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Herschell Gordon Lewis
Michael_Elliott3 January 2017
The Incredibly Strange Film Show (1988) "Herschell Gordon Lewis"

This British television show was hosted by Jonathan Ross and featured interviews with various "B" movie makers. When viewed today this series is all the more important because so many of the filmmakers are no longer with us.

Fans of Herschell Gordon Lewis will enjoy this episode, which has the famous drive-in director talking about some of the more popular movies in his career. Once again Ross plays the host as he interviews Lewis and they discuss films such as BLOOD FEAST, TWO THOUSAND MANIACS, THE GRUESOME TWOSOME and THE WIZARD OF GORE. We even get John Waters adding a few comments about seeing these films when he was younger. For the most part this is a fine episode but be aware that we only get discussions on his gore movies and SHE DEVILS ON WHEELS. His nudie, kids and other movies are pretty much overlooked but we still get some fun stories about how these films broke new grounds.

Episode: B+
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Jonathan Ross meets the godfather of gore...
Paul Andrews16 October 2007
Warning: Spoilers
The Incredibly Strange Film Show: Herschell Gordon Lewis is a 40 odd minute documentary focusing on the career of exploitation filmmaker Herschell Gordon Lewis from his early 'Nudie Cutie' films to his trademark gore flicks.

Originally aired during 1988 here in the UK this was episode 2 from season 1 of the short lived TV series The Incredibly Strange Film Show in which presenter & exploitation film fan Jonathan Ross would travel the world interviewing various legendary filmmakers. Here it's the turn of the godfather of gore Herschell Gordon Lewis who is credited single handedly with creating the gore film with Blood Feast (1963), Ross covers virtually his entire film-making career although for some bizarre reason there is no mention of Lewis' final gore film The Gore Gore Girls (1972). Exploitation film producer David Freidman is also interviewed about working with Lewis. Various topics are discussed, censorship, the ideas behind his films, actors, money, locations, his cameo in A Taste of Blood (1967), the opening of his own theatre with live gore show's & various personal thoughts. The dialogue is clear, Lewis sticks to the questions & doesn't go off topic & he's a good talker which helps. While not that detailed this is an entertaining documentary & Gordon comes off as a pretty likable guy who admits he was only in it for the money which, quite frankly, you can't blame him for.

This was shot at some of the locations used in Lewis' films so it provides some interest on that level, there is an odd interview with an over enthusiastic woman described as a 'film fan' who says she thinks Gordon has & I quote 'produced some of the most fantastic works of art'! Whatever she's on I want some... It's also interesting these days for us Brits to note that Ross openly admits that a lot of the clips used in this episode have been edited because they are so graphic & shocking & at that time we had very strict censorship laws yet these days here in the UK all of Lewis' films are available uncut & when viewed the gore is pretty fake looking. Still, I'd have imagined that if the full clips were played back in '88 on a major TV channel they would have found themselves in a lot of trouble.

This is another great episode from a good series, it helps that Ross is such a fan of the people & films involved as it comes across in his respectful yet sometimes over-the-top rose tinted spectacle's fan-boy narration. A must for Herschell Gordon Lewis fans & anyone interested in exploitation cinema.

The series is incredibly rare, it has never been released on VHS yet alone DVD, apart from illegal bootlegs, & hasn't played on TV since it first aired. I believe the only way to watch it is to track down an original off-air recording made at the time it was originally broadcast or buy one of the illegal DVD-R's.
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