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RyanPC
04-22-2004, 03:53 AM
The Wizard of Gore (1968) ***1/2 THE WIZARD OF GORE is one of the final offerings of goremeister Herschell Gordon Lewis, and what a fine (awful) film it is. Montag the Magnificent (Ray Sager) hypnotizes audience members to assist him in his magic act. He calls upon the lovely ladies to perform the more risky stunts, such as the “saw-the-woman-in-half” gimmick. Only these are no gimmicks- they’re the real deal! What’s hard to believe, though, is that after Montag is through slicing-n-dicing them on stage, they step down as if none of it had happened. Later, however, they literally fall to pieces!

This was my first taste of the “Father of Gore” at work, and what a treat it was! Lewis was a pioneer in the art of bad cinema- he made the first gore film ever produced, BLOOD FEAST, in 1963 after directing a series of softcore pornos in the early 60’s. THE WIZARD OF GORE doesn’t disappoint, and will leave even the hungriest of gorehounds with a full stomach! While the special effects leave much to be desired (particularly that decapitation stint in the beginning of the movie), the blood-n-guts are plentiful, so if you’re one who prefers quantity over quality, this is the perfect film for you!

Speaking of quality, the acting is also lacking in this department. The actors- including Montag himself- make so many fumbles with their dialogue that it’s impossible to take the characters seriously. However, when it comes to films such as this, it’s more important for the actors to be memorable rather than competent, so in that department it succeeds. The film wouldn’t be the same without Ray Sager as Montag, who takes ghoulish delight in spitting out unintentionally (?) funny lines that will stick with you long after you’ve seen it. At one point in the movie, Montag actually mispronounces “concentrate” as “croncentrate”!

Overall, THE WIZARD OF GORE turns out to be a deliriously amateurish cheesefest, but an enjoyable one. I’m looking forward to seeking out more of Lewis’s work, and if you are a bad movie fan, I suggest you do so as well if you have never seen one of his films.

Mark Relford
04-23-2004, 03:55 AM
Did you like the ending? I never saw it coming.:D It's a very creative movie and his second best after Two Thousand Maniacs.

Recommended:

Blood Feast
Two Thousand Maniacs
Gore Gore Girls
Something Weird
She-Devils On Wheels

Atmims
04-23-2004, 04:25 AM
Glad you enjoyed it Ryan. I recommend checking out all Lewis's gore flicks. Even Gruesome Twosome, which I knocked before, turned out to be cool after giving it another shot.

RyanPC
04-24-2004, 04:39 PM
The ending was pretty good, but I didn't quite get it. I didn't like it at first, but after watching it again with the commentary, I like it more now.

I'm absolutely going to check out more Lewis flicks, the guy I won this in a contest from sent me a VHS bootleg (I think) he got some years ago of The Gore Gore Girls along with the DVD because he felt bad for taking so long to send it to me. I watched about 35 minutes of it last night, but am going to finish it today because I was almost going to fall asleep since it was so late. I liked what I saw though, and the death by meat pounder as seen in the excellent trailer (which I saw when I owned the Extra Weird Sampler) has got to be seen to be believed! I also dig the caruosel music they play while she was dancing and when she's being murdered. :D

drown021
05-02-2004, 01:07 AM
I never finished this one (wog) but I will soon.I bought The Blood Trilogy box set as my introduction to h.g. lewis and loved it.Then I went and got the gore gore girls,then bloodfeast 2 and finally wizard of gore.
Wich other ones are there besides gruesome twosome or is that it?

mcchrist
05-03-2004, 07:45 AM
Well, that's basically Herschell's gore catalogue, but his other stuff can be quite good as well. Something Weird, for example.

Workshed
06-25-2007, 06:39 PM
Ouch, I gotta go out on a limb and say I didn't enjoy Wizard of Gore. It was a very long 95 minutes for me, so long that I kept getting impatient during the film, like, "Come on! Figure it out, guys." But nope, they don't. And here we go with another magic show scene, same speech, same hypnotism, and basically the same crowd.

I did like the bad acting, though, especially Montag--good catch on the "croncentrate" mispronunciation, Ryan. God, did his makeup look bad or what? And was everyone wearing wigs? Montag's glee during the gore scenes was fascinating--he really rubbed the viewing audience's face in it, didn't he? What a bizarre character. And yeah, the gore was hilarious. Guts! Montag likes to fondle them, no doubt.

This was a very limited film, and for that, I will give it credit as I did wince during the eye-poking close-up. Yuck! But I was pretty bored otherwise, sorry to say.

Nevertheless, any time the good Mr. Glover is involved with something, I'll check it out, and the remake to Wizard of Gore is no exception. Hope it gives us a little more of Montag.