In honor of Halloween, the holiday that celebrates all things spooky, scary, wicked and weird, I’ve decided to showcase some of the legends of the B Horror film genre. Their campy cult classics, dripping with blood, beastly acting, bitchin’babes and bad special effects make great fodder for an at home wisecrack fest, a la “Mystery Science Theater.” Never mind their potential for good costume ideas.
My first tribute is to Herschell Gordon Lewis, a.k.a. the “Godfather of Gore”, who was the originator of the “Splatter” film.
In the book “Incredibly Strange Films”, Jim Morton describes Lewis’s films as being “filled with grisly violence, black humor and morally indefensible, which is probably why they are so good.”
Below is a promotional poster and scene from his deliciously disgusting 1963 film, “Blood Feast”, about an Egyptian caterer who kills people and adds their body parts to his meals, as a sacrifice to the goddess he worships.
Another tasteless terror from Lewis’s “Blood Trilogy” is 2000 Maniacs(1964) . Tourists show up in “Pleasant Valley” during the town’s Centennial Celebration and are forced by the townspeople to participate in twisted games leading to their gory deaths.
The third in his “Blood Trilogy” is aptly named “Color Me Blood Red” (1965). A psychotic artist paints pictures with the blood of young women!
Because so many of his films depict women as victims at the hands of evil men, the following is a refreshing change. “She Devils on Wheels” (1968) lets the girls have a chance to get even. It’s all about the madcap misadventures of the “Man-Eaters” , a bad ass gang of biker babes and their zany antics, which include dragging guys behind their motorcycles until they look like hamburger meat, and beating decapitated bodies with tire chains.
Here’s a film quote from one of the merry maids of mayhem. “`We don’t owe nobody nuthin’, and we don’t make no deals, we’re swingin’ chicks on motors, and we’re man-eaters on wheels!'”
Call me crazy, but I’m diggin’ those boots, white pants and leopard vest.
To read more about Herschell Gordon Lewis or to purchase DVDs, visit his website.
Stay tuned for a tribute to Ray Dennis Steckler, the creative genius behind “Teenage Psycho meets Bloody Mary” and “The Incredible Strange Creatures Who Stopped Living and Became Mixed Up Zombies”. I’m sure your dying of suspense!