Herschell Gordon Lewis is a name I have come across many times but never actually had the pleasure to see films from until now. And all I can say is that I am a little intrigued.
His film Blood Feast is considered to be the first real gore / splatter horror film in history. I actually did not know this but now that I do I feel like I have to watched all of his movies to see for myself. Yes, I am curious that way. However I do have to add that none of the gore in The Wizard of Gore was remotely scary or disgusting. Not even when I tried to imagine how it would seem to be if I had seen this film for the first time when it was showing in 1970. Because for the effects and editing were too amateurish and too ridiculous to be taken for real. This could have easily been remedied. Like make the actors look terrified. How would you react if you would see a magician cutting up someone and internal organs and all kinds of meaty parts would be exposed? The audience in this film are mostly laughing. Even if you don't think it would be real wouldn't you be surprised to see something like that? None of the normal reactions you would expect. Actually most of the cast show a disconnect to the events. They are discussing the most gruesome things like it's nothing. But what was worse about these gory scenes that they weren't exciting or entertaining at all. It literally looked like they put some meat on someone and covered it with so much fake blood or whatever they used to make it seem real and it obviously wasn't. And to make it even more worse. (No, are you serious? There is more? I am afraid there is.) When the volunteers or victims get cut up they barely show that they are hurting. They scream but the the way they look doesn't really imply that they are hurting deeply.
It's a real shame that this film doesn't have a real plot. The little that there is could have been a real mind bender had they done more with it. It's going to be hard to explain this without spoiling but let's say that Montag is telling us something (which is very hard to overlook sine he repeats his monologue a lot) that supposedly will blow your mind. And to be real honest it would have had the film makers put in that extra effort to write a more cohesive story and stronger characters plus buildup of genuine tension.
Overall I can't recommend this one unless you are determined to become a vegetarian or want to be put to sleep.