Review: “Love Me Deadly” (1973)

lovemdeadlyart

I can’t believe it took me this long to get my hands on this one (t/y, Media Blasters!), because it’s got everything that means anything to me in it: Sepiatoned flashbacks, a torchy theme song, funeral couture, gay hustlers and Lyle Waggoner.

Yes, that Lyle Waggoner. If you’ve ever had a fantasy of seeing Wonder Woman‘s Steve Travor marry a necrophiliac mouth-breather with an Electra complex and a weakness for crocheted tops, Love Me Deadly is the movie for you.

lovemedeadlywadeIf I knew it was gonna be THAT kind of party, I’d have brought a change of pants!

My review of this shocking 1973 horror non-classic after the jump, as well as some shameless vintage pics of Lyle from his 1973 Playgirl spread!

I can’t tell you how many times during Love Me Deadly I turned to the hubby/cat and asked, “How in the hell did this movie get made?!” An aggressively unpleasant look at how one woman’s daddy issues turn her into a corpse-humping ice queen, this movie has got something to offend just about everyone.

Super-creepy flashbacks of a father and little girl getting a bit too comfortable? Check.

Scenes of a necrophiliac cult ripping apart the still-warm corpse of the hot guy from The Howling? Check.

An extended sequence where a cadaver-buggerer picks up a gay hustler outside a porn theater, drives him to his mortuary and proceeds to embalm him while still alive? Check.

Reread that last one again. This is 1973, and a horror film’s most disturbing murder is that of a gay prostitute begging for his life on an embalming table while his picklage flops hither and non. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing … until I realized that this was written and directed by a Frenchman. Now it all makes sense!

lovemedeadlywaggonerLyle Waggoner needs another drink to deal with that tablecloth (w/ Mary Wilcox)

While you might enter into Love Me Deadly thinking that you’re in for a campy parade of dated costumes and gravity-defying hairstyles, you’d only be partly right. Because thanks to moments like the ones described above, this is a pretty sick flick.

While a good part of the movie is devoted to a pretty standard, sexless romance between funeral-haunting rich-bitch heroine Lindsay (Mary Wilcox) and humpy-yet-bland suitor Alex (Waggoner, who must still be cursing his agents to this day for this role), it’s punctuated with enough nastiness (attempted date-rape, corpse orgies, aforementioned crocheted ensembles) to keep you suitably off-balance.

And Lyle … ohhhhhh Lyle … hide not thine light under a bushel – or in this case, a polyester leisure ensemble with matching ascot! The noted hunk rocks an assortment of unfortunate ’70s fashions like a dutiful, hulking Ken doll before his ill-considered romance with perpetually fish-mouthed Wilcox reaches its inevitable conclusion, and God love him for it. It’s interesting to note that this was also just about the time that he decided to serve up the beef to newly-created Playgirl magazine as its first ever centerfold.

Take a looksie:

LyleWaggonerplaygirlspeedo

LyleWaggonerplaygirlcar

LyleWaggonerplaygirl04

LyleWaggonerplaygirlcenterfold

Okay, back to the movie. I’ll give you a second to catch your breath …

Anyway, for what it is this movie’s pretty hot. All the houses look like Mexican restaurants (I love low-budget movies set in Los Angeles in the ’70s!), there’s a great drug party scene and the corpse orgies are curiously sexuality-inclusive for a movie of this time. Sure, you could argue that they’re equating gayness with necrophilia here, but I don’t think that’s the intent (Lindsay is straight as a lip-glossed arrow and she’s the most fucked-up apple in the bunch) … and what’s more, the film’s most disturbing scene clearly asks you to sympathize with a gay prostitute as he begs for his life from a psycho:

lovemedeadlygay

In short, this one’s weird and nasty enough to hunt down (it’s available on Amazon) and an unexpected addition to the early homo horror catalog.

RATING (OUT OF 5):

ReviewThreeSkully

Love Me Deadly is rated “R” for violence against women and gay prostitutes, gratuitous synthetics, and a scene of corpse-mounting.

Related posts:

  1. Review: “Horsemen”: Neeeiiiigggghhhh! Dennis Quaid looks a gift Horse in the ass Much...
  2. Review: “Taking Woodstock” – The Age of Aqueerius Kelli Garner, Demetri Martin and Paul Dano take Woodstock A...
  3. Review: “Afterschool” is a crash course in teen rage While it’s not a straight-up horror movie per se, Afterschool...
  4. Review: “Jennifer’s Body”: Girl power failure Amanda Seyfried had a bad night Believe me, I dig...
  5. Review: “The House of the Devil” Worst. Babysitting. Job. Ever. (Jocelin Donahue in The House of...

About Buzz

Buzz created CampBlood.org in 2003 to meet a need for a safe place for weirdos of all stripes to discuss horror movies from a queer perspective. Now that the campers have overtaken the Camp staff and locked them in the Arts & Crafts cabin he is questioning that decision.