Now this is more like it from Herschell Gordon Lewis, even if The Wizard of Gore doesn’t really have much of an ending now that I think about it. Still Lewis creates one of his more unique and fascinating horror movies, offering up a commentary on the nature of reality while still offering up plenty of horrific and violent murders. The blood of course flows a lot in this movie, and the gore effects straddle the line between disturbing and goofy, which can also describe pretty much every one of his movies that I’ve seen so far. Ray Sager is fantastic as Montag the Magnificent, who is either your garden variety trickster magician, actually gifted, or in fact a man killing people with his magic acts. All of them seem to apply here, as Sherry (Judy Cler) and her boyfriend Jack (Wayne Ratay) discover while they investigate Montag as the bodies pile up. This movie probably has the best acting out of all of his splatter movies, as both Cler and Ratay have good chemistry together and are very likable characters.
Still this movie would not work without Sager, who practically eats the scenery and has an odd menace about him while also managing to appear harmless. That’s a tough line to walk and Sager does it rather well in my opinion. Although not as good as some of his earlier works, The Wizard of Gore is still worth viewing and is even fun in some aspects. I suppose at this point I’m the exact audience for Lewis’ work, and people such as myself are why his cinema lives on years later, for good or for bad. I prefer to think it’s for good.
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