‘The Meating Place for dismembers only!’
The Body Shop – aka Body Shop; Shrieks in the Night and later retitled Doctor Gore – is a 1973 American horror feature film written, directed and starring former TV horror host and magician J.G. Patterson Jr.
The film stars Jenny Driggers, Roy Mehaffey, Linda Faile, Jan Benfield, Jeannine Aber, Candy Furr, Vickie O’Neal and Jerry Kearns.
Patterson worked on a number of Herschell Gordon Lewis‘ movies in a special effects capacity and was an associate producer on The Gruesome Twosome (1967). He also produced Axe (1974). He died of cancer in 1975 in Charlotte, North Carolina; he chain smokes throughout The Body Shop!
Mad scientist Doctor Don Brandon (J.G. Patterson Jr.) loses his wife Anitra in a tragic car accident. He and his hunchback assistant Gregory begin kidnapping women for re-animation experiments to bring her back to life…
‘Two flaws keep Dr. Gore from the ranks of Lewis’s bloody triumphs. First and most obviously, the pacing often lags. As in Patterson’s Electric Chair, some scenes pulse with an inspired rhythm, while others plot tediously with little or no music or dialogue. Second, the focus is solely on the doctor. Unlike the H.G. Lewis films, there are no good people to care about…” David Elroy Goldweber, Claws & Saucers
‘Equally not as thought-out is Patterson’s point-and-shoot direction, inert enough to make Lewis look like a Palme d’Or contender. Shots of a two-character conversation don’t match; one scene begins with the clapboard in clear view, as if Patterson simply didn’t care anymore. His alarming ineptitude is exactly what Doctor Gore, also known as The Body Shop, has going for it.’ Rod Lott, Flick Attack
‘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. Dialogue is insane and hilarious. Doctor Gore is a fantastically bizarre movie and should be heralded as a classic. You’ll laugh, cringe, and drop your jaw.’ Bleeding Skull!
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” …hard-to-endure, slow-moving movie.” Michael J. Weldon, The Psychotronic Video Guide
“Doctor Gore is silly, shoddy and very, very slow. Terrible leaps of plotting suggest numerous missing scenes – but believe me – you’re grateful they are not included, anything to speed up things […] Doctor Gore plods, and its basic idea is so hackneyed there’s nothing to look forward to.” Stephen Thrower, Nightmare USA
“Without any story, or even an ending (it just suddenly stops), Body Shop is distinguished only by the fact that William B. Girdler, who went on to a brief career as a horror director, wrote the music and contributed to the effects.” John Stanley, Creature Features
“There’s numerous instances where footage is repeated or outtakes are used to extend the scene (there’s a memorable instance of the clapboard being withdrawn hastily from the shot). Patterson constantly smokes throughout the film, but he can’t seem to maintain continuity on a single one of those cancer sticks. They just leap in and out of his mouth like bad magic.” Nate Yapp, Classic Horror
Overlook Castle, North Carolina
The film was originally titled Anitra, as can be glimpsed on the film’s slate board, lazily included in the trailer!
Images credits: Bloody Pit of Horror