Wednesday, June 10, 2009

The Wizard of Gore (1970)

Fear 2/5
Gore 5/5
Entertainment 5/5
Creepiness 3/5
I'm hooked. I'm professing my love for Herschell Gordon Lewis's films. Goddamn his formula is so simple yet effective: have an over the top and insanely kooky main character, have him dispense cornball dialogue and have his co-stars equally match wit and snappy one liners, and show as much blood and guts spillage as humanly possibly. A thinly masked plot is somewhere in the mix but who gives a flying fuck. Its all about fun, gore and taking a psychedelic trip-hop man. You dig?
The Wizard of Gore centers on a magician who specializes in 'illusions' that involve cutting up audience members who have come on stage to 'volunteer'. The creepy magic guy initially employs the tired hat trick of sawing a woman in half but instead of hiding her body behind a box, we see all the gory details as she's hacked into and her innards are exposed. As the film progresses, his act gets more and more elaborate as he seeks to shock his audience with contraptions like a hole cutting machine. After the gory display, you see the volunteers, completely whole and with no visible effects. Until the next day when their body inexplicably separates as they go about their daily bidness. Yuckos!
A reporter and her guy friend are hot on the trail, looking to expose the magician for what he really is: a mind controller and sadistic murderer, not an illusionist. The magician lets the both of them into his world, continuously inviting them to his shows. He tells them that he wants to perform his 'master trick' in a live studio setting, and with her being a reporter and all, she obliges and think its the perfect opportunity to expose him for what he really is.
Blood abounds in buckets, cow and pig organs spew forth, this film is a gore hounds wet dream. And again, the snappy and hilarious one liners that are dispensed throughout make for an even sillier and cheesedick-a-fied affair: 'He's no magician, he's just a master technician!' It's hard to rock a rhyme to rock a rhyme that's right on time its tricky.....I digress. I've yet to see a bad movie from H.G. Lewis. If you haven't checked out any of his films, do so ASAP.
P.S. the movie posters and trailers for his movies continue to be nothing short of amazing with their incredible usage of hyper adjectives.
Cortez the Killer

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