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Encyclopedia > Herschell Gordon Lewis

Herschell Gordon Lewis (born 15 June 1926, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA) is a film-maker best known for creating the "splatter film" subgenre of horror. He is often called the "Godfather of Gore", though his film career included works in a range of genres including juvenile delinquent films, rural-themed comedies, and even two children's films. Image File history File links Herschell Gordon Lewis File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... June 15 is the 166th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (167th in leap years), with 199 days remaining. ... 1926 (MCMXXVI) was a common year starting on Friday (link will take you to calendar). ... Pittsburgh as viewed from Mount Washington Pittsburgh is the second-largest city in Pennsylvania, United States, and the county seat of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania. ... A splatter film or gore film is a type of horror film that deliberately concentrates on portrayals of gore and violence. ... DVD cover showing horror characters as depicted by Universal Studios. ... Juvenile delinquency refers to antisocial or criminal acts performed by juveniles. ...

Lewis served as producer only on his first film venture, The Prime Time (1960), which was the first feature film produced in Chicago since the late teens, when the movie industry resettled from there to Hollywood. He would assume directing duties on nearly all of his films from then on. His first in a lengthy series of collaborations with legendary exploitation producer David F. Friedman, Living Venus (1961), was a ficitious account based on the story of Hugh Hefner and the humble beginnings of Playboy. David F. Friedman 24 December 1923 Birmingham, Alabama, USA is an American filmmaker and producer. ... Hugh Hefner, publisher of Playboy magazine, as seen on the November 1976 cover of Esquire. ... Classic Playboy logo Playboy is an adult entertainment magazine, founded in 1953 by Hugh Hefner and his associates, which has grown into Playboy Enterprises, Inc. ...

The two continued with a series of erotic films in the early 1960s. These films marked the beginning of a deliberate approach to filmmaking which each respective party would continue through their production careers; films made solely as a business venture with the intention of turning a profit. Typical of these nudies were the screwball comedies B-O-I-N-G! (1963) and Adventures of Lucky Pierre (1961), a film made for a shoestring budget of $7500 which would become the duo's first overwhelming financial success. Because film restrictions had not yet allowed for sexual depictions in films, the bulk of Lewis and Friedman's early work consisted of nudist camp features like Goldilocks and The Three Bares (1963), which appropriately billed itself as "the first (and to date the only) nudist musical". To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ...

With the nudie market beginning to wane, Lewis and Friedman entered into uncharted territory with 1963's seminal Blood Feast, the original gore film. Because of the unprecedented nature of this type of film, they were able to cater to the drive-in theater market which would have been inaccessible with their prior skin flicks. Two Thousand Maniacs! (1964) and Color Me Blood Red (1965) followed the same bloody formula. The full-colour gore on display in these films caused a sensation, with horror film-makers throughout the world becoming eager to saturate their productions with similar shocking special effects. Blood Feast, a 1963 film directed by Herschell Gordon Lewis, is an American exploitation film often considered the first gore or splatter film. ... Drive-ins are an important pop culture memory for many. ... Two Thousand Maniacs! (alternative spelling 2,000 Maniacs!) is a low budget 1964 horror splatter film directed and written by Herschell Gordon Lewis. ...

He stopped working with Friedman after making Color Me Blood Red (1965), but continued to make further gore films into the 1970s. His next gore entry wouldn't come until 1967, with A Taste of Blood, often referred to as the "Gone With The Wind of Gore" due to it's relatively lengthy running time of nearly two hours. The following year would bring a more extreme take on the genre, The Gruesome Twosome (1967), most notable for incorporating an electric knife used to scalp one of the victims. Lewis's third and long-assumed final gore phase served to push the genre into even more outrageous schock territory. 1970's Wizard of Gore featured a stage magician who would mutilate his volunteers severely through a series of merciless routines. By 1973, Lewis had taken the gore approach to such a limit that it began to lampoon itself, which is why Gore-Gore Girls (featuring an appearance by Henny Youngman as the owner of a topless club) would mark his semi-retirement from film altogether. He decided to leave the industry to work in copywriting and direct marketing. He returned to directing in 2002 with the straight-to-video Blood Feast 2: All U Can Eat. Gone with the Wind, an American novel by Margaret Mitchell, was published in 1936 and won the Pulitzer Prize in 1937. ... Henny Youngman performing at the Jerry Lewis MDA Telethon Henny Youngman (Henry Youngman, March 16, 1906 - February 24, 1998) was a comedian and violinist famous for one-liners, short simple jokes usually delivered rapid-fire. ... It has been suggested that Copy (written) be merged into this article or section. ... Direct marketing is a discipline within marketing that involves the planned recording, analysis and tracking of individual customers (business-to-business or consumer) responses and transactions for the purpose of developing and prolonging mutually profitable customer relationships. ...

Always resourceful despite the low budgets he worked with, Lewis purchased the rights to an unfinished film and completed it himself, re-titling the film Monster A Go Go (1965). Many years later, the film gained notoriety after being shown on the Mystery Science Theater 3000 television show (it is rated the third worst film of all time at the Internet Movie Database). Lewis would repeat this formula when he acquired a gritty psychological piece called The Vortex and released it as Stick It In Your Ear (1970) to be shown as a second feature to Wizard of Gore. This approach demonstrated Lewis's business savvy; by owning the rights to both features, he knew he would not get fleeced by theaters juggling the box office returns, which was otherwise common practice at that time. The original movie poster Monster a-Go Go is a 1965 science-fiction movie directed by Bill Rebane. ... Mystery Science Theater 3000 (1988–1999), usually abbreviated MST3K, is a cult television comedy series created by Joel Hodgson featuring a man and his robot sidekicks who are trapped on a satellite in space and forced to watch particularly bad movies. ... The Internet Movie Database (IMDb), owned by Amazon. ...

Outside his notorious gore canon, Lewis pursued a wide gamut of other expoloitation avenues throughout the sixties. Some of the more taboo subjects he explored include juvenile delinquency (Just For The Hell Of It, 1968), wife swapping (Suburban Roulette, 1968), the corruption of the music industry (Blast-Off Girls, 1967), and birth control (The Girl, The Body and The Pill, 1967). He was also not above tapping the children's market, as with Jimmy the Boy Wonder (1966) and The Magic Land of Mother Goose (1967), which were padded out to feature film length by incorporating long foreign-made cartoons. Juvenile delinquency refers to antisocial or criminal acts performed by juveniles. ... Swinging, sometimes referred to in North America as the swinging lifestyle or simply the lifestyle (although this simplified term is also used by people into Leather and BDSM), includes a wide range of sexual activities conducted between three or more people. ... The music industry is the industry that creates, performs, promotes, and preserves music. ... This film was made in 1967 by Herschell Gordon Lewis. ... Birth control is a regimen of one or more actions, devices, or medications followed in order to deliberately prevent or reduce the likelihood of a woman giving birth or becoming pregnant. ... This film was made in 1967 by Herschell Gordon Lewis. ... A cartoon is any of several forms of art, with varied meanings that evolved from one to another. ...

Towards the end of the sixties, Lewis would return to the world of sexploitation, with regulations now being considerably more lax. Those films quickly vanished into obscurity: Lewis' 1972 film Black Love, apparently an erotic film with an all African American cast, has completely disappeared. Also reportedly gone forever are a pair of nudies, Ecstasies of Women (1969) and Linda and Abilene (1969), a lesbian western which remains notorious for having been shot on the Spahn Ranch only months before it became inhabited by the Manson Family. Year Of The Yahoo! (1972) was also believed lost, though a largely complete print is now available on DVD as a double feature with the semi-gory ode to moonshine, This Stuff'll Kill Ya! (1971). An African American (also Afro-American, Black American, or simply black), is a member of an ethnic group in the United States whose ancestors, usually in predominant part, were indigenous to Africa. ... A lost film is a film which, for any of several reasons, is no longer in existence. ... A lesbian is a girl or woman who is aesthetically, sexually, or romantically attracted to other women. ... The Western is an American genre in literature and film. ... The Spahn Ranch is a a 500 acre ranch at 1200 Santa Susana Pass Road in the Santa Susana Mountains. ... Charles Milles Manson (born November 12th, 1934) was convicted of murder in what became known as the Tate/La Bianca case. ... DVD-R writing/reading side DVD (also known as Digital Versatile Disc or Digital Video Disc) is an optical disc storage media format that can be used for data storage, including movies with high video and sound quality. ...

In 2006, Herschell was named to the Polly Staffle Hall of Fame and signed a two movie deal with Film State 51.

External links

  Results from FactBites:
Herschell Gordon Lewis - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (994 words)
Herschell Gordon Lewis (born 15 June 1926, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA) is a film-maker best known for creating the "splatter film" subgenre of horror.
By 1973, Lewis had taken the gore approach to such a limit that it began to lampoon itself, which is why Gore-Gore Girls (featuring an appearance by Henny Youngman as the owner of a topless club) would mark his semi-retirement from film altogether.
http://www.imagesjournal.com/issue09/reviews/hglewis/ - The Cinema of Herschell Gordon Lewis
phillyBurbs.com | The Herschell Gordon Lewis Guide (1079 words)
Lewis envisioned the climax of the film to be his ultimate gore effect - the complete evisceration of a body.
Lewis followed this with two of his hillbilly pictures, the both of which remain lost to this day.
It's Herschell Gordon Lewis - of course there is. Although not completely unheard of previously, these books were on the vanguard of niche publication that has burgeoned over the course of the last 26 years; the mass marketing of business texts for individual purchase.
  More results at FactBites »



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