The Wizard of Gore remake (film, 2008)

From Death Ray 16.

Director; Jeremy Kasten

Writer: Zach Chassler

Starring: Kip Pardue, Bijou Phillips, Crispin Glover, Jeffrey Coombs, Brad Dourif

Remake of not-very-classic splatter picture is too complicated for its own good.

There is not enough space here for me to describe how poor the The Wizard of Gore is, but I’ll try. It attempts to have us question reality. Mostly you just question why you are watching.

The plot: titular wiz (Glover) appears to cut people up on stage. They are unharmed at the end – it is a powerful illusion – but the next day they turn up dead. Can journalist Ed Bigelow (Pardue) uncover the truth? Reality is unpicked.

Hershell Gordon Lewis attempted similar philosophising with his original, but he chucked buckets of blood over it – he never forgot he was making a two-bit shocker. In contrast, the complicated plot here takes up too much time and is too fragile to survive scrutiny. “He’s mad!” isn’t sufficient character motivation, in any case Bigelow, with his trust fund, archaic suits and toy newspaper, is entirely unlikeable. Coombs, Glover and Dourif are good, as usual. Otherwise, the result is a film so dull it even makes the naughty burlesque subculture it is set in look boring and seedy.

Did you know?

The film makes extensive use of Suicide Girls, alternative lifestyle models from the cult website.


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