Every day for the month of October I am watching and reviewing a horror movie that I haven’t seen before. Here’s today’s:
WIZARD OF GORE
H.G. Lewis, United States, 1970
Even though I’m a huge fan of H.G. Lewis (sadly RIP as of Sept) and stage magic, this was one film I just never got around to watching. Lewis is one of the all-time great exploitation filmmakers and he basically single-handedly creating the gore film with 1963’s BLOOD FEAST. There is a certain low-budget glee to his shlock-fests that just doesn’t seem to exist anymore. It’s a feeling that’s best complimented with a midnight viewing, a few beers, and some weed.
This one concerns a stage magician who performs particularly gory illusions which (of course) turn out to be real. The build-up to each bloody set-piece is surprisingly suspenseful and thrilling. Cheesy, over-the-top gory, and strangely psychedelic at times, this is everything a midnight movie should be. The complete disregard for shot-to-shot continuity only makes everything more charming.
Considering the bloody nature of the magician’s onstage tricks, I have to wonder if Penn & Teller have ever seen this.