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WRITTEN REIVEW: The Godfather of Gore

“It wasn't any good, but it was the first of it's time.” is how Herschell Gordon Lewis refers to his film Blood Feast. It's a film that isn't very good by anyone's standards, but it is memorable in the hearts of horror fans as being the first “splatter” film. The “slasher” movie wouldn't quite be what it is without the works of H. G. Lewis.

Compared to other horror films from this time, which shied away from excessive blood and gore, the sole purpose of Blood Feast was to exploit that very subject matter. As a result it earned Lewis the prestigious title; “Godfather of Gore”.

Earlier in his film career, before the advent of “splatter”, Lewis excelled at a different exploitation film sub-genre, the “nudie-cutie” film. Lucky Pierre for instance, a film about women who gyrate naked at the local park while an artist, “Pierre”, paints their lurid figures. Yep, that's a “nudie-cutie” in a nutshell. Any damn way a film could find an excuse to showcase naked people (mostly young women) and/or simulated intercourse would become the purpose of that film. Before the nudie-cutie, people had to watch footage of child birth to see nude women. SERIOUSLY!

These wild elements of Lewis's life are just what you should expect from Godfather of Gore. Directed by Frank Henenlotter & Jimmy Maslon, and released by none other than Something Weird Video.

It covers the complete H. G. Lewis career – including his later work as a copy-righter. Most people don't know this, but Lewis, invented “junk mail”. Lewis was a damn pioneer of his day. He knew that blood, titties and annoying advertisements that can't be stopped would soon be the way of the future.

Not only is the film fascinating, and it chronicles Lewis' films, but it also chronicles his return to the town in which Two Thousand Maniacs was filmed.

H.G. Lewis interview on Incredibly Strange Film Show.

The film tends to drag a bit, as so many of his films are so similar, but what makes up for this is the back stories – that are a blast -- and the color commentary from such individuals as THE John Waters and THE Joe Bob Briggs.

If you are a fan of Lewis' films, are the least bit interested in his film, check this documentary out!


★ ★ ★ ½