Herschell Gordon Lewis’ The Wizard of Gore takes on only a half-bad idea yet yields an all-bad result.
Montag (Ray Sager) is a twisted, deplorable showman – an illusionist, whose specialty is bringing young women from the audience onstage and appearing to perform death-defying tricks on them with no apparent result. Unfortunately, the participants all turn up dead subsequently from exactly the wounds you would expect his tricks to cause.
Meanwhile, a TV talk-show hostess and her boyfriend are completely enamoured with this creep, and investigate only after a few of the murder victims pop up.
This is a film that is made to shock and disgust, nothing more and, unfortunately, it is way less than the sum of its parts. I was prepared to give this film a slight pass, but ultimately the ending really spoiled it. I have no problem with twist endings, but this has a twist, and then another twist – all for the sake of twisting – and it makes no sense!
NOTE: This was the film featured in Jason Reitman’s “Juno” (2007), a wonderful film which should in no other way be associated with this unmitigated garbage. In that film, they compared it to Dario Argento’s “Suspiria” (1977). That, too, was wonderful and should in no way – well, you get the idea…