The Wizard of Gore. 1970. USA . Directed by Herschell Gordon Lewis. With Ray Sager, Judy Cler, Wayne Ratay. DCP. 95 min.
Director H. G. Lewis visited the basement club in 1981 (not long after his release from prison) as a guest of the Gore Gazette to present his celebration of bloodlust, an explicit rejection of middle-class good taste that also manifested the bod-mod and gender reassignment motifs that united much of Club 57’s programming. This gruesome tale, about a magician whose performances involve the mutilation and gory deaths of his human subjects, is the kind of horror fare produced for the exploitation market in the 1970s and ’80s—which has since become a mainstream genre.