There is nothing more exciting than a magic show, now add a little splatter to the mix and you have the making of a true bloody-tastic classic. Released on October 23, 1970, The Wizard Of Gore left everyone a little horrified and excited to see what else this movie was to entail. I know even today its a gruesomely fun mess.
One of the most influential horror features in my life has and always will be The Wizard of Gore. Dubbed the Godfather of Gore, Filmmaker Hershell Gordon Lewis lived up to the title in magnificent, gruesome ways by not only throwing around buckets of entrails and blood but also writing a fascinating and disturbing storyline to go along with it. My love for the dark and disturbing world of gore was triggered by this delectable piece of cinema. And who would I be without it? So, as with many true splatter happy gore fans, we can’t help but sit back and admire this film for what it is: an inspiring, delightfully disgusting, and down right bloody great movie.
One of my favorite aspects of the film itself was the acting, although it wasn’t magnificent. It was done to the best of all ability. It can’t be an easy to feat to be sawed in half and still maintain character. The Wizard of Gore definitely set my standard for splatter films, and because of it, I find it incredibly hard to find another movie to compare it too. It is so beautifully done, and when it comes down to main characters and dangerously eccentric auras, no one can ever top Ray Sager as Montag the Magnificent. It isn’t every day that you can watch someone playing with entrails and say, “Wow, he did that so well.” This movie has been a strange, unhealthy, amazing addiction for me, and it’s one that I indulge in constantly.
H.G Lewis had a specific charm to all his films. He had the ability to always bring out the best of his cast, even if they generally weren’t all that great at their jobs. In almost all of his films, that fact is made abundantly clear. You can tell that Lewis had a strange love for the splatter, and that is why it is so great. The passion and obsession are there, and you can see it in every single scene, even the ones with no gore. You feel the dedication.
Appreciation for splatter goes far beyond just buckets of blood and guts. For some, there is a certain demeanor that needs to be attached and a certain awareness of disturbing pleasure that needs to be brought forth. That, with the ability to write a gruesome yet fascinating storyline, is what makes a good gore film last and become a classic in the eyes of all.
No, it isn’t easy to stomach for some, but for those of us who love splatter and blood, The Wizard Of Gore is beyond our imagination, giving us a thrill that you rarely find in film today. I will always continually look for it. Our existence would be boring without the dark world of gore and splatter, thanks to H.G Lewis and his incredible imagination, passion for darkness, and love for guts and blood. We can just sit back and watch this classic over and over. Every once in awhile, we’re given a true masterpiece that exists in only its time and space, one that can never be repeated.
Today, The Wizard Of Gore still holds up, and even though many have tried to live up to the expectation and standard set by H.G Lewis, none truly can even with the ridiculous storyline. It’s an odd cascade of mutilation by crazy magician who hypnotizes women on stage and then proceeds to torture them with anything and everything you could imagine. Of course as with all magic, they wake up without a single scratch on them only to be obliterated days later by the same item used during their hypnosis. What fascinated me the most was how the storyline expanded; the town knew what he was doing and that people would die eventually, but they would still go see his shows, and many women would still volunteer to be hypnotized by him nonetheless. Simple and downright brutal, but I do have to admit the unique kill count is high in this film and oh, how I appreciate a unique kill.