In Herschell Gordon Lewis’ (The Godfather of Gore) The Gruesome Twosome we are introduced to an elderly woman and her mentally handicapped son; a duo with a strange hobby, namely scalping comely young lasses and selling their hair as wigs to meet customer demand (well, we learn of this after an introduction featuring two talking Styrofoam heads…because yes…). Anyway, before long a snoopy co-ed named Kathy begins weaving clues together and discovers the hair-raising truth, but can the demented duo be stopped before they kill again?
Filled with off-kilter performances, a tongue in cheek story line, and crude yet effective (and groundbreaking) gore effects, The Gruesome Twosome is a ton of goofy, gory, fright flick fun! It also runs a lean hour and eleven minutes so it rock n’ rolls along at a good clip (even with padding such as the slumber party dancing and KFC chomping mash up, and Kathy’s ultra-shitty detective work…oh and the potato chip and fruit domestic abuse…because…because…shit, I forgot to mention the teen beach partying and ). There’s also some unintentionally hilarious aspects to the film as well, such as the newspaper that is obviously constructed by separate pieces of paper taped together, or the woman exiting the shower flashing grins to the film crew.
On the downside, this flick looks like it was ridden hard and put away wet with some serious color degradation and picture wear and tear. I know Arrow (the picture’s distributor on Blu-ray) used the best elements they could find, but it’s a crying shame that better care wasn’t taken of this horror classic back when it was fresh as a daisy…
All in all, The Gruesome Twosome is a great slice of classic drive-in cheese, and well worth the price of admission, but this release contains more for the creepy connoisseur…like a second feature, A Taste of Blood!
In Blood we get the tale of a business man that turns into a vampire after drinking tainted brandy. He naturally then sets out on (some of the hilarious accents on display and Vivacious Viv’s acting make it worth your time alone), but my only complaint was its bloated run time of 117 minutes; waaay too long for a drive-in pic in my opinion.
Amazingly there are no special features on this disc. I’m F’n lying…you get: audio commentaries on both films, a fun interview with drag queen Peaches Christ about The Gruesome Twosome, an interview with genre legend Fred Olen Ray concerning Florida’s fright flick legacy, an interview with Lewis’ speaking on his battles with the censors and the current state of film making, trailers for both films, and a radio spot for Twosome.
Any way you slice n’ dice it, this Blu of The Gruesome Twosome is an essential addition to any gore hound’s library; and with the addition of A Taste of Blood and the bevy of special features it becomes even more of a must have!
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