Time to see the Doctor – Dr. Gore!
6-4-72, Gastonia, NC
In my search for interesting play dates surrounding Night of the Living Dead as the second feature, a Regional Horror made in Charlotte, North Carolina appeared. JG Patterson, Jr.’s The Body Shop had a short lived life as a theatrical feature that had an official X rating by the MPAA when Metrolina brought the film to have an official stamp after it’s premiere (Boxoffice 7-10-72 reported it). After it disappeared, it had a VHS life through United Home Video and Paragon – one with an introduction by the one and only HG Lewis, who has worked with the showman/Magician on films including Just for the Hell of It and How to Make a Doll – and now is one of the many films that is now a part of the history of Something Weird Video.
The story focuses on the mad doctor Don Brandon (Patterson acting under his Don Brandon stage name made famous in the Carolinas for a while) after losing his wife and turns Frankenstein with his hunchback assistant (Roy Mehaffey) as his only help. One by one, pretty local ladies are killed for their parts to complete his project for the prefect woman Jenny Driggers). Sadly, she turns into a play-around with a revolving door of Truckers and commoners while the Doctor goes to jail in the end – al this and the music of Bill Hicks and the Rainbow (Not the legendary comic or band!). It’s filled with the stage blood and special effects which were a more adult version of the Don Brandon stage show, but sadly the sloppy editing, the effects that might have worked well on the stage not working too well in the film, and cheaply made credits wreck the effect if one sees it with a critical eye, although overall it still has that Local Movie charm in the end.
8-30-72, Wilmington, NC – hyping the X rating. In that year, Hg Lewis’ Gore Gore Girls also received the rating, but was not used in the ads.
1-12-73, Danville, Virginia – One of the last of the ads I caught.
1972 was a year that the Carolinas tried to whip up it’s own commercial movie scene filled with Regional flicks by Patterson, Donn Davison, and a few others sparked by the success of the classic Preacherman although without the good production which helped Albert T. Viola’s film do very well outside of it’s target audience. Davison’s Shantytown did score a few playdates in places like Kansas City and had a decent post-premiere life as The Hillbilly Hooker and even Fancy, but Patterson’s Boots cooled off after a few shows in the Carolinias and possibly a few other places. After 1973, and Davison’s work for Film Ventures halted plans for his Lion Dog Films, their scene quietly went away despite Action films and Drive In flicks were still made on occasion there.
8-4-72, Wilmington, NC
12-4-72, High Point, NC
Not an outtake! Still, it accidentally shows the working title as well as the filming date which puts it around Feb. 1972.