Reviews

Doctor Gore (1973) + How To Make A Doll (1967)

Have you ever asked yourself, “Wow, I wonder if it’s possible to create the perfect woman all by myself from scratch?” No? Me either! But this double feature presents two weirdos who did. Meet Dr. Don Brandon (“Doctor Gore” to his friends) and Professor Percy Corly. And prepare for perfection.

J.G. “Pat” Patterson was an assistant director, gore wizard, and jack of all trades on several Herschell Gordon Lewis’ late-period films. But that doesn’t matter. In 1973, he decided to make his own movie. It was called The Body Shop, then changed to Doctor Gore for home video release in the 80s. Today, it might change your life.

Dr. Don Brandon (J.G. Patterson) has lost his wife to a car accident. We hear about it over a transistor radio while swans frolic in a lake. In narration that sounds similar to Elvis Presley’s spoken word section in “Are You Lonesome Tonight,” the good doctor decides he’s going to bring his wife back from the dead. He digs the body up, wraps her in foil, and attaches electrodes to her. She catches on fire! He gives up! And smokes a lot of cigarettes. Next logical step? Why of course! Seduce some girls (despite Dr. Gore’s gargantuan comb-over and numerous facial growths), kill them, and take the most attractive parts from each to create a perfect woman. Her name is Ellen. There is also a hunchback. His name is Greg.

Where to begin? Amidst nonsensical and frequent jump cuts, an amazing electronic and organ-based score, and ghastly, but theatrical-looking gore, you STILL have J.G. Patterson’s giant head and hilarious musical interludes with country singer Bill Hicks. Doctor Gore is a fantastically bizarre movie and should be heralded as a classic. You’ll laugh, cringe, and drop your jaw. I had a blast watching this film.

Now, forget about the gore and spooky stuff. How To Make A Doll is a film that’s so odd, so strangely concocted, that it defies categorization. There’s no rhyme or reason and I can’t begin to figure out what this movie is aiming for. Comedy? Sci-fi? Nudie-cutie with no nudity? I think it may have been filmed on another planet.

There’s this spazzy college professor named Percy Corly. He’s a 32 year old nerd and has no luck with the lady friends. College kids are usually making out around him and he’s fascinated by the subject. Percy drives around in his red mini-car and gets his neck tie stuck in the doorway a lot. Spurned on by his mother and frustrated by his lack of success with girls, Percy and his professor friend figure out a way to create bikini-clad ladies with their super computer. Let the party begin!

Terms that come to mind frequently while watching How To Make A Doll are “unwatchable,” “pointless,” and “a chore to sit through.” This is all true. But to me, How To Make A Doll is a peach, just ripe for the picking. It’s so off the wall and out there, that I couldn’t take my eyes off of the screen. The acting and line delivery is completely over the top. The computer spouts tons of ridiculous sounds and dialogue for minutes on end. The jokes are preschool-level awful. The computer is comprised of some wood paneling, a lite-brite, a punch card typewriter, and an IBM reel of tape. The whole thing looks thrown together and extremely cheap. The ending makes no sense! None of it makes sense! I love you!

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