Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Retro Review: The Wizard of Gore (2008)

 editor's note: In his continuing quest to re-post older reviews that never made it from the old Blogorium to its present home, Cap'n Howdy has been delivering piles of digital bits to me in the hopes I know what to do with it. Some movies are older than others, but most of these come from a period between 2006 and 2009, when the move took place. Enjoy


The Wizard of Gore reminded me a lot of Hellraiser: Hellseeker (aka Hellraiser 6 for those not keeping track), which is not necessarily a good thing. There's a twist, it feels like, and the movie is slow in doling out information when it's clear we should be sussing this out sooner than we do. It's not that the ending is bad per se, but the landing is a little rough.

    That being said, small pleasures are to be had watching Wizard, particularly from supporting cast members Brad Dourif and Jeffrey Combs. Most importantly, of course, is Crispin Glover himself as Montag the Magnificent, the Wizard of Gore himself. When he's onscreen the movie instantly perks up and dilutes the lackluster performance from lead actor Kip Pardue (Thirteen). For once, Bijou Phillips isn't the weak link in a movie, and for that I'm thankful. Combs doesn't do much until late in the film, but when he does it pays off what seems like a wasted cameo.

    As for the "Gore", it's not as much as I expected, but when used is effective (mostly the violence is limited to Montag's stage show). The Suicide Girls, hyped incessantly on the front and back of the dvd do exactly what you'd expect them to do in this movie: a) wear fetish gear, b) take their clothes off, c) die horrible deaths at the hands of Montag.

    There's a bit of a mystery in Wizard that you can work out for yourself pretty quickly once the mysterious "link" in all the murders is named, and while the movie goes one step better than you'd hope with the "twist", the way it gets there and the effects technique to indicate Pardue is losing his grip on reality are handled poorly.

    It's a renter, and if people are up for it, I might throw it on during horror fest. It's not going to replace the original in anyone's mind, but Suspiria is still better than both version (eat that, Diablo Cody!).

No comments: