Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|The Herschell Gordon Lewis Collection |
The Gore Gore Girls / A Taste of Blood / She-Devils on Wheels / The Gruesome Twosome / The Wizard of Gore / Something Weird
Actors: Frank Kress, Elizabeth Davis, Betty Connell, Toby McCabe, Bill Rogers
Six Blood-Spattered Cult Classics from the Creator of Blood Feast and Two Thousand Maniacs !The Godfather of Gore, Herschell Gordon Lewis, is back and ready to paint the room red with six outrageous tales of terror! A wigm... more »
Essential viewing for fans of "bad" movies!
Steward Willons | Illinois | 01/15/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is a fantastic DVD collection from everyone's favorite source of strange, bizarre, and just plain trashy films: Something Weird Video. I have a few of their DVD collections, but this is definitely my favorite. There is such a range of watchability in so-called "bad movies", that SWV titles are sometimes hit-and-miss. You can have awful movies that are hilarious all the way through (Plan 9 From Outer Space), cheap movies that are actually amazing (Carnival of Souls), or movies that are just painful to sit through. The films need to be engaging and that's exactly what Herschell Gordon Lewis spent his career doing - terrible films that are always entertaining and never dull.
SWV collects six of HGL's best goresploitation flicks, minus the Trilogy of Blood, which has its own SWV box set. Although HGL fans probably know what to expect, I'll give a little summary of each of the titles.
"The Gruesome Twosome" - This is classic HGL - plenty of gore, plenty of inexplicable filler, so bizarre that it's fascinating. You'll find some interesting weapon along the way including a motorized kitchen knife (think Sharper Image from the 60s). Grade: A
"She-Devils on Wheels" - HGL's female biker movie. It's low on gore, but high on camp. It feels like a less edgy version of Russ Meyer's "Faster Pussycat! Kill! Kill!" It's not my favorite, but still fun. Grade: B+
"Something Weird" - It's the weakest of the set. It sort of deals with witches and LSD. There are some interesting hallucination scenes and some decent music, but not much gore and not too many creative deaths. Even HGL himself declines to provide much of a commentary on this one. Grade: C
"The Wizard of Gore" - My personal favorite HGL film of all time. I've seen them all and this is definitely one of the goriest and most creative. It's relatively short, so it doesn't have a chance to get dull. The acting is beyond belief. The blood is beyond excessive. It's sublime. Grade: A+
"A Taste of Blood" - HGL claims this as his best and most beloved film. This is his "Plan 9" - his film with absolutely no compromises. Unfortunately, it has some fairly boring sections. Since budget constraints keep HGL from including a lot of big scenes, anything over 70-80 minutes is going to have a lot of long dialogue scenes. This is not good. The film runs for close to 120 minutes, which is way too long for this sort of thing. There are some good parts, but it's not one I watch frequently. By the way - Watch for HGL's cameo as a dock worker! Grade: B
"The Gore Gore Girls" - This film is out of control. Go-go dancing, gruesome murders, bizarre deaths (killed by a meat tenderizer???), and more. "Blood Feast" is more famous, but this gives it a run for its money. Although I personally like "Wizard of Gore" slightly better, I have a feeling most people will pick "GoreGore" as their favorite. It's fantastic - a HGL classic that no fan should miss. Grade: A+
Now, on to the extra features. As we have come to expect from SWV, there are plenty. Each film has a feature-length commentary with the man himself. His remarks are enlightening and often quite funny. They're as entertaining as the films themselves. I don't usually make it through an entire commentary track, but these were just great.
Beyond commentaries, we've got galleries of HGL exploitation art, various short subjects, and even a strange "how to carve a turkey" short film featuring everyone's favorite HGL regular, Bill Kerwin. There are tons of great features to explore.
Overall, this set is excellent. Every HGL fan *must* pick this up. And to those interested in the wonderful world of bad movies, this is a great introduction. There are plenty of trash-film auteurs out there (Harry Novak, Doris Wishman, etc.), but HGL is one of the most consistently entertaining around. I highly recommend this collection."
It ain't art but it's fun
mrliteral | 07/27/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"If you've watched the movie Juno, you probably remember one scene that shows an excerpt from an old horror movie, The Wizard of Gore. As a fan of such movies, this had piqued my interest, so I eventually picked up a box of three movies by Wizard's director, H. Gordon Lewis. The movies (his "Blood Trilogy" of Blood Feast, 2000 Maniacs and Color Me Blood Red) were schlocky but fun, motivating me to pick up a second collection which, among other movies, includes Wizard of Gore. This set is the H. Gordon Lewis collection.
H. Gordon Lewis directed and produced movies from the 1960s into the early `70s. All independently made on shoestring budgets, they hardly have the look of studio fare. In addition, Lewis knew that to make money, he'd have to cross certain boundaries of "good taste", at first with sex, then with violence. It was great stuff for teens and young adults. By the time of the movies in this set, Lewis had really carved his own little niche: he knew he was not making classics, but he also knew he was bringing in the audiences.
The first film in this set is Gruesome Twosome, a comic movie about an old lady who runs a wig shop with her demented son (she's not all there, herself). She advertises a room for rent to attract young college girls, who too late find out that they are to be killed and scalped to provide new material. I guess it's one of those things you learn about places to avoid, like those shops that offer "special meat" dishes. Along with the movie is a short on wig making.
A Taste of Blood, by far Lewis's longest horror movie (at nearly two hours), is a reworking of the Dracula story, with an heir of the legendary vampire taking on his ancestor's traits. To fully take on his dark powers, he must kill descendants of characters from the Stoker novel; fortunately, a Van Helsing descendant is catching on that there's a new Dracula about. This disc also has an "archival nudie" silent short called Nighmare at Elm Manor.
Something Weird is, well something weird. It's also the name of the video company putting out these DVDs. The story has something to do with a man who is electrocuted and takes on psychic powers, though he was scarred in the process. A witch restores his good looks in exchange for his being her lover. There's also a serial killer about, which the psychic is asked to help track down. This disc has three psychedelic short films.
She Devils on Wheels is not a gore movie (although there is one nasty killing), but rather a film about the Man-Eaters, a gang of female bikers. There's not really a plot in this one as much of a series of episodes in their lives, as they race, have sex and raise havoc. The short subject on this disc is Biker Beach Party.
Then there is the Wizard of Gore (as shown in Juno), the tale of a magician who really does saw women in half. At least that's what is seems like; there seem to be two separate realities: what he sees and what his audiences see. The women do walk off stage, but then die soon afterwards, just as in his tricks. This is the only disc of the six without a short feature.
Finally, there's the Gore Gore Girls, Lewis's last venture into the world of horror (or more technically, gore movies). He goes out with a bang, with not only over-the-top violence but plenty of topless women in this tale of a mysterious killer who's offing strippers. Unlike all the no-names in the other Lewis movies, this one does have a small appearance by Henny Youngman. The short subject is a disemboweling scene from Love Goddess of Blood Island.
All the films come with commentaries that are fun to listen to and make it clear that Lewis knew he was not making art. And certainly, by many standards, these are bad films, filled with hammy acting and cheesy dialogue, but they fit in the special category of so-bad-they're-good. Also, since Lewis was a pioneer in this field, these movies are historically interesting. They won't appeal to everyone - probably not even most people - but for fans of low budget horror, this collection is a fun set."