Tuesday, October 30, 2012

What Halloween Means To Me Day 26: Herschell Gordon Lewis

On this beautiful All Hallow’s Eve-Eve, we’re going to hear from a true legend, The Godfather of Gore himself, Herschell Gordon Lewis.  It would be impossible to overstate HG Lewis’ impact on the genre.  A maker of ‘nudie cuties” during his early career, he revolutionized the way horror was presented onscreen in 1963 when he made Bloodfeast.  Considered to be the first “splatter flick,” it was the first time gore of that kind was seen on the silver (mostly drive-in) screen.  His sanguine sin-ema classics like Two Thousand Maniacs, Color Me Blood Red, The Gore Gore Girls, and The Wizard of Gore gave birth to the idea that blood and guts sells.  Basically every genre of horror was either inspired by or altered by that concept.  Sure, gore would have eventually become an ingredient in horror, but I doubt it would have done so as dramatically.  In other words, in my mind Lewis, who has always maintaned an “Aw, shucks” type of demeanor regarding his place in cinema history, just might be the single most influential director as far as horror flicks of the last 50 years are concerned.  He’s currently looking for an adventurous producer so he can start rolling on Mr. Bruce and the Gore Machine.  Dammit, someone better get on that right away!  Mr. Lewis, would you do the honor of telling us what Halloween means to you?

For those whose sense of excitement and whose anticipation for The Unknown have been dulled by their dull lives, pedestrian holidays such as Thanksgiving and Christmas are sufficient.
But for us gorehounds, Halloween is our holiday. We own it. We revel in it. We build anticipation to the stroke of midnight, when if the gods of hell see us cavorting, all hell breaks loose.
On a personal level, Halloween has even more significance for me, because that's when theatres that normally sneer at my schlocky splatter films will book them, even for a midnight show. (Try getting one of these movies booked into a theatre on an ordinary Wednesday night.) And DVD rentals spurt.
Yes, it's my night. C'mon and share it with me. We'll share our night in hell.”

1 more day ‘til Halloween, Halloween, Halloween.  1 more day ‘til Halloween, Silver Shamrock.

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