The Wizard of Gore – USA, 1968 – reviews

wizarg of gore poster

‘The maniac magician whose monstrous tricks actually work!’

The Wizard of Gore is a 1968 American horror feature film – released in 1970 – directed by Herschell Gordon Lewis from a screenplay by Allen Kahn. It stars Ray Sager and Judy Cler.

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On November 12, 2018, The Wizard of Gore is released on Blu-ray in the UK by Arrow Video.

Buy Blu-ray:

  • High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) presentation
  • Original Uncompressed PCM Mono Audio
  • English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
  • Bonus Feature! 1968’s How to Make a Doll
  • Feature-length audio commentary with Herschell Gordon Lewis and Mike Vraney
  • Montag Speaks an interview with Wizard of Gore actor Ray Sager
  • Stephen Thrower on The Wizard of Gore
  • The Gore the Merrier An interview with Jeremy Kasten, director of the 2007 Wizard of Gore remake
  • The Incredibly Strange Film Show an episode of the cult documentary series focusing on the films of Herschell Gordon Lewis
  • Original theatrical trailer
  • Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Twins of Evil

Montag the Magnificent (Sager) is a travelling magician whose stomach-churning illusionism act culminates in the public killing and disembowelling of young women in front of a seemingly bloodthirsty audience, before magically returning them to their seats unharmed.

However, when the women in question start to turn up dead, apparently victims of some random violent crime, questions start to be asked of Montag, who must try ever harder to maintain the illusion.

In The Amazing Herschell Gordon Lewis, Daniel Krogh notes that the film’s graphic gore effects were accomplished with two sheep carcasses. The carcasses, which had to be carried around for more than two weeks while the film was being shot, were soaked in Pine-Sol, a cleaning product.



Krogh also describes how the chainsaw sequence was filmed: two women, one whose upper body was exposed and another whose legs were exposed, played the single victim. A fake midsection filled with animal organs, mortician’s wax and condoms full of stage blood was placed between the two women.

According to Allmovie, the film’s special effects were compromised “due to rushed schedules, budgetary limitations, and unforeseen accidents on the set”, and Lewis claimed to be unhappy with the final product.

The film was remade in 2007, starring Crispin Glover as Montag the Magnificent.

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Reviews [click links to read more]:

Wizard isn’t nearly as brilliant as Feast, nor as entertaining and witty as Maniacs. In fact, it’s pretty goldang boring a lot of the time. But the movie IS loaded with BUCKETS of guts, which is truly the director’s four-tay.” G. Noel Gross, DVD Talk


“In both its approach and execution, the original Wizard of Gore is a sleazy, surreal treat. It uses a shoestring narrative thread that allows Lewis to indulge in his ever increasing bits of brutality.” Bill Gibron, Pop Matters

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“I enjoyed the quasi-philosophical pseudo-intellectual teasing. It was very simple, and therefore appropriate for an exploitation flick. On the other hand, I felt that Wizard was a poor product regardless. It is slow and un-suspenseful, at least until the final 15 minutes, and the half-dozen gore sequences felt routine. The best single sequence is the spike-through-the-head.” David Elroy Goldweber, Claws & Saucers


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The Herschell Gordon Lewis Feast: 17-Disc Limited Edition Box Set – Arrow Video Blu-ray + DVD (US and UK) 


Buy: |

Arrow Video is proud to present fourteen of the Godfather of Gore’s most essential films (including nine Blu-ray world debuts), collected together in a Limited Edition set and packed full of eye-popping bonus content.

  • Fourteen of the Godfather of Gore’s finest attractions, newly restored from original and best surviving vault materials: Blood Feast, Scum of the Earth, Two Thousand Maniacs!, Moonshine Mountain, Color Me Blood Red, Something Weird, The Gruesome Twosome, A Taste of Blood, She-Devils on Wheels, Just for the Hell of It, How to Make a Doll, The Wizard of Gore, The Gore Gore Girls, This Stuff ll Kill Ya!
  • High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) and Standard Definition DVD presentation of the features and extras on 7 Blu-ray and 7 DVD discs
  • Brand new introductions to the films by Lewis
  • Hours of extras including newly-produced interviews and featurettes, commentaries, short films and much more
  • Additional 2 bonus Blu-rays featuring 1.33:1 versions of Blood Feast, Scum of the Earth, Color Me Blood Red, A Taste of Blood and The Wizard of Gore [limited editions exclusive]
  • Additional bonus DVD: Herschell Gordon Lewis: The Godfather of Gore documentary [limited editions exclusive]
  • 28-page H.G. Lewis annual stuffed full with Lewis-themed activities plus archive promotional material [limited editions exclusive]
  • Newly illustrated packaging by The Twins of Evil [Feast edition exclusive]

Choice dialogue:

Montag the Magnificent: “Torture and terror have always fascinated mankind!”


The film’s budget was reportedly $60,000.

More Herschell Gordon Lewis movies:

Blood Feast

The Gore Gore Girls

The Gruesome Twosome

Monster A- Go Go

Two Thousand Maniacs!

The Wizard of Gore

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