H.G. Lewis, also known as the “Godfather of Gore”, singlehandedly kickstarted the splatter genre. With films existing to do nothing more but show graphic displays of violence and blood, his many films would become the blueprint for newer generations of gorehounds to follow. With the news of his recent passing at the ripe age of 87, it seems that now is as good a time as ever to go back and revisit his best work. But first, let’s get something out of the way: if you don’t like blood, you’re not gonna like this guy.
But first, let’s get something out of the way: if you don’t like blood, you’re not gonna like this guy. Often demented, and almost always gory, his movies are triumphs of the early exploitation film. And don’t be fooled; despite how long ago these movies were made, the blood and guts are more than enough to make you sick. People eating each other, chopping off limbs, and just about every death one could imagine. It’s all there.
It’s not just gore, either. The films H.G. Lewis were true exploitation films, using nearly every possible offensive subject you could find in a movie. There’s sex, mental retardation, cannibalism, and much, much more. While I could sit here and type out a long description of each film like usual, I feel that these trailers speak for themselves. Almost all of them have a warning beforehand – these films are simply “too dangerous” and “too extreme” for those with heart conditions or those “who are easily upset”. Put some time aside in your day and watch all of these trailers; they’re wildly entertaining. And yes, even the trailers are full of blood.
In chronological order, here are 8 recommended films from the late Herschell Gordon Lewis.