Join us as we explore the wild and offbeat cinema that played the roadshows, drive-ins and grindhouses.
For fans of low budget exploitation genre films from the 1960s and 70s, the name HERSCHELL GORDON LEWIS represents one of the pioneers of an especially unique type of rebellious, outrageous and shocking type of cinema.
For this 10th installment in our History of Exploitation Cinema series we'll be highlighting just some of our favorite works from the pantheon of the legendary master of maniacal moviemaking.
"Smeared in buckets of bright red paint and brimming with juvenile tastelessness, H.G. Lewis’ most popular feature, Blood Feast, is a genre-spawning, slice-and-dice epic not unlike an ultra-violent take on Community Theater. It possesses none of the generally recognized standards of quality filmmaking (i.e. thoughtful direction, elegant writing, and authentic set design) and serves up a bevy of jaw-droppingly awful performances that seem like the acting work of a confused elder or recent head wound victim. Yet, Blood Feast possesses an undeniable charm, achieving a sense of wonder and significance through its unique perspective and guileless creation. This is the kind of film that seems to know its flaws, embraces them, and welcome the viewer to heartily laugh along."
"Lewis' pictures pride themselves on having very simple plots that are laced with macabre humorous details, and TWO THOUSAND MANIACS! is no different. Basically a gore variation on BRIGADOON, the film still is oddly charming and memorable just for it's plot and set-pieces. Where else but a Lewis film could you find a gore/musical/comedy? Musical? That's right! Ol' H.G. Lewis himself wrote and performs (with the Pleasant Valley Boys, of course) all of the films music including the classic "The South's Gonna' Rise Again!" But it's not just about the music, you watch a Lewis film for over-the-top gore scenes and set-pieces. You get to see a thumb severed, people barbecued, someone getting drawn and quartered, someone taking a roll in a very dangerous barrel, and the infamous ol' Teetering Rock. While not as much a "shock value" flick as BLOOD FEAST, it's a much better crafted film where the gore comes at better intervals and in a more suspenseful fashion. Lewis had figured out what worked and what didn't with his first foray into the gore film and really perfects his genre here. It may be the screenplay and general zany, cartoonish feel of the film, but this is the best of his original "Gore Trilogy", hands down."
"The Gruesome Twosome could have become a perfect classic of it's kind---That is, only if it was allowed to survive as the short-film it originally was. You see, in order to have a respectable run at Drive-Ins or theaters, it was mandatory by this time for films to exceed the 60-minute mark. But the first cut of of this film came up a little short of the running time and some re-shooting was demanded. Some of the filler that was added turned out to be bad. but The advancement of gore effects by 1967 standards were also improving big time. As a result, some of the gore gags (not just containing head-scalping) still hold up quite well. The Gruesome Twosome ranks high as one of Lewis' best gore films and deserves more of a better appreciation. "
For all your H.G.Lewis needs we highly recommend this ultimate BluRay boxset from Arrow Video!
In BLAST OFF GIRLS, Dan Conway stars as a ruthless and greedy talent manager who "discovers" and then exploits unknown rock bands. It's an uproarious and rockin' H.G. Lewis' style take on the classic story of trying to make it big in the music biz!
UNTIL NEXT TIME....
For more in-depth information on the films in this series, please visit our website: www.grindhousedatabase.com