The Herschell Gordon Lewis Collection
DVD | Box Set
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Six Blood-Spattered Cult Classics from the Creator of Blood Feast and Two Thousand Maniacs !The Godfather of Gore, Herschell Gordon Lewis, is back and ready to paint the room red with six outrageous tales of terror! A wigmaker and her psycho son make a Gruesome Twosome when they decide to use real human hair to stock their shop, fresh from bloody scalps! Enjoy A Taste of Blood as an elixir from Count Dracula turns an all-American businessman into a blood-craving creature of the night! Experience Something Weird when an electrical shock disfigures a man who makes a deadly deal with a cunning witch involving ESP, LSD, and killer bed sheets! Then an all-girl motorcycle gang of She-Devils on Wheels turns a small town into a rip-roaring bloodbath after a young girl's initiation sets off a chain of jealousy and murder! Grab a front row seat as The Wizard of Gore mutilates audience members in an act too gruesome to be real, or is it? Then get ready for lots of shakin' and screamin' as The Gore Gore Girls take the stage, where a psycho is picking off the strippers at a nightclub run by Henny Youngman! Mixing pitch-black humor and jaw-dropping blood and guts, these drive-in cult classics will leave stunned, shocked, and begging for more!
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H. Gordon Lewis directed and produced movies from the 1960s into the early `70s. All independently made on shoestring budgets, they hardly have the look of studio fare. In addition, Lewis knew that to make money, he'd have to cross certain boundaries of "good taste", at first with sex, then with violence. It was great stuff for teens and young adults. By the time of the movies in this set, Lewis had really carved his own little niche: he knew he was not making classics, but he also knew he was bringing in the audiences.
The first film in this set is Gruesome Twosome, a comic movie about an old lady who runs a wig shop with her demented son (she's not all there, herself). She advertises a room for rent to attract young college girls, who too late find out that they are to be killed and scalped to provide new material. I guess it's one of those things you learn about places to avoid, like those shops that offer "special meat" dishes. Along with the movie is a short on wig making.
A Taste of Blood, by far Lewis's longest horror movie (at nearly two hours), is a reworking of the Dracula story, with an heir of the legendary vampire taking on his ancestor's traits. To fully take on his dark powers, he must kill descendants of characters from the Stoker novel; fortunately, a Van Helsing descendant is catching on that there's a new Dracula about. This disc also has an "archival nudie" silent short called Nighmare at Elm Manor.
Something Weird is, well something weird. It's also the name of the video company putting out these DVDs. The story has something to do with a man who is electrocuted and takes on psychic powers, though he was scarred in the process. A witch restores his good looks in exchange for his being her lover. There's also a serial killer about, which the psychic is asked to help track down. This disc has three psychedelic short films.
She Devils on Wheels is not a gore movie (although there is one nasty killing), but rather a film about the Man-Eaters, a gang of female bikers. There's not really a plot in this one as much of a series of episodes in their lives, as they race, have sex and raise havoc. The short subject on this disc is Biker Beach Party.
Then there is the Wizard of Gore (as shown in Juno), the tale of a magician who really does saw women in half. At least that's what is seems like; there seem to be two separate realities: what he sees and what his audiences see. The women do walk off stage, but then die soon afterwards, just as in his tricks. This is the only disc of the six without a short feature.
Finally, there's the Gore Gore Girls, Lewis's last venture into the world of horror (or more technically, gore movies). He goes out with a bang, with not only over-the-top violence but plenty of topless women in this tale of a mysterious killer who's offing strippers. Unlike all the no-names in the other Lewis movies, this one does have a small appearance by Henny Youngman. The short subject is a disemboweling scene from Love Goddess of Blood Island.
All the films come with commentaries that are fun to listen to and make it clear that Lewis knew he was not making art. And certainly, by many standards, these are bad films, filled with hammy acting and cheesy dialogue, but they fit in the special category of so-bad-they're-good. Also, since Lewis was a pioneer in this field, these movies are historically interesting. They won't appeal to everyone - probably not even most people - but for fans of low budget horror, this collection is a fun set.
These later films show more gore effects in front of the camera (while very crude to today's standards) and the stories are a little better than the earliest films. The acting (if you want to call it that) is about as stiff as you can get but that really makes these movies such campy fun.
The true horror movies in this pack include the following:
The Gore Gore Girls
A Taste of Blood (not really all that gory but it's about vampires)
The Gruesome Twosome
The Wizard of Gore
The other two films are more hippie/biker movies that were popular in the late 60's:
She Devils on Wheels (no devils just women that are bikers that act tough)
Something Weird (a hippie drug movie)
The best effects are in The Wizard of Gore and The Gore Gore Girls, again they are primitive in execution but this is what inspired all of the films to follow in the years to come.
The quality on the DVD's are first rate (as good as you can get from poorly produced films of the late 60's/early 70's) and the extras on the discs are fantastic. Every one of the DVD's contain audio tracks of Herschell talking with his producer David Friedman and telling stories about each of these "classics." Even if you hate the movies, these stories are truly entertaining and worth the price of the box alone.
If you want to take a trip back to where gore and truly low budget film making got it's start this would be the place.
that unwanted guest to leave in haste get these ,most people will run screaming out the door never to be seen again !!