An existentialist Gorn
movie by Herschell Gordon Lewis, previously known for A Taste of Blood
and The Gruesome Twosome
, The Wizard of Gore
follows Sherry Carson, a TV Show host, and her fiance, Jack, as they try to unravel the mystery of Montag the Magnificent, a stage magician whose volunteers wind up dead after the show in a fashion identical to their on-stage "death".
The special effects were horrifically bloody for their time but have not aged well. The acting is amateurish. The movie delights in Shocking Swerve
after Shocking Swerve. But overall, it is not an experience to be missed.
In 2007, a remake was made with Crispin Glover in the role of Montag the Magnificent.
- The Cuckoo Lander Was Right: Greg doesn't really offer anything in the way of explanations and is justifiably getting on the nerves of all the policemen, but after killing Montag, Greg convinces absolutely everyone, including the policemen who are there to find out who the murderer is *after* Montag's act, that he pushed Montag into the fire because Montag had hypnotized all of them and was somehow trying to harm them—except he's not sure how. Also, he points out that he saw their hands were all bleeding for a reason he can't explain, but the blood is gone now. Further, everyone except him was being hypnotized because he wasn't paying attention to Montag when Montag was staring at the camera, and he was the *only* person lucky enough to be too distracted to pay attention out of nothing but boredom. Not one person questions his totally absurd and psychotic explanation and everyone considers it the truth, even though no one thought Montag was the killer to begin with and there isn't any evidence whatsoever to back up his explanation of why he just murdered Montag or that Montag had killed anyone at all.
- All Just a Dream: Implied to be the case. Until, of course, the credits ask, Or Was It a Dream??
- Dissonant Serenity: During the on-stage murders, the scene periodically cuts back to what the audience is seeing, which is a perfectly mundane magic trick punctuated by almost complete silence.
- Gorn: One woman gets cut up with a chainsaw. One gets a railroad spike through the head. Another is perforated with a punch press. All scenes include huge gouts of blood and shots of Montag gleefully yanking out handfuls of brains and guts.
- Hypnotic Eyes: Implied to be Montag's power complete with long closeups of the actor's face, staring fiercely at the camera. Very long closeups...
- Kill It with Fire: Montag is shoved into mysterious flames by Jack, apparently ending his reign of terror.
- Lampshade Hanging: After the death of Montag, two characters are shown discussing how his death made no sense at all.
- Mass Hypnosis: Implied to be how Montag prevents his audience from realizing he's murdering people onstage. His final plot is to hypnotize the entire audience of the TV show and... do something.
- Psychic Nosebleed: The morgue attendant when Montag freezes him with a gesture. Later revealed to have died.
- Red Filter of Doom: Used during the inexplicable mausoleum scenes.
- Soundtrack Dissonance: When Montag is ripping apart his victims, cheery jazz tunes play.
- You Bastard: During his final stage show in the movie, Montag discusses how much humans are fascinated with violence. He stares directly at the camera as he says, "You want this to happen."