The Wizard of Gore (1970)

Salutations my screechers, screamers, and scary dreamers,

Tonight’s tale of terror entitled “The Wizard of Gore” involves illustrious Montag’s macabre magic.  Volunteers are violently eviscerated and magically mended as crowds curiously contemplate his corporeal conjuring.  Post-performance, participants die displaying distress similar to symptoms suffered while wicked wizard Montag monstrously made mincemeat of their vital viscera. 

This film has a very clever conceit, but the execution makes it feel like a cheat. What should have been a tight supernatural thriller is composed mostly of monologuing and gory filler.  To make it worse certain events are never explained and make little sense.  Each of these nonsense scenes had such a long duration that they caused me a lot of aggravation. The movie ends up feeling very fragmentary as it shows us the lock but does not give us the key.

As if the lack of plot was not enough of a whammy, the acting here is also hammy. I am not even sure what else to say other than the acting alone almost drove me away.  Halfway through I had more than I could take and was forced to give myself a little break just so that I could make it all the way through and be able to stand behind this scathing review. 

The soundtrack was so disjointed and unclear that it undermined any attempt at an atmosphere. The score alternates between chiller fare and police procedural with stops and starts that are grating and terrible. The tone would have been better stated if the music had sounded more integrated. 

This picture does have more success when it comes to the gruesome special effects.  This is the film’s most clever trick but how they pulled it off might make some of my readers sick.  To my blood adverse fans please skip to my score for I am about to reveal how they achieved the gore. They soaked two sheep corpses in Pine-Sol to slow the deterioration and carried them for two weeks between each filming location. 

Story/Concept: 1
Direction/Style: 1
Scares: 1
Atmosphere: 0
Rewatchability: 0

TOTAL: 3/10

In conclusion, though this movie is sanguinary one would be hard pressed to call it scary.  This picture’s pacing is far too sedate while the story, score, and stagecraft are second rate.  In the words of my sweet Juliette, “The Wizard of Gore?” They should have just called it, “The Wizard of Bore.” 

Stick to the shadows my fine friends. 

Sincerely, 
Mr. William Nightshade