Horror Show – Los Angeles Review of Books

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Introducing his 2007 remake of the beloved Herschell Gordon Lewis oddity The Wizard of Gore, director Jeremy Kasten said he admired the original film, made in 1970, but that there was room for improvement. “Herschell wasn’t much of a storyteller,” he said to the packed house at the Brattle Theatre in Cambridge, Massachusetts, before playing us his psychedelic makeover. Nor, he might have added, did people come to H. G. Lewis movies to be so entertained. Lewis was a ferocious marketing executive by trade, and his movies had the same blunt effectiveness of a personalized mailer or a cold call. He knew audiences were there to see blood and guts and he delivered in spades. His film Color Me Blood Red (1965) uses the blood of a serial killer’s victims as paint on a canvas. When a shock of that degree is in the offing, the narrative is simply a buttress, no more functionally important to Lewis’s methodology than synch sound or a tripod. There was room for Kasten to turn such a flimsy framework into something with personality without ruffling anyone’s feathers. lareviewofbooks.org

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