Watch: Count Gore De Vol Interviews Herschell Gordon Lewis
Gore is good for you! (And I mean that in more ways than one.) The Internet’s favorite bloodsucker Count Gore De Vol interviews the Godfather of Gore, Herschell Gordon Lewis, who, at 81-years-old, is out there promoting his latest blood-soaked masterpiece, The Uh-Oh Show!. With a spry and devious glint still in Lewis’ eye, there’s no denying that a full and lengthy career directing some of the most grotesque movies ever made is a healthy key to keeping oneself eternally young at heart.
After letting Lewis plug his newest film, the good Count does begin inquiring about Lewis’ earliest days in the gore business. (And leaving out mention of Lewis’ previous efforts directing nudist camp movies.) It’s a familiar story to those who have read up on the director’s career, but it’s good to hear him talk personally about gore being the mother of invention, a tactic simply to get butts in seats in the theater. And it’s good advice! It’s what every cinematic pioneer has ever thought: “What can I do that nobody’s ever done before?”
In Lewis’ case, that certain something never done before was show a buxom blonde get her tongue ripped out of her head, which he filmed in his first splatter film, Blood Feast. It’s also fun to hear in the interview above Lewis discussing how cheap that movie was to make, but the success of which encouraged him to raise the budgets on subsequent movies like Two Thousand Maniacs.
But then, as the splatter field got more crowded and began getting co-opted in mainstream Hollywood fare, Lewis abandoned the gore field for other endeavors, only to return once the VHS rental business made his older films available to a new, appreciative generation. A generation that includes myself. Although, I wasn’t very appreciative upon first seeing Blood Feast when I was a teenager as getting over the not-very-good acting, for instance, is something one has to do. However, there’s a charm and a spark to Blood Feast that still keeps it an endearing, entertaining film.
The Uh Oh Show! is more of a satire than a straight-up horror movie and, truthfully, the acting level still isn’t very high, but it’s a fun film if one watches it in the right spirit. What’s especially refreshing about it, though, is Lewis’ subversive streak that’s still going strong. You can read my full review of the film here.
Gore is also good for Count Gore De Vol, who continues to host horror movies on his website Creature Feature every week, as well as posting interviews with horror film folk like Lewis. As always, you can learn about the Count’s incredible career in the highly entertaining documentary Every Other Day Is Halloween.