The Godfather of Gore (2010)

I met the Godfather of Gore a few year’s back at Cleveland’s Cinema Wasteland.  I half expected meeting an uncivilized has-been, but Pittsburgh-born Herschell Gordon Lewis was and is a literate and engaging speaker.  The dude received a Master’s degree in Journalism from Northwestern University and was a professor of English lit at Mississippi State. We all know him of course for landmark gore titles he collaborated with producer (and soundman) Davis F. Friedman: The seminal and pioneering Blood Feast (1963), Gordon’s favorite Two Thousand Maniacs (1964), and Color Me Blood Red (1965).  Lewis went on to make several other gore films, including The Wizard of Gore (1970) and The Gore Gore Girls (1972).

Brother’s Michael and Harry Medved thought enough of Lewis to include him in their list of all-time worst directors (The Golden Turkey Awards, 1980), but they miss the point. Lewis was a daring and original filmmaker and his early movies are entertaining.  My favorite is crowd-pleaser Two Thousand Maniacs (…the south is gonna rise again… ). With grotesque modern horror like The Human Centipede 2, The Serbian Film and countless Asian bloodletters,viewed today Lewis’ films are almost tame.

Something Weird Video has released a tribute to Lewis The Godfather of Gore (2010).  The DVD is narrated by Lewis and includes several anecdotes from Lewis and former business partner Friedman.  Lewis walks us through a fascinating history of his films.  He’s such a good speaker you wonder if he has done voice-over work (I wish Pixar would use him sometime).  The DVD also includes over an hour of deleted outtakes, a trailer reel, a rare Lewis short film Hot Night at the Go-Go Lounge! and an art gallery.

All for about $9.99.  Perfect holiday viewing!

Here’s a YouTube clip:

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