Old 01-26-2009, 08:15 PM
"The Wizard Of Gore" - 2008

Between the years 1960 and 1970, a filmmaker by the name of Herschell Gordon Lewis started his career as a director, and subsequently directed 29 films before writing and directing the cult classic “The Wizard Of Gore” in late 1970. More recently Gordon Lewis' opus of grue and illusion was deemed “worthy” of a remake. The result was not only a failure, but a complete travesty.

As our film begins, a journalist name Edmund Bigelow (Kip Pardue) and his girlfriend Maggie (Bijou Phillips) are in the midst of a giant party, complete with peep shows that include, among other things, naked women “blood wrestling”. Strolling along through the crowd, Edmund is handed an invitation to a magic show to be performed by a man who's calling card reads: “Montag The Magnificent --- The Wizard Of Gore --- No Repeat Customers”.

As the show begins and the spotlight focuses on the stage, a geek (Jeffrey Combs, who is vastly underused) sets up the act by eating maggots and biting the head off of a rat. In disgust, one of the female attendees gets up to leave, and immediately Montag (Crispin Glover, giving us a performance that any Joe-Schmoe in drama class coul pull off) appears and exclaims, “Sit down, bitch! Tonight, you die!”. What follows can only be described as brutal, the woman is called on stage and immediately makes her way through the crowd, becoming metaphorical putty in Montag's hands. Which is quite strange considering only moments before she was about to leave the show. Montag sets up a smoke screen and after giving a very confusing speech, he inserts miscellanious metallic tools of death and destruction into the stomach of the woman. While removing what could only be the woman's intestines the smoke screen goes haywire and Montag looks shocked. Everyone in the theater, fearful for their life, jumps out of their seats in a total panic. The spotlight comes back on, and Montag brings the girl back, showing no signs of the wounds, for an end-of-the-show bow.

When Edmund falls asleep that night, he is haunted by images of the woman dying the same gruesome death, only this time by his own hands. Following all of this, and a second viewing of the show, the mystery yarn starts to unravel....

The main thing I find so terrible about this new remake of “The Wizard Of Gore”, is just how confusing it can be to the average viewer. I was immediately let down, but it took me an hour after the initial watch to realize just how bad the new “The Wizard Of Gore” actually is. With editing that I can only compare to John Carpenter's “Cigarette Burns” (which was the only film to use this style pseudo-effectively), the film just becomes even more confusing , and reminds me of a lot of the dreck that we see on MTV lately.

While the film kept me entertained throughout it's 88 minute running time (which is no hard task), I found myself feeling completely cheated by the time the end credits rolled. While featuring some memorable deaths (including a use of the “Brazen Bull”, which was popular in ancient Rome), the gore is mostly CGI, which really leaves a bad taste in your mouth and the sense of realism is shot. If they could rip people apart in George A. Romero's “Day Of The Dead” way back when, then they could certainly do it now.

THE VIDEO: “The Wizard Of Gore” is presented in 1:85.1 Anamorphic Widescreen. Though the film has an inherent DTV look, the colors are faded, and the picture is grainy, I'm going to have to say that this was an artistic choice and not the fault of the transfer.

THE AUDIO: While “The Wizard Of Gore” may look bad, the audio was great. Making use of the surrounds quite well, it sounded wonderful on my 5.1 setup. It's a shame they wasted such a wonderful surround track on such a terrible film.

THE EXTRAS: While I can't say this for the film, the extras are actually decent. The commentary is a load of fun, and the other features are informative and interesting. Once again, it's a shame they wasted such work on a bad film like this.

FINAL THOUGHTS: As great as this film could have been given the intriguing story, this was a complete failure that leaves me wondering why or even if Herschell Gordon Lewis gave this the OK. SKIP IT


For slasherclub.com.....

Last edited by Elementmorgan; 01-27-2009 at 02:46 AM..
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