Director Herschell Gordon Lewis has been dubbed the godfather of gore. His films were among the earliest brands of over-the-top shock and awe material, covering everything from cannibalism to masochism.
One of this more revered films is titled “The Wizard of Gore.” In Wizard, we meet a magician named Montag the Magnificent. From frame one he proposes such questions as “what if life is but a dream?” and “how does one quantify something as real?” Live in front of an audience, he demonstrates a new take on some illusions that have never been seen before, including sawing a woman in half without a box, and a drill going through a woman’s head without a cover.
These tricks are performed with a lot of excessive blood and gore, and then at the conclusion of the tricks, the person is put back together like a typical illusion. However, later on in the evenings, the tricks seem to have a weird lingering effect – for example the woman who gets sawed in half literally falls in half while eating dinner that night.
The film has a very playful tone to it, and it honestly is edited in a weird ‘almost trippy it’s so campy’ kind of way, which includes non-continuous takes and mischopped parts (during the gore scenes, there is no continuity between the amount of gore between the shots, and when the trick is complete ALL the blood is cleaned up).
It’s silly, but it’s definitely entertaining. For a classic film from 50 years ago, it still has a lot of charm and a lot of fun. Arrow video has released a newly remastered version on Blu-Ray which presents the cleanest looking copy you can find today.
‘Til Next Time, Mike Cleopatra