- Note: Blu-ray discs are in a high definition format and need to be played on a Blu-ray player.
The Herschell Gordon Lewis Feast
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In 1963, director Herschell Gordon Lewis pulled a cow s tongue out of an actress mouth on camera, and in doing so, changed the landscape of horror cinema forever. That sequence was just one of numerous gruesome gags featured in Blood Feast, the film credited as being the world s first gore movie. It s no exaggeration to say that the modern gross-out movies of today owe their very existence to the pioneering efforts of H.G. Lewis. But whilst Lewis is most widely celebrated for his blood-and-guts epics (Two Thousand Maniacs!, The Wizard of Gore et al.), there s more to the prolific director than splatter. From tales of sordid photographers (Scum of the Earth) to sex robots (How to Make a Doll), from biker girl-gangs (She-Devils on Wheels) to youths-run-amok (Just for the Hell of It), and from psychic witches (Something Weird) to hard liquor-loving hillbillies (Moonshine Mountain), the filmography of H.G. Lewis reads like a veritable wish-list of exploitation movie madness. Now, for the first time ever, Arrow Video is proud to present fourteen of the Godfather of Gore s most essential films (including nine Blu-ray world debuts), collected together at last and packed full of eye-popping bonus content. So put your feet up, pour yourself a glass of good ol moonshine, and prepare yourself for a feast H.G. Lewis style! Region code: B+A. LIMITED EDITION CONTENTS: Fourteen of the Godfather of Gore s finest attractions, newly restored from original and best surviving vault materials: Blood Feast, Scum of the Earth, Two Thousand Maniacs!, Moonshine Mountain, Color Me Blood Red, Something Weird, The Gruesome Twosome, A Taste of Blood, She-Devils on Wheels, Just for the Hell of It, How to Make a Doll, The Wizard of Gore, The Gore Gore Girls, This Stuff ll Kill Ya! High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) and Standard Definition DVD presentation of the features and extras on 7 Blu-ray and 7 DVD discs Brand new introductions to the films by Lewis Hours of extras including newly-produced interviews and featurettes, commentaries, short films and much more Additional 2 bonus Blu-rays featuring 1.33:1 versions of Blood Feast, Scum of the Earth, Color Me Blood Red, A Taste of Blood and The Wizard of Gore [limited editions exclusive] Additional bonus DVD: Herschell Gordon Lewis: The Godfather of Gore documentary [limited editions exclusive] 28-page H.G. Lewis annual stuffed full with Lewis-themed activities plus archive promotional material [limited editions exclusive] Newly illustrated packaging by The Twins of Evil [Feast edition exclusive]
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I digress. This set is bigger than it looks. Its a fairly large boxset, which is no bad thing (see my pics for size). Lewis has made many films and this set contains a vast array of some of his better work. Now, for those who have just discovered horror films or have just heard about Lewis' work and are curious about it, well, i can tell you now; dont expect high production values, great acting or cgi. None of that stuff is found here. These films are cheap, low production values and the acting is quite amateur. But none of that matters at all. What you have is a collection of some of horrors most important films. Important in many ways. They opened gateways, they made people think differently about film and what was accepted as 'entertainment'. Blood Feast caused a huge stir upon release. And you can imagine how it affected people who had never seen onscreen gore before - and all this in the 60s, the times of peace, love, w**d, a**d and the hippy movement.
If you are a mainstrem horror fan who is primarily occupied watching big Hollywood blockbuster hits and has never seen low budget films then you will probably not like these films but if you're serious about discovering horrors roots and wise enough to understand the importance of films from yesteryear then you cannot deny Lewis gave us a subgenre that will forever go down in the history of horror.
I originally bought most of these films on vhs many years back. Then i got a few on dvd. I waited for the price to drop on this set then bought it. At 50 quid (correct 21 Oct 2017) its well worth it. Arrow seldom fail with their releases. The only downside, for me personally, is when they box together dvds and blurays together. I would have been happier with two seperate boxsets giving you the choice of either dvd or bluray and i would have got the dvd set. I see no real bonus for having two versions of the same film in 2 different formats in the same boxset. I love seeing the vhs quality of some older films. A true retro vibe. The grain, colour wash and dirty contrast tones add a true vibe that is usually cleaned up in dvd and bluray. This can ruin a films atmosphere. Many true classics from years back have been remastered and it takes away the true raw power of the film. Of course, the grain haters think that thats a good thing but all it does is ruin most older films. Im sure some of you prefer cleaned up films but i dont for the most part, not unless its needed.
If you were born around 1995 onward then you were born in to the clean digital world of film so you probably wont understand the true retro feel and look of film as it was during the vhs boom and rental days. Truly great times sadly gone.
What you can do is take a trip down memory lane with this boxset full of Lewis' work. You will see how things once were, how important these films are and you should appreciate this type of work for what they acheived.
Sadly, Lewis passed away last year in Sept. It was a sad time for many horror fans. He was a true inspiration, a truly talented filmmaker and a talent we'll probably never see again due to the nature of the digital age.
Films range from iconic (Blood Feast, 2000 Maniacs), to fun exploitation (Moonshine Mountain, Scum of the Earth, She Devils on Wheels), to decent broad horror (Color Me Blood Red, The Gore Gore Girls, The Wizard of Gore) to the utterly unwatchable (How to Make a Doll (the worst film I’ve ever seen, seriously), This Stuff’ll Kill Ya).
Overall well worth the investment - I’ve still all the commentaries to listen to and docs to watch - it really is a feast. H G Lewis was a self confessed huckster and in no way a great filmmaker but his ouvre has a real charm about it and plenty memorable moments to enjoy. Recommend this set for casual buyers, essential for fans.
Transfers are pretty good, considering the range of films come from the 60's!
Great to sit back and watch and try and imagine yourself in the 60's watching these films and being shocked by what you see