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Overall Rating

Awesome: 9.09%
Worth A Look: 18.18%
Average: 9.09%
Pretty Bad54.55%
Total Crap: 9.09%

1 review, 5 user ratings

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Wizard of Gore, The
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by The Ultimate Dancing Machine

"'Our hands are bleeding!!!'"
2 stars

I've never been an H. G. Lewis fan. It's nothing personal; I find his movies visually bland and badly acted--and those are the GOOD points. Watching this unintentionally goofy horror effort from 1970 did nothing whatsoever to change my opinion.

The central premise is fairly imaginative and promising: A magician named Montag the Magnificent stages remarkably realistic variations of old smoke-and-mirrors tricks, like sawing a woman in half or pounding a spike through another's head. Incredibly, his volunteers leave the stage unscathed--only to die horribly later, due to some bizarre delayed effect. The police go nuts trying to figure out what we the audience know from the get-go: Montag possesses some very real--and very deadly--magic.

The film occasionally hints at a metaphysical subtext of the what's-real/what-isn't variety, but make no mistake: this movie exists solely for its cheap gore effects, which are both plentiful and unconvincing. For all his reputation as the "godfather of gore," Lewis really is a lousy director. His dialogue scenes are utterly boring. Shots are framed poorly. In one scene you can actually see a crewperson reflected in a mirror.

Despite everything, the film generates a certain low-level campy charm. It's just so damn silly, between Ray Sager's ultra-hammy performance and all the viscera that looks like ground-up hamburgers, that you have to give it that much credit at least.

But more than anything else, it's boring. This is one wizard no one should be off to see.

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originally posted: 04/23/03 17:21:34
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User Comments

7/13/10 Josie Cotton is a goddess Fun mindless gore-fest 3 stars
6/13/08 mr.mike If like me this is your thing , it is a must. 4 stars
7/26/04 Tom Goad I shouldn't like this film. But, somehow, I do. I even find it charming, in it's goofy wy 4 stars
6/27/03 Jimmy Yearwood A must see for fellow drive-in freaks 5 stars
4/24/03 Charles Tatum Gore Bore 1 stars
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  23-Oct-1970 (R)
  DVD: 06-Jul-2004

  N/A (18)

  02-Dec-1970 (R)

Directed by
  Herschell Gordon Lewis

Written by
  Allen Kahn

  Ray Sager
  Judy Cler
  Wayne Ratay
  Phil Laurenson
  Jim Rau
  John Elliot

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