budget horror movie intended for those in
of shocks and "inexpensive" gore, but even considering that, this movie
just too dull, filled with an incoherent plot, along with awful music,
obvious signs that this movie was never finished.
Without giving any spoilers, I'll just say that by the final reel, things are wrapped up with no explantion at all, either by film or narration. The girl Anitra is real attractive, but yet that is not a good enough reason to enjoy this movie.
If you are a fan of those gore movies from the 60's and 70's, then you should watch it, but be warned that it does not even reach to the usual plateau of these kinds of movies.
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