The Godfather of Gore Speaks – Herschell Gordon Lewis Discusses His Films
Exploitation filmmaker Herschell Gordon Lewis is credited with single-handedly creating the gore genre with the 1963 release Blood Feast. This low-budget shocker would ultimately influence nearly every horror movie which has followed, as well as “high-brow” films as varied The Wild Bunch and Reservoir Dogs. Lewis, dubbed “The Godfather of Gore,” crafted more than thirty-five films in his ongoing career (the exact number varies depending on whom you talk to). Lewis would ultimately work in a number of genres, including gothic horror, drama, sexploitation, blaxploitation, and even musicals, and each of his low-budget productions features a singular style and vision that cannot be ignored. No matter what genre Lewis worked in, he remained at the forefront of cinematic trends and movements. In The Godfather of Gore Speaks: Herschell Gordon Lewis Discusses His Films, the filmmaker explains his choices and motivations – from concept to finished product – in much more detail than ever before. Assisted by noted film historian Andrew J. Rausch, Lewis shares often hilarious anecdotes and provides analysis for the thirty-nine films which he either directed or assisted with direction. “Herschell Gordon Lewis is known all over the world as ‘The Wizard of Gore.’ He’s a whiz of a wiz in just about everything else, too, including, but not limited to, brain surgery, moonshine making, international diplomacy, auto body work, nuclear physics, and siding sales. He writes textbooks and does windows, and don’t ever challenge him to a game of Scrabble.” –David F. Friedman “Herschell Gordon Lewis is the man who put red meat into the American cinematic diet. Ultimately Herschell made Quentin Tarantino possible.” –Joe Bob Briggs
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