Fans of gangster movies have Martin Scorsese, while comedy heads swear by early John Landis. Beneath the realm of good taste, however, champions of gore worship at the throne of Herschell Gordon Lewis.

With a lengthy resume that includes such lovely titles as Color Me Blood Red, Scum Of The Earth!, and Blood Feast 2: All U Can Eat, Lewis is regarded as a pioneer in plot-deficient shockers with excessive amounts of gruesome, though cheap-looking, imagery and mediocre acting.

The Wizard Of Gore—perhaps his most popular flick—is about a creepy magician performing deadly tricks on unsuspecting female volunteers who are later murdered in grisly ways. Girls’ bodies are dismembered, drills pierce through their heads and limbs, and gallons of ketchup disguised as blood cover the screen. As low-rent as the scenes and makeup effects look today, The Wizard Of Gore’s horrific money shots—one of which randomly made its way into a recent Academy Award-nominated movie—are still uncomfortable to watch. Especially if you’re allergic to Silly Putty and Heinz condiments.

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