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26 out of 26 people found the following review useful:
'Your gonna sing those lowdown hardcore blues'., 18 June 2003
Author: gavcrimson from United Kingdom
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
It doesn't quite live up to its title (is that a good or a bad thing?), but The Great Hollywood Rape Slaughter deserves to be filed under 'flawed but interesting'. It opens with a bunch of film students watching one of their number's latest project entitled 'Sex and Violence in American Cinema'. A series of sex and violence juxtapositions it features a sadistic shootout on a pier mixed in with shots from a Rene Bond/Ric Lutze porn loop, an unrelated shot of a fat man in a dress is tagged on. In another segment of the student film a hippie band is inter-cut with their female lead singer (who some prints of this claim is Linda Ronstadt~it isn't) being bound and gagged and then raped by the fat man. 'I thought it was fascinating' proclaims one student about the film while most of the others just seem bored. The film's director Steve Ford gives a typically up his own backside film student dissection of his work 'its something erm...totally.erm.I mean it's the difference between an 'A' studio film and like a 'B' low budget type of production'.
Seeking work in the film industry, Steve drives futilely from major studio to major studio,a song about 'borrowed dreams' is heard on the soundtrack. Placing an ad begging for work in Variety the only reply Steve gets is from sex-film producer Jake Burns. Steve observes posters for films like 'Obscene Couch' in Burns' office and gets a further glimpse at Burns' work when he's invited to a screening of a porno loop. In an authentic touch the guy in the loop is podgy Mike Haven who played the lead in the blood splattered hardcore opus Sex Psycho and sometimes scored micro sized 'legit' acting jobs like playing a burglar in Al Adamson's Brain of Blood. Later Burns lays on a sob story about how he'd began making kiddie movies until Walt Disney came along, then skin-flicks until the majors started making 'million dollar nudies',now he's been reduced to the '16mm #### business'. Steve reluctantly agrees to go to work for Burn's and stops off at a porno-set where the director- an unkempt, greasy haired individual whose even more sleazy than Burns-is practically foaming at the mouth while giving out directions to porno actors like 'beauty, hardcore, not simulated'. Recording a 'breathing track', the director has all the cast members sitting at his feet moaning into a microphone. When they all start to make fun of the situation, the director has a tantrum.
Steve convinces his friend, a cameraman, to help him out, telling him he'll have the chance to do some 'crazy camera angles'.which is one way of putting it. However while shooting a porno film called 'Superball' Steve manages to alienate his girlfriend, causing her to end up in the arms of another man. After a reconciliation with her comes to nothing, Steve has an argument with Burns and calls him 'a porno maker.you'll never get any higher in this business than a woman's crotch'. Burns responses by beating him up, a battered Steve is escorted back to his car, on the soundtrack somebody croons 'your gonna sing those lowdown hardcore blues'.
The experience drives Steve over the edge, to the degree that he adopts the personality and clothing of drive-in movie hero Billy Jack (!). Mowing the cast down in a hail of bullets 'Billy' berets his girlfriend for having an abortion and forces her bloody, half dead new boyfriend to mount her. When he does, 'Billy' then shoots them both in the head. The film ends with Billy riding off on his motorbike with his 'dead' girlfriend as a passenger. The shot pans out to reveal a cameraman in a jeep shooting the whole scene.
Playing like a milder, slightly more conventionally filmed Last House on Dead End Street, The Great Hollywood Rape Slaughter makes you question how much of Mike Ford's exploits were life experienced by the film's director as this exhibits all the traces of both pretentious student filmmaking and first hand dealings with bottom-of-the-barrel pornographers. In fact the depiction of the pornographers is so universally unflattering that their violent end at the hands of 'Billy Jack' comes across like a fantasy wish fulfilment from someone who has had to deal with this sort day in, day out. For a 1971 production the film contains a great deal of insider knowledge of the inner workings of the pre-Deep Throat, pre-porno chic adult movie world, and anticipates Boogie Nights by a good few decades. The major flaw with the film is that Steve Ford is too much of a self absorbed,introspective character to really care less about and his relationship with his girlfriend-meant to be the catalyst for his 'breakdown'-is kept in the background and confusingly handled. And jarring and bloodthirsty as the 'Billy Jack' fantasy ending is, it also tends to feel a bit of a cop-out, conspicuously failing to tie up the film's loose ends. In the end though The Great Hollywood Rape Slaughter appears to have been conceived as less a conventional narrative and more a number of sad, ugly and disturbing sketches on the underbelly of 1970's Hollywood;- the raving porno casting director with a rat scrambling across his desk, one character's comment 'you know there's even a few of em who think they're gonna be movie stars', a jaded actress ordering a cameraman to smear her with Vaseline and a 16 year old with needle marks stripping in a back alley. But the most believable in Hollywood Boulevard terms exchange comes in an otherwise inconsequential scene where a balding man picks up two teenage hitchhikers;
'Hey cutie, what do you do with yourself'
'I'm an actress'
'Hey you know I do the occasional film'
'Do ya really'
'Would I kid ya? '
In the next scene one of the hitchhikers is being chased around a film-set while the other is being told she's destined to become a 'great big star'.
1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
An anti-exploitation exploitation flick, 17 August 2009
Author: udar55 from Williamsburg, VA
Film school grad Steve heads to Hollywood with big dreams as he shops around his amazing script. Of course, no one wants to give this neophyte the time of day until he runs meets up with a sleazy porn producer. What is idealistic little Stevie to do? Naturally, he decides to give the X- rated world a shot and begins to see his fragile soul get jaded. This is one confused film - it tries to warn about the sleazy side of Hollywood while being overly sleazy. It runs just over an hour and has more nudity than I can remember for a film saying, "Nudity and exploitation are bad!" It does win points for the fantastic title THE GREAT Hollywood RAPE- SLAUGHTER. Amazingly, an alternate title is SUPER BALL! Oh, and the end is downright bizarre as our lead makes his epic. Remember that amazing script idea Steve had? It was a BILLY JACK ripoff where a Billy look-a-like - complete with THE hat - bursts into a hotel room, offs a bunch of drugged up hippies and then drives down the freeway with his dead lady on the back of his motorcycle. Wow, Steve, you truly were a genius!
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