Do people actually like Herschell Gordon Lewis movies? Despite being partly responsible for the advent of the gore movie there is little else to recommend Lewis' efforts apart from maybe to make every other DVD you own look like an absolute classic. Scenes go on forever (it's like the guy was given a piece of film exactly 79 mins long to record on) the gore effects are rubbish (a woman holds up the handle of a knife to her face and when she drops her hand the knife handle drops to the floor too!) and the acting consists of a bunch of ugly late 20's/early 30's 'teens' barking out inane lines of dialogue like stoned daleks. Sorry, but to my mind this "so bad it's good" ("so boring it's entertaining", "so slow it's, er...fast"???) style of filmmaking doesn't belong in a genre where movies with all the makings of classics (like Tartan's new release of "Pumpkinhead") are often all but ignored.
To movies what recording your first chords on guitar are to music, Lewis' efforts challenge a person's patience to the point of insult and then without warning or continuity the final credits suddenly roll leaving the viewer stunned and deflated. So these movies were made in the 60's, so the budget was low....so what? Crap is crap. There is no excuse for ANYTHING to move this slow without a tempo warning on the cover. Shit, this rubbish is still slow on fast forward.
The story, for anyone still interested, concerns an artist (Adam Sorg) struggling to find the perfect colour of red, and it doesn't take a genius to figure out where he eventually finds the right tone of colour. Despite some admittedly funny moments (intentionally or otherwise) like a girls body being dug up from a beach to have on the of the onlookers remark "this is crazy driftwood", and the fact that painter Sorg has the artistic prowess of Stevie Wonder with his arms amputated, how anyone can enjoy this garbage is beyond me.
Despite it's 18 certificate (wishful thinking on the part of the distributors surely?) there is very little gore, and what is on offer consists of some fake looking blood being poured onto people, with no prosthetic appliances to give the impression that the blood is actually coming from somewhere. Of all the great, relatively unseen, horror movies lying around without an UK distributor, HGL movies do not deserve the shelf space they occupy. They commit the foulest crime known to horror....they're fucking dull. Recommended to fans of The Velvet Underground and downers only. To anyone who actually enjoys enjoying movies then avoid like anthrax.
PICTURE: Crummy, washed out and, for what is supposed to be Lewis' foray into higher budget filming, very very cheap looking.
SOUND: Muffled and uneven. This IS a Herschell Gordon Lewis movie after all. And with dialogue as atrocious as this it's probably for the best that you can't hear half of it for hiss.
EXTRAS: Fimographies and film notes. And a reel of trailers informing the viewer of the aforementioned Tartan DVD release of Stan Winstons "PumpkinHead" (originally titled "Vengeance: The Demon" in this country because some fuckwit thought it would be a good idea! Probably the same people that thought "Cemetary Man" was a better title than "Dellamorte Dellamore". Hey, incidentally has "Dellamorte Dellamore" got an UK DVD release yet?)
Review by Ginger
|Released by Tartan|
|Length: 79 mins approx|
|Video Ratio 1.33.1|
|Disc Format: PAL DVD|
|Star and director filmographies, Scene selection, Original theatrical trailer, Chris Campion film notes, HGL teaser trailer, Tartan Terror trailer reel|