The Wizard of Gore
Director: Herschell Gordon Lewis
Well, if nothing else, the joys of Something Weird Video helps keep competition going with the likes of Troma. While definitely weird, Lewis keeps up the fine tradition of bad acting, terrible dialogue, and super-saturated fake gore.
An apparently harmless magician, bad stage-act and all, puts on one hell of a show. At least it's edgy enough to catch the attention of one daytime television host (on television!) and her sportswriter of a boyfriend (and let me tell you, he's serious. Seriously bad, particularly when it comes to that whole "acting" thing). The random spark of a thought eventually generates the theory that maybe this whole magic schtick just maybe might possibly be something more than just a coincidence with the recent rash of grisly murders. The local police wholeheartedly concur. The question is, what could possibly maybe just might be the common element here? Luckily for us, the police let the sportswriter and questionable TV personality take charge of the situation since they're so, you know, qualified.
Herschell Gordon Lewis heralded the cheap, sadistic gore-fests long before this, most notably with the 1963 release of Blood Feast and the more familiar Two Thousand Maniacs! hitting screens a year later. While this may be true to form as a pretty sick and twisted low-budget torture-porn of the pre-CGI variety, you have to wonder what good has it done us? Apparently this was classy enough to not show a single boob. Times have changed, though, as 2001 Maniacs shows us. The surprising thing is a remake of this very film due to release this year, starring none other than Crispin Glover in the main role of Montag the Magnificent, plus Jeffrey Combs AND Brad Dourif? Well, we'll just have to wait and see now, won't we? Regardless of pre-release buzz, still worth a screening by the DMR.
Awful Scene: To completely retread the same material, it's completed with the eerie blood cam (aka red filter over camera lens). Brutally dull filler.
DVD Notes: Great initial foreplay upon insertion of DVD, showing clips of various Something Weird Library Films, pretty much gives you an idea of what to expect for the next 95 minutes. Just to give you an idea of how big a fan Something Weird Video is of Herschell Gordon Lewis, they named their endeavor after his 1967 film. Plenty of 1930s-to-1970s exploitation/sexploitation for all Something Weird Video got their hands on this; not too awful, but not great either. Fullscreen with questionably clean print from time to time. Includes a pretty beat-up trailer for the film (truly cheezy), very nice collection of H.G. Lewis's Gallery of Exploitation Art, and a yet unheard commentary by the director. Actually very competent in their presentation for a fairly budget-oriented niche.