Gorgeous & Gory is an annual series of pin-up calendars created under the direction of fashion photographer Jessica Rajs. This colorful (and fairly expensive) hardcover volume collects photos from the first four calendars (and a few which are exclusive to the book), which depict female models in various settings, dolled up in both sexy outfits and bloody zombie make-up.
Some display quite a bit of creativity, especially those which truly pay homage to the classic trashy pin-ups of the 1950s, right down to the bowling alleys, boardwalks, hot rods and garter belts. The photos in the “Zombie Mermaid” chapter are the most elaborate, where a bit of Photoshopping was obviously required. Many, however, are little more than scantily-clad women with scary contact lenses covered in stage blood and bite wounds, their photos shot in a living room, or a parking lot, or a motel.
I suppose parts of the book achieve the violent eroticism it strives for, and with the popularity of zombies at an all-time high, some folks (mostly guys, I imagine) might get a kick out of it. But to be honest, I was expecting something a bit more consistently artistic, zombified versions of the old Betty Grable & Rita Hayworth pin-ups, or the ‘sexy‘ calendars which once graced every mechanic’s garage. Some of that vibe is present, but there are too many spreads which look like they could be cover photos for sexy costume/make-up kits you’d buy at a seasonal Halloween store.