Mantis in Lace (1968)

Lovely Lila (Susan Stuart) is a top shelf stripper at a seedy go-go joint downtown.  She shakes her stuff and does her thing and wouldn’t you know it…somehow she manages to pick guys up!  She agrees to meet up with a hippie after work and he takes her to an abandoned warehouse where he sexes her up and introduces her to the joys of the LSD.  The trip goes well at first with Lila digging hard on it and as the hippie digs hard into her but then the trip goes south.  Psychedelic patterns and colors abound as Lazlo Kovacs shoots some awesome and dazzling hallucinatory imagery for our femme fatale.  It’s rough and she freaks out stabbing the loser Lothario with a screwdriver before working him over with a meat cleaver and packing his pieces up in a box and dumping it in the city.

If you dig that scene then you are going to be happy viewer because it happens a couple more times with different men supplying the sausage first and chopped beef later.  The cops are quick to pick up on the fact that this slaying has to be taking place around the go-go clubs because that’s where the hippies hang out.  How do they figure out hippies are involved?  Because the dude’s earring in the box clued them into it.  I always enjoy great detective work in film.  The next john on the chopping block should look familiar.  He’s Stuart Lancaster from FASTER PUSSYCAT! KILL! KILL!, THE BORN LOSERS, and THE GODMONSTER OF INDIAN FLATS.  He’s slumming as a psychiatrist doing field research on the go-go culture and he’s excited to study hot chicks dropping acid.  As he questions her he begins to paw at her and eventually nails her in an uncomfortable moment you realize she is going to hack him to bits but you’re okay with it because the sleazebag pretty much molested her.  Strippers are people too dammit.  

When the scuzzy shrink’s corpse turns up the cops are sure they are on the track of the sadistic killer.  Their suspicion that it takes place at the go-go joints is affirmed when they find the diddling doc has been staking out go-go joints.  They walk right into the right place and the right chick is shaking her tits right in front of them but then they piss on their balls and forget why the hell they are there for the most part and wander off.  She ends up tripping balls and fucking and offing some other folks before a fucking real estate agent stumbles on her warehouse rendevous.  The copious amounts of blood and bloody meat cleaver pretty much give it away and the astute agent calls the police who think it just might be tied to their case.  They are interrupted while they are checking the joint out as she brings another clueless horndog into the warehouse.  Things get heated and the cops shoot the guy before he can dance the salami salsa with Lila saving her some messy work.   

This flick has so much going for it that I can’t help but be enthusiastic.  There is a lot of boobs, a lot of blood, and LSfrigginD baby.  This thing is hippie, trippie psychedelic fun from the opening shimmy to the final shake.  If that doesn’t sell it then you can feast your drooling eyes on the always amazing bountiful babe Pat Barrington, from THE ACID EATERS and MONDO TOPLESS, as she shakes her charms all over the screen.  She knows how you’re supposed to belly dance that is for sure.  Some amazingly shitty acting acting from the gentleman who plays a prospective buyer at the warehouse when he asks, “What am I stepping in?  What is this sticky stuff?”  The cops are fun to watch as they putz around and deliver their lines with zero emotion too. 

The title card on this disc bears the original name LILA so this lengthy print appears to be what was originally intended by our dear friend Harry Novak.  This Something Weird special edition is loaded with features.  There’s a theatrical trailer, alternate murder sequence, outtakes, shorts-LSD:Trip or Trap, Alice Goes to Acidland and Girl in a Cage.  A Gallery of Harry Novak exploitation posters and “The Something Weird Trailer Park” which features trailers for THE CURIOUS DR. HUMPP, THE MAD BUTCHER, and FRANKENSTEIN’S CASTLE OF FREAKS. 

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