Wizard of Gore (1970)
Directed by Herschell Gordon Lewis

Starring Don Alexander Jim Rau Judy Cler Phil Laurenson Ray Sager Wayne Ratay

A masterpiece of awful film-making, so poorly made it's hard to believe it sprang out of the 1970s. H.G. Lewis' films stand the test of time not because of the over-the-top bloodshed in them (which is still gruesome by today's standards) but because of the incredible, awe-inspiring bad acting, dialogue and editing.

Like his "2,000 Maniacs," "Wizard" is a riot. It has one of the most ludicrous, strangest, worst endings ever put on film, one that must literally be seen to be believed. In fact, I still have trouble believing it and I've watched it about 12 times.

Sager totally over-acts his role as Montag the Magnificent, a magician who mutilates subjects right on stage, ripping out their eyes and guts in front of cheering audiences, and magically returns them to their nice, normal selves after the trick is over.

The only problem is that shortly thereafter the wounds he originally inflicted on them return. A square-jawed hero and his girlfriend, a TV show host, investigate to see what the hell is going on.

Not a single person in this film can be called an actor. Not one. Naturally, therefore, this film is highly recommended. Unintentionally hilarious and grotesquely beautiful in its ugliness, it's a deformed gem.

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-- Review by Lucius Gore


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