Film Review: Hardgore (1974)

SYNOPSIS:

A young nymphomaniac who suffers from hallucinations is put into a rehab centre, but little does she know that the proprietor is the leader of a Satanic cult who indulge in murderous afterhour orgies(!) Well, it’s certainly unique!

REVIEW:

Directed by Michael Hugo

(aka Horrorwhore, aka Sadoasylum)

Following up on the “mental illness on film” trend forwarded by Sybil (multiple personality disorder) and Schizo (paranoia) of the same year, and painting a slightly different picture of the conditions of a modern sanitarium than did 1975’s One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, 1976’s Hardgore adds in its own two cents about the treatment of an increasingly prevalent mental illness: nymphomania. Employing much of the same cast as the earlier The Most Valuable Pussy, Hardgore makes up for it’s lack of credits (opening or closing) with a plethora of vibrators, pubic hair, and editing errors.

Our story begins when Maria (Dianne Galke) is brought to a facility by her father for treatment of her nymphomania. Dr George (played by John Seeman, who may look familiar from his role of Orgy Guy in the hardcore comedy Take Me Like Wow) asks a nurse to bring Maria to her room, where within two minutes they are in bed together. After then taking her to the showers, the nurse leaves with an ominous warning for Maria to leave this dangerous place.

Contemplating the nurse’s message, Maria finds a box of dildos in her room and launches into an internal monologue in iambic pentameter that might make Shakespeare blush

What kind of sanitarium is this?

Look at the size of that lovely thing. Oh

Well, might as well take advantage of it.

By day, Fox Hollows Mental Hospital seems a pleasant place, with plenty of entertainment and a very friendly staff. But nightfall brings a new terror to the halls of the sanitarium. Maria is awoken from her first night’s sleep by a noise outside her door, only to find the earlier nurse propped in the doorway, throat slit. Maria runs, screaming, and is grabbed by a man wearing pantyhose on his face. What follows is a psychedelic vision of flashing lights, strange pictures, and glimpses of an orgy scene involving our protagonist and many others, including Guy at Orgy-No Moustache (David Book) and Guy at Orgy-Moustache (Turk Lyon, who reprises this role as Orgy Guy-Blue Jeans in 1977’s Babyface). This scene ends abruptly when one of the penises which Maria is fellating is chopped off, causing a blood facial. Strange things are afoot at this circle jerk.

Maria wakes up secured to a hospital bed in a room with Dr George, a new nurse, and a boom mic (this boom mic would go on to many other uncredited roles in 1970’s p*rn). The nurse is asked to bring her to her treatment, and you can guess what happens next as we find ourselves trapped in a very cyclical plotline.

Following the precedent set in the opening minutes, all of the female nursing staff is very friendly to Maria, to the point of tedium. Eventually, Dr George and a guy with a moustache become equally friendly (this moustache guy also become very friendly in subsequent scenes with a dead girl and a pillow). Throughout, the dialogue is sparse (possibly because the characters are all preoccupied) and what is there is fairly laughable (when a plugged in vibrator gets turned to high power and starts smoking inside Nurse Lucy Douchenfar, she cries out “Call my mother! Call the fire department!”).

There are two more orgy scenes, both more sexually graphic than the first, but equally psychedelic and weird. They are very much like Russ Meyer’s Beyond the Valley of the Dolls meets the devil rape scene in Polanski’s Rosemary’s Baby, but with far more oral sex. There is also a great hallucination scene which may have served as inspiration for the title sequence of Schnaas’ Goblet of Gore: Maria, while tied to a wall, “sees” a skull bleeding from the eye, a severed penis calling her a bad girl, naked dead girls coming back to life, and flying dildo rockets flying around her and ejaculating copious amounts onto her.

Weighing in at just over 62 minutes, Hardgore felt more like two hours. I can’t decide which is funnier: all of the research I did on this mysterious movie with no credits, or the fact that here I am, criticizing the lack of plot in a P*rn film. That being said, the writing, while often unintentionally funny, is poor, the editing is horrible, and the plot is silly and repetitive. Enough time seems to have been put into the idea of the storyline to make it seem more important than simple filler between masturbation and orgy scenes, but then it falls far short upon execution. All in all, Hardgore delivers heavy on the hard-, but light on the -gore, which I assume is exactly as was intended.

 Hardgore (1974)

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About seanofthedead

In 1987, after hearing Poison’s “Look What the Cat Dragged In” for the first time, Sean decided he wanted to play drums. After realizing all rock stars wore leather pants, he traded in his dreams of fortune and fame for 80’s sitcoms, horror movies, and punk rock. Sean has spent his recent years trying to recover from Catholic guilt while searching for an idea worth writing.

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