Rewind: The Wizard of Gore ReviewWell, I was planning on reviewing a special treat for the site, but I got caught up with other things. I've been having a really hard time earning a living, and for the first time in a long time, I'm close to not being able to pay rent. So today I was hitting the pavement, and on the phone, trying to make a buck before the 1st of the month. It's not working out too well.
But since it's Wednesday, and I hook you guys up with a review, here's a blast from the past. One of my personal favorites, and while I'm still waiting to review the updated version of this film, I'll have to settle for the older options found here. I'll be back on Friday with a new review of a special film.
The Wizard of Gore is a gorey piece of horror history, but really isn't all that great when you think about it. The movie follows a magician who is digging up bodies from the cemetery, brings them to life, then kills them live on stage, only to bring them back for the audience to see.
Within an hour, those same women are found dead.
Police are baffled, and one television show host wants to get to the bottom of things.
First of all, this magician looks like a 70's era porno star. He reminds me a lot of John Holmes or someone that would be in Debbie Does Dallas or some other film. I'm surprised Ron Jeremy wasn't featured in the back drop of this film, because the main villain looks like a porno star. I mean look at him...just look!
So with that in mind, I thought for sure I would see some nudity. That was thwarted fast. There is some slight cleavage on the part of the talk show host, but her "love" scenes are the most vapid and unsexy scenes I've ever seen. It is like the director wanted to tease you, but then decided not to after all. The sexual situations are so horrible, that it made me want to throw something at the television. The girls that this guy is digging up look perfect. There is no sign of decay, no sign of death, and you would believe that things are on the up and up.
The majority of talk of this film is not so much on the plot, but the gore. The blood is bright read, there are hot dogs and sausages looking like intestines, and while the magician (wizard) is messing around with killing these girls live on stage, the screams are just horrible. It's almost like they dubbed the screaming after the fact, and just went with whatever sounds they could get.
This film is so hard to watch that you might get lost as to what is going on. The story doesn't do a good job explaining itself, and right when you finally figure things out, the story throws a wrench at you. The story ends on such a stupid twist, and such a cop out, that you're seriously going to be upset.
Here is a trailer for The Wizard of Gore:
The Wizard of Gore might be a cult classic, but it is really hard to watch. Granted, this film was made in the 70's so my expectation levels were lowered, but this low? It wasn't all that great, seriously, it is gorey but there is such a horrible sense of acting in this film. It's either really understated, or really over the top. The gore, that's where this film shines. There's a lot of cool gore effects, considering the age of this film, and I liked that. Other than that though, The Wizard of Gore just isn't worth the time. I'm sorry.
Maybe I need a second viewing of this one. I don't know if I can make it though. It's worth watching at least once, and it's definitely getting a good push into the mainstream with the recommendation that was made in the film Juno. Herschell Gordon Lewis really does a nice job creating the splatter film genre, but this was a tough watch if you're not a fan of gore. If you are a fan of gore, you'll LOVE The Wizard of Gore, I mean it even has the word GORE in the title!
They remade this film recently with Crispin Glover as the main Wizard, so maybe the updated version might be an improvement. I'll make sure to check it out for a future review.
More Herschell Gordon Lewis films:
Blood Feast via Amazon.com
Two Thousand Maniacs via Amazon.com
She Devils on Wheels via Amazon.com
The Gore-Gore Girls via Amazon.com
Color Me Blood Red via Amazon.com
Blood Feast 2 All You Can Eat via Amazon.com