The Wizard of Gore
From The Deuce
- The Maniac Magician Whose Tricks Really Work!
- An Astounding Walk Down the Bloody Corridors of the Occult!
- Scenes So Far Beyond Any You've Ever Seen That No Description Is Possible
- In devastating color
- Released in 1970
- Running Time: 95 Min.
- Production Co: Mayflower Pictures
- Distribution Co: Mayflower Pictures (1970) (USA) (theatrical)
Cast and Crew
- Directed by Herschell Gordon Lewis
- Written by Allen Kahn
- Starring Ray Sager, Judy Cler, Wayne Ratay, Phil Laurenson, Jim Rau
- Produced by Herschell Gordon Lewis, Fred M. Sandy
- Original Music by Larry Wellington
- Cinematography by Alex Ameri, Daniel Krogh
- Film Editing by Alex Ameri (as Eskandor Ameripoor)
The Wizard of Gore is a magician named Montag the Magnificent. What makes him magnificent? What is it about his act that has people filling the seats night after night? What is his strange breed of hocus pocus that entices the curiosity of the local press? Maybe it's that Montag really has the audience believing that his volunteers are being slowly and savagely murdered right on stage. The lucky ladies always exit the auditorium good as new so there's no harm in illusion right? WRONG! Turns out these girls have a nasty habit of dropping dead right after they leave Montag's performances; the corpses bearing marks eerily similar to the ones they suffered in jest on his stage.
I love H.G. Lewis. He's the Nikola Tesla of gore. The Godfather of Splatterfilms. But more than that, he's just one of those guys that found his niche and stuck to it with a bloody fervor. He is such a pioneer in the field of gore that other horror filmmakers ended up aping his methods of mayhem for years. The Wizard of Gore is less a film than a visual experiment for newer and more disgusting splatter techniques. It is as if Montag is standing in place of Lewis on the podium and, like a carnival barker, daring the unsuspecting onlookers to gaze upon his latest horrific discovery.
This film is completely depraved. There are scores of wet, brown towels representing entrails erupting from victims. What was really funny is how both the victim and Montag would flail the pieces about with their hands to emphasize the "terror"; a tactic that would make Ed Wood proud. Fake blood, in quantities unseen since the breakup of Kiss, spills onto the stage at every turn. Lewis even employs a false tongue that is ripped from a young girl's mouth with a wire. Ewwwwww. Awesome!
This is not a movie for serious horror fans unless they are also die hard film historians. H.G. Lewis' methods are the basis for some of the later, more refined gore effects of the horror industry. He is wacky and unhinged in his demented enthusiasm for carnage. This is not a good movie, but it is immensely fun to watch. The actor playing Montag is God-awful but there is something endearing about his hopeless, over-the-top posturing. This movie also features one of the silliest twist endings this side of M. Night Shyamalan. It is the perfect midnight movie for film geeks. I was crying with laughter by the end and I mean that as a compliment.
Review by Casper Von Sidecar- 8/22/09