on October 3, 2011
It would be easy to pass this up as being a package of movies that was put cheaply together for a quick buck if you didn't know better. Don't make that assumption.
These are three examples of early gore from the pioneers of the genre, Herschell Gordon Lewis and David F. Friedman. While not exactly Oscar-worthy, they have their place in cinema history. The transfers on the Blu-ray discs aren't exactly reference quality, but they're fine for these films, and probably far better than they ever looked on drive-in screens. In some scenes, you could argue they look TOO good. The main audio tracks are PCM mono.
BLOOD FEAST - If you ever wondered where modern horror started, look no further than this cult classic. A caterer puts together a feast using body parts of his victims. Filmed on a budget of $24,500 (according to Friedman in the commentary), it is one of the most horribly acted movies you will ever see...yet there's something appealing about this film even today. The gore, cheesy by today's standards, was like nothing ever seen before in its day. The movie became a sensation at drive-in circuits around the country and birthed a segment of cinema that simply hadn't existed previously.
TWO THOUSAND MANIACS - After making names for themselves with "Blood Feast", Lewis and Friedman made "Two Thousand Maniacs" with triple the budget. A small Southern town celebrates the anniversary of the Civil War by tricking some Northern tourists into town and killing them in various community events. Most of the actual residents of the shooting location were all too happy to participate in filming, which made the movie look far bigger than it was.
COLOR ME BLOOD RED - A frustrated artist can't find his color...until his girlfriend accidentally cuts herself. After creating his masterpiece with her blood, he needs more to continue painting. You know where this is going.
Watch them all twice...once without the commentary, then once with. Lewis and Friedman provide some great stories, especially if you're a fan of drive-ins and understand the history of exploitation cinema. And don't miss the extras "Follow That Skirt!" (possibly the best thing on the disk) and a vintage short about cutting meat called "Carving Magic!".
For the asking price, this is an outstanding value.
on September 9, 2015
I thought I might mention that the widescreen presentation on this Blu-Ray seems to be created artificially by cutting off the top and bottom of the picture. This is most obvious in 2000 Maniacs and the proof is that HGL and DFF are discussing Connie Mason's duck-foot pose when she's in the police station - on the full frame DVD you can see her feet, but in this presentation they are invisible. Then you'll notice how close ups of faces frequently cut off the lower mouth and jaw, as when the mayor and other crazies are leering at the dismembered woman on the desk. It's very disconcerting. Also, notice how the audio commentary on 2000 Maniacs in this presentation is slowed down for some reason, so everyone sounds like they've been chugging cough syrup. I really think all of these films looked fine on their DVDs and they should be seen in full frame, not widescreen. On the positive side, it's cool that all three movies fit on one disc with their trailers and outtakes and such. I just don't see why anyone would prefer the false widescreen which offers only about 2/3 of the original picture and creates some jarring images that make it seem as if the camera operator was incompetent at framing a picture. Buy the DVDs instead for a better if slightly more costly experience.
on October 22, 2014
Never really cared much for the classic "Blood" movies until I decided to try this collection from Something Weird. 'Blood Feast' was more entertaining than I had expected and is my favorite for this trilogy. What I like about this collection is that there are 3 commentary tracks(one for each movie); so after watching each movie, I can enjoy listening to the enlightening comments from Lewis and Friedman(Mr. Lewis definitely dominates all the commentary tracks and doesn't let anyone else get a word in edgewise).
The picture and sound quality for each movie is pretty damn good. And similar to most SWV releases, this set contains a good deal of special features including comment tracks, featurettes, trailers, etc. As a side note, the Blu-ray case feels rather cheap and flimsy. And also in my opinion the box-cover artwork seems a bit bland compared to Something Weird's older releases. But overall this is still a great release and the price on Amazon can't be beat at just under ten bucks for the set(at the time of my purchase).
on January 27, 2015
DVD Review: VERY VERY EPIC! What you'll get is 3 of H.G. Lewis evolutionary gore movies Blood Feast, Two Thousand Maniacs and Color Me Blood Red all in it's 1:78 ratio aspect. Also included is audio commentaries from H.G. Lewis, David Friedman and some guy who runs Something Weird Video in which are very fun to listen to. Normally, audio commentaries are boring, pretentious, and stupid but these guys are funny and honest and their stories are entertaining to listen to. Also there are a couple of short films, outtakes, trailers and photo galleries.
Movie Reviews: These movies are flat out entertaining. They are also exploitation so don't expect epics like Lord Of The Rings. Of course if you did expect it, you should be shot. These movies are the very first films to ever use gore EVER! Doesn't mean they are best gore films ever made (Dead Alive and Story Of Ricky are what I consider the best) but these films did what they suppose to do: ENTERTAIN! Who cares if they are low budget and crappy looking. They ARE GREAT!!
Conclusion: 5 Stars for the DVD, 4 stars for Blood Feast, 4 1/2 for Two Thousand Maniacs, and 3 1/2 for Color Me Blood Red.
on September 2, 2010
Herschell Gordon Lewis made Horror history with 1963's BLOOD FEAST, widely considered to be the first "gore" film. In the years before the MPAA, filmmakers were only limited from showing excessive nudity on-screen. With no rules preventing anyone in the movie industry from depicting gratuitous violence or horrifying bodily dismemberment, H.G. Lewis and business partner David F. Friedman embarked on a series of films that exploited these loose regulations in an attempt to compete with the major studio releases in the drive-in circuit. The two did not ease in to this newly established genre with just a few missing limbs or a severed head, but (literally) covered the screen in blood and butchery from start to finish. This simply had never been done before, and even to this day, BLOOD FEAST continues to serve as one of the most shocking and gruesome films in the genre.
Mrs. Fremont is throwing a dinner party for her daughter's engagement, so in order to impress her guests, she has hired the exotic caterer Fuad Ramses to put on an extravagant feast! What she doesn't know is that Fuad has worked up a special menu made from bits and pieces of the missing girls from around town, which he will be serving as the main course in an Egyptian blood feast to appease the goddess Ishtar!
PSYCHO, this is not; Lewis' listless direction shows all of the style and finesse of an early stag film (another genre with which he was fondly familiar). BLOOD FEAST tastefully implies nothing, and instead plasters the screen in one lurid image after another, using as few camera set-ups and shots as possible for the minimal amount of coverage provided. Lewis and Friedman would tap Playboy playmate Connie Mason to star as the beautiful young bride-to-be, who would return for their follow-up 2000 MANIACS the next year. Mason, along with her fellow cast members, produce truly horrible performances, but the roles are so poorly acted and outrageously over-the-top that they give way to the highest level of camp. As if the subject matter was not forward enough, Lewis' editing clearly demonstrates his lack of concern with plotting or characterization, as the camera holds on the disfigured remains of Fuad's victims much longer than it ever does for any of the characters in the film.
Using gallons of red paint and nearly an entire butcher's shop of animal entrails, BLOOD FEAST offers everything from a beach full of splattered brains, to a torn out tongue, a hacked off leg, and more in eye-popping color film stock! While this may not seem like much, the method in which the murders are filmed and the absolutely absurd amount of bright-red blood make these moments as memorable as they are completely revolting.
Herschell Gordon Lewis, the "Godfather of Gore," has left behind a bloody trail of influence in the wake of this seminal shocker. BLOOD FEAST has had a profound effect on countless young filmmakers, and will continue to live on in the annals of Horror for many years to come.
Two Thousand Maniacs
A conveniently placed detour sign on a remote country road lands a group of Northern vacationers right smack dab in the middle of Pleasant Valley's Centennial celebration. The jovial Mayor Buckman invites the newcomers to participate in each of the town's festivities, but what the visitors don't know is that they are being lead to the slaughter as part of the locals' bloody revenge for a Civil War defeat! Herschell Gordon Lewis' drive-in classic TWO THOUSAND MANIACS is a vast improvement over his first gorefest, BLOOD FEAST, complete with a highly imaginative plot and several of the most memorable executions in shock cinema. Of the many carnival games the travelers 'participate' in, the bloodiest include a spiked barrel roll, a four-way horse race, and a smashing game of Hit the Target! The outrageously over-the-top acting and absurd dialog only add to the film's campy charm, but Lewis' no-budget approach to filmmaking only produces the same flat results in terms of the actual production. Regardless, TWO THOUSAND MANIACS is the Godfather of Gore's greatest film, and an early milestone in the history of splatter pictures.
Color Me Blood Red
His third gore film in three years, COLOR ME BLOOD RED is the last of the three pictures that make up Herschell Gordon Lewis' original 'Blood Trilogy.' It is also the most sophisticated of any of his films, and one that is likely his most personal. It tells the tale of Adam Sorg, a struggling artist that only finds success after he begins painting in his victims' blood! The theme of the tortured artist is taken to absurd new heights (or lows, rather) in this gruesome black comedy. Lewis instills his frustrations with his own lack of critical acclaim through his preferred medium, while commenting on how his only means of receiving any recognition in film was to include more blood and gore. Surprisingly, COLOR is even more visceral than either of the other entries in the series, containing everything from the disemboweling of a model to a brain-splattering shotgun blast to the face. Gordon Oas-Heim also provides an intense performance as the lead, closing out the thrilling climax with a bang! While it rarely ranks as a favorite among fans, this truly is one of Lewis' better films.
I Like Horror Movies
on February 27, 2016
Three movies from the early days of gore. Herschell Gordon Lewis was a pioneer way ahead of his time. These movies are fun to watch and ridiculous. A must have for any true gore/horror fan. The price is excellent for these movies as well. Great edition to my blu ray collection.
on April 26, 2016
fast arrival with corny -first of their kind- slash films. All slash fanatics must experience: these films are slightly lame but they give you a feel of what people in the day before gore felt were gnarly, before Leather face, Jason and Michael were conceived
on February 15, 2012
I just wanted to say, These movies are all great, and others like them. I must own about 150 movies of this type. A Lot of people that leave reviews for these types of movies always seem to use the words "So bad They are Good". I have never felt that way. To me these movies are so good because they ARE good! "Something Weird Video Company" is probably THE BEST distributor of this stuff. And they make the movies even more enjoyable with all their extras they add to the discs, stuff you probably just wouldn't see anywhere else. When you think of all the work the filmmakers of these movies put into creating them, because they did most of the work themselves, you begin to appreciate their efforts. I like that these movies are what they are. An art form within themselves. Nowadays they are extra fun cause you get to see all those old classic cars when they were all new. And the shots of old grocery items, or the shots of the old style gas stations. Fun is the best way to describe these movies. Great Stuff.
on April 8, 2014
Herscell Gordon Lewis was one of those pioneering people who realized something, A movie doesn't have to be great to amake money!!!! This man was the one who inspired Alfred Hitchcock to make Psycho. How one might ask? Hitchcock was the master of suspense, an A-List Director who made some of the best movies the world has ever known, could be beat out financially by a B-Rate exploitation pruducer/director like Lewis.
The fact is, Lewis insipiered the "Exploitation" & "Gore" Genres of movies with the "Blood trilogy" of films. Definately Exploitive. Definately Gory. Definately B-Rate or worse. But Definately 3 Movies that not only any Horror Afficinado should watch, but should also own!
I had always heard of these 3 but had never seen. On one of my frequent trips to Fry's, I saw this Blu-Ray triple pack & bought it. I watched all three movies one right after the other, and loved all three of them (Blood Feast, 2000 Maniacs, & Color Me Blood Red). I can't help but love the sheer drive in theatre atmosphere, the chintzyness, the low budget horror of it all.
If you enjoy a good piece of sheer artery clogging, B-Rate, exploitative horror movies from a master of the genre (and the one who created it), this is a must have
on April 29, 2013
Though Lewis is definitely not the best director and makes a s***ty performance in all areas that make a great movie, The Blood Trilogy is a very interesting three-piece work. If you're a fan of exploitation, campy horror, blood splatter, and the terrible, yet groundbreaking movie scene, Blood Feast, 2,000 Maniacs, and Color Me Blood Red is just right for you.