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Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » The Wizard of Gore: Special Edition
The Wizard of Gore: Special Edition
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Review by G. Noel Gross | posted April 23, 2000 | E-mail the Author
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CineSchlock-O-Rama

The Guru of Gore made several gooey films in the years after his immortal Blood Feast. In each one, Herschell Gordon Lewis continued to test the limits of drive-in goers: Two Thousand Maniacs!, Color Me Blood Red, The Gruesome Twosome and then, The Wizard of Gore (1970, 95 minutes). Sadly, Wizard isn't nearly as brilliant as Feast, nor as entertaining and witty as Maniacs. In fact, it's pretty goldang boring a lot of the time. But the movie IS loaded with BUCKETS of guts, which is truly the director's four-tay.

The movie: Montag the Magnificent (Ray Sager) may be the WORST magician ever. But he's one helluva hypnotist. Montag rolls out the regular illusions, only his lovely volunteers drop dead shortly after each performance. He puts the whammy on his whole audience -- they see the typical "Lady Sawed in Half" trick, but in reality he chainsaws her and fiddles with her guts (and that's BEFORE Leatherface first picked up his Black & Decker in the great Texas Chainsaw Massacre). If the premise sounds confusing, well, it is. But don't worry, the idea's driven home about 90 million times ... chicks get swords crammed down their throats, another gal gets a six-inch hole punched through her tummy, and my personal favorite, the babe who gets a steel spike introduced to her left ear (and soon after, her right). Each time Montag makes a bunch of crazy faces and squishes their slimy guts between his fingers. Whata sicko. Once he's done, he snaps the audience out of their haze and everyone goes along their merry way, none the wiser. Except, of course, for this nosy broad who hosts "Housewife's Coffee Break" (Judy Cler). That figures, eh? If anyone can explain the ending, drop me a line.

Notables: No breasts. Seven corpses. Head tumbles. Electric chainsaw butchery. Gratuitous sports writer. Grave robbing. Spike through the brainpan. P-whipping. Teeth roll. Sword swallowing. Magician Pop Tart. Hypnosis. Eye poking.

Quotables: Sherry Carson (Cler) gripes at her dippy boyfriend, "You know, sometimes you make things sound as exciting as a shoe lace factory."

Time codes: Check out the plastic on the floor (15:50). Whoa, baby ... make out time (58:10).

Audio/Video: Good, clear mono audio track. The blood oozes off the screen in this tack-sharp fullscreen transfer.

Extras: Another great commentary by the director and Something Weird Video's Mike Vraney. Herschell is once again very candid, even saying he isn't crazy about the movie (he prefers The Gore, Gore Girls). He touches briefly on his other films -- such as Year of the Yahoo! -- during the discussion with Vraney. Also, there's the original theatrical trailer. And finally, a terrific gallery of newspaper ads, press kits, and photos from: Moonshine Mountain, Monster a Go-Go, Alley Tramp, A Taste of Blood, Teen-age Strangler, Something Weird, Suburban Roulette, The Girl, The Body and The Pill, Blast-off Girls, Gruesome Twosome, She-Devils on Wheels, Linda and Abilene, The Ecstasies of Women, This Stuff'll Kill Ya! and Miss Nymphet's Zap-In.

Final thought: More for devoted H.G. Lewis fans than the curious viewer. This tedious, but gorrific flick rates higher due to its commentary track. Recommended.

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for additional reviews and bonus features.

G. Noel Gross is a Dallas graphic designer and avowed Drive-In Mutant who specializes in scribbling B-movie reviews. Noel is inspired by Joe Bob Briggs and his gospel of blood, breasts and beasts.

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