Sunday, May 24, 2009

Horror Movie Review: The Wizard of Gore (2007)

The Wizard of Gore

Directed by: Jeremy Kasten

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

Written by: Zach Chassler

Production Companies: Open Sky Entertainment and Sick-A-Scope

Release Date: May 17, 2007 at the Cannes Film Festival

Ah, remakes, the bread and butter of the horror genre. Sometimes they can be good. Sometimes they can do something original. But usually they are doomed to mediocrity based simply on their origins. Remakes of horror films are created based on prior films of note. Older films which pushed the envelope and put in that extra gore, that extra nudity, that extra twist, that extra shock, that extra originality to be remembered and loved. So remaking it removes that originality and often eliminates some of the twist and shock("We've seen this before.") and sometimes in today's more PC-concious Hollywood with the desire for ever widening viewing audience, some of the nudity and gore gets left out, too.
And thus Herschell Gordon Lewis's The Wizard of Gore gets turned into a sickly, pale movie.
The Wizard of Gore follows Edmund Bigelow, indy reporter of the weird as he becomes obsessed with magician Montag the Magnificent, the Wizard of Gore. Edmund is accompanied on his forays into the shocked audiences by his girlfriend Maggie and with help from Dr. Chong, Edmund begins to learn the secret behind Montag's gory show and why the audience members who are brought on stage and supposedly slaughtered only to turn up dead of similar wounds.

Kip Pardue as Edmund Bigelow wasn't as captivating as Judy Cler was in the original. I think the female protagonist was a better choice and why it was turned into Edmund I can't figure out. One element of the story would have to be altered if Kasten and Chassler had left a female protagonist in the lead of a story about misoginistic slaughter, but that is the least of our worries.

The 2007 tale loses all of those things the original had. That shock, that twist, that gore, that originality. It keeps the nudity, so at least that's something. It's odd that a movie tited The Wizard of Gore would minimalize the gore, but it did. And while there was a twist, it was one that did little to bring closure or clarity to the movie. And it took the fantasy completely out. That's right, ladies and gentlemen, I will reveal that the secret is not in mysterious mind powers, but something a bit more mundane.

It's a shame, too, because Jeffrey Combs, Brad Dourif, and Crispin Glover in the same cool should it have been? Combs's role was too small, but Dourif and Glover were great. It was the script. So put them together in another film where they can go creepy crazy, and leave this flop to gather dust.

Related Videos

The Wizard Of Gore

The Wizard Of Gore, the original one. Be sure to check out my review of the original.

It's Alive

Bijou Philips appeared in the 2008 remake of It's Alive, originally made in 1974.


Crispin Glover starred in this remake of the 1971 horror about a boy and his rats...Willard.

House on Haunted Hill

Jeffrey Combs starred in the 1999 remake of the 1959's House on Haunted Hill.


Brad Dourif starred in Rob Zombie's 2007 remake of the 1974 classic Halloween.

All Souls Day

Director Jeremy Kasdan also directed All Souls Day.

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