Monday, August 11, 2008

Wizard of Gore

Wizard of Gore (1970)

Extremely Trashy
Ranking: YES

Somehow tricked Mr. White into watching this on Scream one night (also tricked her into watching Return of the Living Dead, which seemed a lot better the second time around).

About a magician (Ray Sager) whose act involves brutally killing women on stage... and... well, that's pretty much it. It's kind of a one note movie.

Okay, there's the usual amateur sleuth subplot (Judy Cler is the chick this time) and then there's something about hypnosis and blood on peoples hands and crap like that.

It took Mr. White and I more than half the movie to figure out what the fuck was supposed to be happening (which is much more thought than one really wants to spend on a cheap-o splatter pic), not that it really mattered. The plot was incomprehensible and barely nonexistent. The only function it really served was getting from one cheesy murder to the next.

And boy oh boy were them murders cheesy, and ridiculously graphic. I laughed my head off (again I wondered if there might be something really wrong with me). My favourite was perhaps the punch press.

As for the rest of this movie... the acting was terrible even by Lewis' standards (any scenes with dialogue were almost unwatchable) as was the script. The monologues by Montag the Magnificent were pretty dull, but seemed kinda funny if you pictured Gob Bluth reciting them. The sets were unimpressive. Even the camera work was stultifying.

All the way through, Mr. White was suggesting they remake it as a musical. This is a pretty good idea. They actually remade it last year (I don't think it was a musical though) with, like, Crispin Glover and Brad Dourif and Jeffrey Combs. Cool cool cool.

Terrible though this film may have been, it was still a must watch, at least for me, and cemented Herschell Gordon Lewis in my mind as the ultimate master of horror.


Directed by: Herschell Gordon Lewis. Written by: Allen Kahn. Starring: Ray Sager, Judy Cler, Wayne Ratay, Phil Laurenson, Jim Rau, Don Alexander, John Elliot.

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