Tag Archives: H.G. Lewis

Linda and Abilene (1969)

Linda and Abilene

Herschell Gordon Lewis is widely considered the Godfather of Gore, and with good reason. With movies like 2000 Maniacs, Wizard of Gore and Blood Feast, he has earned that title. What a lot of people might not have realized is that H.G. Lewis didn’t only direct horror movies. On fact Lewis seemed to dabble in a bit of everything. I was mostly a horror fan, and while I can’t say I have seen all his horror films I have seen several. I knew he had directed and been involved in some early nudies, but like most fans mostly considered him a horror director.

Then one day I came across a film directed by H.G. Lewis billed as an “erotic western”, Linda and Abilene. Well it was too good to pass up so I had to take a chance on it. Well, I definitely wasn’t disappointed. Linda and Abilene is a fun little romp that will have you laughing your ass of most of the film. Don’t be expecting high production values, or an extremely sensible script. This is H.G. Lewis we’re talking about. You have seen Blood feast haven’t you?

Linda and Abilene starts out with Abilene and her brother Tod burying their parents. This leaves the brother and sister all alone on their ranch in the middle of nowhere. We watch as right out of the Blue Lagoon, Abilene starts to discover her sexuality and become attracted to her hunky brother Tod. Tod, for his part, spends his time spying on Abilene bathing, spying on her sleeping, spying on her masturbating while thinking about him.

Linda and Abilene siblings churning

The siblings fight their unnatural urges for what seems like an eternity, an eternity of peeping tom and masturbation. Finally they can take no more and they give in having wild, all in the family sex in the bedroom, in the river, in the butt. OK not in the butt, as far as we know, but the point is they did a lot of screwing.

Tom eventually comes to the realization that there’s no future in poking his sister, and heads off to town in search of some strange. Strange meaning not his mothers daughter. Abilene, deeply in love with her brother, and afraid of being alone, begs him not to go, but he’s determined, and reluctantly pulls away.

Once in town Tod heads into town where he meets tough as nails cow poke Rawhide, and saloon girl Linda. Tod explains how his parents died last week and he and Abilene have been all alone at the ranch. Wait, hold up. His parents died last week. So basically Tod and Abilene fought off their carnal urges for around four to five days at most. Talk about will power.

Tod takes an interest in Linda, attracted to the fact she seems to be the only woman in town, and intrigued a woman who hasn’t breast fed from the same tit as him. They of course hook up and more rowdy late 60s sex ensues.

Rawhide, apparently growing tired of poking cows and Linda, decides to pay a visit on lonely Abilene for some wholesome raping goodness. He rides out to the ranch, where he introduces himself to Abilene, and has a nice dinner of beans before he gets down to the raping. The next morning, he bids farewell to Abilene and heads back to town. If all rapes were as polite, and non violent as this one, the world would be a better place. Before anyone complains, no rape is never funny, but this came damn close. If you are looking for a disturbing, violent, realistic, hard to watch rape scene, try Irreversible, or seek professional help, but don’t look at Linda and Abilene.
Tod, after getting his fill of Linda lovin, heads back to the ranch, most likely passing Rawhide along the way. I’m betting Rawhide even tipped his hat. He gets to the ranch to find Abilene in tears. Whether she is crying because of the rape, or because Rawhide ate all the beans we will never know. When Tod finds out about the rape, he goes into a rage. He feels guilty for leaving Abilene alone, leading to the moral of the story. If you don’t fuck your sister, someone else will.

Abilene begs Tod, not to go looking for revenge. She knows full well that Tod is a pussy and can never take on a bean eater like Rawhide. As Tod rides out, Linda rides in, looking to get a piece of Abilene as well, as either Tod or Rawhide have been telling bedroom tales. She manages to quickly get into Abilene’s petticoats, which makes me wonder why this wasn’t called “Everyone nails Abilene” which would be a more appropriate title. Their roll in the hay, well actually in the ranch house, is one of the highlights of the film. Shame it takes so long to actually happen.

While the two girls are bumping honey pots, Tod finds Rawhide in town and challenges him to a fight. Well Tod is a pussy, but he holds his own until Rawhide shoots him. The film ends as Linda and Abilene bury Tod and ride off together. Umm, they ride off on a stage not on each other.

OK, so what makes Linda and Abilene worth watching? Well there is the lesbian sex of course, but that’s readily available on the Internet now, plus you don’t have the burden of wondering what the two girls would look like making out today. EWWWW. If that turns you on, there is granny porn out there, by the way. The fact is, Linda and Abilene is fun to watch. The incestuous scenes may turn some off and the sex between Tod and Abilene is pretty silly, but they are both very attractive, so there is eye candy for both genders. There’s a lot to laugh about and I’m sure some good drinking games could come out of this.

H.G. Lewis

The setting all look like authentic western film fare, which does add a touch of class. Linda and Abilene was filmed on an actual ranch, which helps the look immensely. However there are a few curiosities that make Linda and Abilene a must see for movie fans. H.G. Lewis fans will be interested because for a long time it was incredibly hard to find. It has just recently been released on DVD as part of the “Lost Films of H.G. Lewis”.

An even bigger selling point for fans of history, and especially for those interested in famous murder cases is the filming location. Much of Linda and Abilene was filmed on the infamous Spahn Ranch. If that name sounds familiar, it was the headquarters of the Manson family, and Linda and Abilene was filmed there just a few weeks before the Manson murders.

Charles Manson

Probably the biggest knock against Linda and Abilene is the pacing. It really drags when there is no sex or fighting. It’s around 30 minutes in before the brother and sister start getting it on, and it’s really tedious. Abilene’s several nude scenes do help, and her fevered masturbation is worth a few laughs, but realistically the film could have been cut by several minutes. I’m sure that the idea was to show how isolated, and lonely the pair were, isolated and alone just a short ride from town, mind you, but it really kills the pace of the film, and makes it tempting to abandon.

Still for fans of H.G. Lewis, and cult films, or those interested in historical crime this is a must see. It’s as close as you will ever get to being on the ranch with Charlie himself. Do yourself a favor and click the link below, before Linda and Abilene goes missing again.

Smash Cut

Originally posted at Lord Dixie’s Dark Domain

Smash Cut is former porn star Sasha Grey’s first venture into the world of horror film. In fact that’s one of the reasons I avoided it when it first came out. Other than Traci Lord few porn stars have really made the leap from adult to mainstream entertainment. Ginger Lynn Allen has had some success but mostly in small roles, but Jenna Jameson’s jump into horror in the horrible Evil Breed (which also featured Ginger Lynn) was what stuck in my mind whenever I saw Smash Cut on the video shelves.

Sasha Grey from Smash Cut

However I kept hearing good things about Smash Cut. Sasha’s other endeavors, such as her role on entourage, and her volunteering to read to school children, and resulting controversy, made me see her in a better light as well. Thus I went in search of Smash Cut. Unfortunately it was gone from the video shelves. I finally knuckled under and order a copy on Blue Ray. It was definitely not what I was expecting.

Smash Cut also stars the late David Hess, which any cult horror fan worth his salt will immediately recognize as the evil Krug from Last House on the Left. I am really sad I never got to meet David before he passed. Smash Cut was the perfect film for him, because he harkened back to a style of filmmaking that’s no longer around. In fact it’s nothing less than homage to the glory days of Hershel Gordon Lewis. While there is a huge stylistic difference between Craven who directed Hess in Last House and Lewis, both films were grindhouse splatter favorites. A lot of the criticism of Smash Cut comes from those who have no clue about HG Lewis, and have never seen one of his films.

David Hess from Smash Cut

The acting in Smash Cut is almost universally bad, so bad in fact that it has to be bad on purpose. The characters are almost carbon copy of Lewis and the dialogue made me think I was watching “Gore Gore Girls again.” The same with the effects, they are totally unbelievable, and have been shocked to see people attacking the special effects and then bringing up Lewis as an example of better filmmaking. Drop your nostalgia and watch one of HG Lewis films again and tell me how great the effects and acting are. Not to say that Lee Demarbre is as good (or as bad) as Lewis but he effectively channels and pays respect to him.

Jesse Buck could be a dead ringer in attitude and personality, from the intrepid investigator Abraham from Gore Gore Girls. He gives off that same vibe, and you are never really sure whose side he is on. His acting is probably closer to good acting than anyone else in the film, but it’s still bad as it should be.

Sasha Grey’s acting was laughably horrible. So horrible that her acting was wonderful, the blank stares, the painful pauses, the ridiculous lines she delivers so flat and deadpan. Ever her slightly off cue screams were all marvelous. Now I have seen Sasha act, both in Entourage, and in porn and I know she can act better than in Smash Cut. It was either a brave move or a brilliant move making this near spoof her first mainstream film. Brave in that many will assume this was her doing her best, or brilliant in that she can deflect any criticism to “acting bad on purpose.” Personally I think it takes talent to act that bad and Sasha has talent.

Despite all the attention to Sasha Grey, you can’t talk about Smash Cut without mentioning David Hess. Real horror fans were dealt a harsh blow when David passed, all too soon last year. He began, and made his career with a cult film, so it’s fitting that one of his last films is homage to cult films. Like the rest of the cast David’s performance will be criticized by those who don’t “get” Smash Cut and that’s very sad. David delivered the performance the film needed. Watching him in Smash Cut is pure joy, only tempered by the fact that he is now gone. He will be missed by those who knew him and respected his work.

Visually Smash Cut is a 70s film but with better technical quality. The colors are all intense and garish , with no muted tones. Everything is out there, watching Smash Cut is like walking into a strip joint on retro night. Either that or imagine a bomb going off in a day glow paints factory.

I read an online review where someone decried the music of Smash Cut as 70s porno music. The reviewer is right, but really what other music would fit. Watching and listening to this film was like being back in my giddy high school years and sneaking a forbidden VHS into the recorder while my parents were asleep.

The only thing missing was nudity, but I’m not going to tweak it for that. The film is actually better without nudity (bet you NEVER thought you’d see me type that didya?) Anyone who has never saw Sasha Grey naked probably doesn’t want to, and if they do all it takes is a Google of her name with “safe search” off.

Keeping her clothes on was probably a calculated, wise move to distance her a bit more from her porn past. It also harkens to those older films where there was more tease than tit. Sure HGL loved to show some nudity, but for the most parts those films promised way more than they actually show. C’mon who didn’t expect to see Sasha at least topless? I did till I was roughly half way through. What got me was that seeing the lovely Ms. Grey in a white sweater, sans bra, was so titillating despite all of her I have seen in the past. And yes, I have seen all of her.

The effects while gory are so unbelievable that only the faintest of heart will be disturbed. More than likely you will find yourself laughing at the death scenes unless you really do some suspension of disbelief. Like the rest of the movie you will either get it and enjoy it or hate it, and probably turn it off.

So final verdict? If you are a fan of Sasha Grey, and I mean real fan not just a fan of her sex games, you should enjoy it. If you are a real fan just get past the bad acting and lack of nudity and support Sasha. Fans of David Hess should likewise enjoy Smash Cut. His fans will also be more likely to “get” the film. Fans of HG Lewis and the gory cult days should also enjoy. Some may balk at the shoddy effects and weak plot, but most will get that it’s part of the charm of this film.

Smash Cut

People looking for a film that makes sense and has great acting should avoid it. Most of them simply won’t get the charm of Smash Cut. Sasha Grey’s fans from her porn days will probably be disappointed, some even angry. Tough shit, get over it, people move on in their careers and lives, let’s give Sasha a chance to shine in real films. So if you can deal with a film that has bad acting, horrible plot, bad effects and 70s porn music then pop in Smash Cut. If you are looking for the next Silence of the Lambs, keep looking, nothing to see here. All this and you get Michael Berryman in a Jewfro wig to boot!

Smash Cut [Blu-ray+DVD Combo)


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