The Wizard of Gore (1970)

R | 96 mins | Horror | 1970

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HISTORY

Director Herschell Gordon Lewis was often credited as “the creator of the splatter film,” showing explicit gore for arguably the first time with his 1963 picture, Blood Feast (see entry), as noted in a 21 Oct 1984 LAT article and Lewis’s 29 Sep 2016 NYT obituary. All of the director’s films were said to have turned a profit, including The Wizard of Gore, which opened in late Oct or early Nov 1970 at the Cinestage Theatre in Chicago, IL, on a double bill with Blood of Dracula’s Castle (1969, see entry), according to the 4 Nov 1970 Var. A 17 Mar 1971 Var box-office chart listed The Wizard of Gore’s cumulative earnings at one theater as $23,500, to that time.
       In 1986, a home video version was set to be released by Continental Video, according to a 7 Feb 1986 DV news item.
       A clip of the film appears in the Academy-Award-winning 2007 picture, Juno (see entry), when the character “Mark Loring” refers to Herschell Gordon Lewis as the “master of horror” and uses The Wizard of Gore to prove his point to title character “Juno MacGuff.”
       In 2006, Open Sky Entertainment announced they were currently shooting a remake of The Wizard of Gore in Los Angeles, CA. The picture, which starred Crispin Glover in the role of “Montag,” was released in 2008 on ... More Less

Director Herschell Gordon Lewis was often credited as “the creator of the splatter film,” showing explicit gore for arguably the first time with his 1963 picture, Blood Feast (see entry), as noted in a 21 Oct 1984 LAT article and Lewis’s 29 Sep 2016 NYT obituary. All of the director’s films were said to have turned a profit, including The Wizard of Gore, which opened in late Oct or early Nov 1970 at the Cinestage Theatre in Chicago, IL, on a double bill with Blood of Dracula’s Castle (1969, see entry), according to the 4 Nov 1970 Var. A 17 Mar 1971 Var box-office chart listed The Wizard of Gore’s cumulative earnings at one theater as $23,500, to that time.
       In 1986, a home video version was set to be released by Continental Video, according to a 7 Feb 1986 DV news item.
       A clip of the film appears in the Academy-Award-winning 2007 picture, Juno (see entry), when the character “Mark Loring” refers to Herschell Gordon Lewis as the “master of horror” and uses The Wizard of Gore to prove his point to title character “Juno MacGuff.”
       In 2006, Open Sky Entertainment announced they were currently shooting a remake of The Wizard of Gore in Los Angeles, CA. The picture, which starred Crispin Glover in the role of “Montag,” was released in 2008 on DVD. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
7 Feb 1986
p. 28.
Daily Variety
17 Feb 2006
p. 38.
Los Angeles Times
21 Oct 1984
Section AD, p. 18.
New York Times
29 Sep 2016
Section A, p. 24.
The Tennessean
27 Dec 2007.
---
Variety
4 Nov 1970
p. 11.
Variety
17 Mar 1971
p. 9.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
PRODUCERS
Exec prod
WRITER
Orig scr, Orig scr
PHOTOGRAPHY
2nd cam op
Col lighting coordinator
FILM EDITORS
Film ed
MUSIC
Mus backgrounds
SOUND
MAKEUP
Makeup & hairstyles
PRODUCTION MISC
Prod mgr
Prod coordinator
Unit mgr
Tech des unit chief
Property communications
Stills
DETAILS
Release Date:
1970
Premiere Information:
Washington, D. C., opening: 23 Oct 1970
Physical Properties:
Sound
Color
Eastmancolor
Duration(in mins):
96
MPAA Rating:
R
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
44467
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

Sherry Carson, a television show hostess, and her sportswriter fiancé, Jack, watch an obscure magician, Montag, perform in a small theater. After an unspectacular beginning, Montag calls a woman from the audience and saws her in half. The woman is apparently unharmed and returns to her seat, but an hour later, while she is sitting in a restaurant, she dies, her body severed in two. Sherry, unaware of Montag's true powers, invites him to appear on her show. Meanwhile, his gruesome tricks continue to result in the delayed deaths of his female subjects. Appearing on the television show, Montag hypnotizes the entire audience, and a drop of blood appears on each person's hand. Jack, realizing the danger, rushes to the studio and pushes Montag into a fiery cauldron. Later at Sherry's apartment, Jack removes his face and becomes Montag. He dismembers Sherry, but she shares the magic power and transports Montag back to his initial ... +


Sherry Carson, a television show hostess, and her sportswriter fiancé, Jack, watch an obscure magician, Montag, perform in a small theater. After an unspectacular beginning, Montag calls a woman from the audience and saws her in half. The woman is apparently unharmed and returns to her seat, but an hour later, while she is sitting in a restaurant, she dies, her body severed in two. Sherry, unaware of Montag's true powers, invites him to appear on her show. Meanwhile, his gruesome tricks continue to result in the delayed deaths of his female subjects. Appearing on the television show, Montag hypnotizes the entire audience, and a drop of blood appears on each person's hand. Jack, realizing the danger, rushes to the studio and pushes Montag into a fiery cauldron. Later at Sherry's apartment, Jack removes his face and becomes Montag. He dismembers Sherry, but she shares the magic power and transports Montag back to his initial performance. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.