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When it comes to indulging in our freaky interests, we have it made here in the future. If you are feeling a little adventuresome, you can pop into an incognito window on Chrome, head to PornHub, and type whatever possible interest your sick mind comes up with. You don't even have to be that direct about it. You can open the front page and let yourself fall in whatever slimy rabbit hole the mighty analytics-god provides. If that isn't enough distance for self-denial, I'm sure I can think of several inconspicuous search terms that will lead you to some niche erotic media within a few clicks. Just hit me up, I won't judge, and it can be our secret-- unless you're a pedo, in which case, the opposite will be true. Literally, you’re able to research any wild sexual ambitions you have, relatively carefree (within reason, see above). It’s a wonderful time to be alive, as the world's kinks can be dipped into from the safety of your home. Barring the fact that people, of course, use this luxury for evil, do you know how awesome that is? It wasn't always like this. Actually, not long ago, in my lifetime, there was no internet. We had magazines, tapes, and reality. Well, not “we” technically. I was a kid during this time, who, at the most, had scrambled cable channels, the Victoria Secret catalog, and imagination, which is probably for the best, since exploration could be costly. Those who wanted some strange in their life could either hunt down a 40 plus dollar VHS, get lucky on the smut rack at the corner store, or hit the streets looking for a like-minded individual. For the desperate, this meant trolling the classifieds, since there was no such thing as Craigslist or ChristianMingle. Even with as many times as I have accidentally seen something online I wished I hadn't, I can't imagine playing that game of Russian roulette in the flesh. One miscommunication and shit could go downhill fast. Before you know it, you're tied to a kitchen chair, getting sliced deli-style with your own cutlery, like in Gorgasm (1990).
Chase (Rik Billock) is a low-level desk cop who dreamed of being a hard-boiled detective only to be permanently relegated to pushing papers at the precinct. One day, because all coworkers are somehow unavailable, he is temporarily dispatched to a murder-scene by his angry boss (Paula Hendricks) as a last resort. According to "Sarge," the homicide looks to be an act of "S & M gone wrong," and he is instructed to look busy, so the absence of real detectives goes unnoticed. Arriving in his minivan, the begrudged stand-in finds a trashed house filled with porn of all varieties, which he immediately begins sampling for investigative reasons. After getting a feel for the depressing home/library, and beefing up his VHS smut collection for later, he sits down to flip through a publication that catches his eye. This light reading leads him to an insert for a service called "Goregasm," featuring a well-endowed ad-campaign promising the "ultimate climax." Junior inspector Chase takes this as a crucial clue, and rightfully so, as a shot at proving himself on the job soon reveals itself. Unfortunately, to take advantage, he must dive deep into the city's hidden network of kinky pornography, violent sex workers, and purchased pain for pleasure, all before his time on the investigation is up. Can Chase crack the case to get his promotion, or will he get too involved and end up as another corpse with a stiffy? Only time will tell. However, if it is the latter, it will cost him more than his life, as the mysterious psychic (?) call-girl Tara (Gabriela) doesn't like to hand out freebies.
Gross, sleazy, and violent Gorgasm is the kind of thing parents of the 90s dreaded finding under their kid's bed. It's willfully trashy and does its best to bring an edgy mean spirit. Every conversation in the run-time involves sex, how much life sucks, or abrupt mortality. It's what I imagine a scare tactic anti-sex PSA would be if written by a horny teenager and based on his detention notebook. Their delivery may not reach believability, but the characters are authentically disheveled and cast accordingly. The whole thing is entirely immersive, like a surprise trip to a NASCAR race on heroin. Paced at an unbalanced plod, it's a dense exposition of regular-looking people, a conspiracy involving globs of adult paraphernalia, and a range of squishy substances. The story itself is pretty simple, playing off noir tropes and wandering into the 90s thriller territory with a supernatural twist. It follows some of the classic crime cliches closely but stumbles to make them useful. Instead, they come off as some kind of angsty proto-vlog that documents a dumpy desk cop and bizarre random sex acts in the early 90s. Chase's deep thoughts and narration are written between a gumshoe's brooding inner dialog and a drunk conspiracy theorist's self recordings. The down on his luck detective is seemingly uncovering a dark, seedy underbelly that, until this case, went unnoticed. On screen, though, the whole movie feels like it's in a trailer park hell, leaving the story’s spiral into forbidden territory less than dramatic. The same constant grime is also one of the biggest perks, as the frugal execution, subject matter, and aim to shock, give the film beautifully fucked up flavor. As it bounces from artificial snuff-film to zany Z-grade showdowns, it's always a source of sticky entertainment. Filmmaker, Hugh Gallagher has been compared to both Jörg Buttgereit and Andreas Schnaas, although I think both would be a reach, especially in regards to this project. It doesn't contain the eye for the art of something like Nekromantik (1987) and has a lot less action (and more story) than anything in the Violent Shit series. It's a self-branded, homebrewed concoction all its own. As plots go, the kinky secret world and killer hookers are well-trodden territories, but the twisted, rough presentation is unique. Altogether, It's an untamed and sometimes moody display of frugal indecency shot on tape and conceived primarily for the love of greasy kicks.
The movie's technical quality exists between Public Access programming and homemade sex tape with minor editing. It's unabashedly amateur and a prime example of American 90s backyard shock horror. In equal measure, the filmmaker's ambitions and audacity are on display in every facet. Its slimy touch goes beyond the crummy video equipment used and greases every aspect evenly. The locations, set dressing, and random porn scattered throughout look like crime-scene footage from an epically disastrous school play. Costumes are a little lax, and most likely came with the actors. The boss-lady Sarge looks like a librarian that wrestles professionally on the side, while our hero Chase looks like an era-appropriate deadbeat dad who only owns one suit. As a result of the work being recorded on tape, details can be hard to make out, often to its benefit. There is camcorder experimentation sporadically throughout, and similarly, wild but intentional angles make use of small space in interesting ways. These more detailed touches are subtle, messy, and rank low on the list of noted features but also give the project more depth than logic should allow. The Sound quality is what you would expect, although everyone belts their lines so that dialogue can be adequately heard over the loud tape hiss. There is some promised nudity, but if it's sex you’re after, seek no further than the soundtrack. The film's musical accompaniment is a credit to the trash pile’s filthy soul and manages to get stuck in my head every time. Within the mix, bad synth is prominent on the opening credits and is used to set the emotion of a moment. Otherwise, it's a mixtape of corny butt-metal from another dimension of hormones and body odor. It takes complete control of every scene it plays over and seemingly appears at random. No matter what is happening at the time, it is abandoned, as it goes straight into music video mode-- it's fucking awesome. I wish the soundtrack were available, cause I need to cruise down the road rocking "Sex Toy" at full blast. Above all, it has some fantastic homemade gore, and at some point, someone orgasms (I think), so the title rings true.
Gorgasm (not to be confused with 2007's Goregasm or the recent collection of dark erotic fiction) is the first in what would come to be known as the "gore" trilogy. The ultra low budget project was directed by Hugh Gallagher as his second, following his homemade debut Dead Silence (1989). It was soon accompanied by two sister movies Gorotica in 1993 and Gore Whore in 1994, both of which employed a similar style with escalations to both nudity, gore, and subject matter. Whether for their contents or just the great titles, the tapes became notorious bounty in the Horror VHS/bootleg scene and adorned many gorehounds "want" lists up until their release on DVD in 2016. After Gore Whore, Gallagher would only direct one full feature before moving on to work with the god of sleaze himself Jess Franco. From 1997 to 1999 he worked exclusively with Uncle Jess' One Shot Productions, as producer (among other various roles) on five of the legendary filmmaker's later projects. Gallagher's last film credit is Dr. Wong's Virtual Hell (1999), and he has only appeared in interviews since, keeping busy by publishing genre magazine Draculina. Tara is played by a "Gabriela" (just the one name, like Cher) who, as far as I can tell, worked in proper adult pictures until 2007. Rik Billock is the only actor seemingly active to this day. In 1978, he got his start as a member of the undead horde in the classic Dawn of the Dead. Later, his first credited appearance came as Farmer Ned in Bill Hinzman's FleshEater (1988), preceded by uncredited roles in Romero's Knightriders (1981) and Monkey Shines (1988). In the same year that he played Chase, he also reappeared as an unnamed zombie in The Night of the Living Dead remake, so he was likely the most famous person on set. The character Chase would come back in Gallagher's final "Gore" entry this time as a private eye and played by Brady Debussey, presumably because Billock had been enlisted by his old boss Romero to be "Cop Number 2" in The Dark Half (1993).
Gorgasm is a slow-motion orgy of juvenile sado-sexual violence, DIY filmmaking, and the kind of porn you find on torn out pages in an ally. It's not as extreme as its spiritual sequels, and there is nothing too explicit by today's standards, but it is well soaked in grimy fucked up ambitions and deviancy. It succeeds in many of its unsavory goals, all of which you were likely after if you watched something called Goregasm in the first place. I enjoy it more than I should admit to anyone. Or, maybe I should at least stop recommending to strangers at the coffee shop. As for hunting down the "ultimate pleasure," I'll be sticking to the internet where it's relatively safe, and I can just close the window when shit gets too heavy.
1h 22min | 1990
Director: Hugh Gallagher
Writer: Hugh Gallagher


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