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Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Interview with Herschell Gordon Lewis

" ...
GreenCine: -What redeems your exploitive gore films - if redemption is even necessary - is their abiding sense of humor. Can you speak some about the strategic blend of horror and humor?

H.G. Lewis: -... I recall when I first made a movie called 'The Gore Gore Girls', which was - I felt at the time, which shows how cloudy the crystal ball can be) - I felt it would be my last movie. I opened the spigot all the way. I had some things in there that I couldn't imagine anyone taking seriously. Well, as it turned out, and I'll make a sweeping, generic statement: anyone under age 40 thought it was hilarious; anyone over age 55 thought it was impossible, that I should be arrested, that I had spent my life in a Georgia chain gang, or whatever. That was the gap that existed then.

Today the people who were 40 then are now on MediCare and another generation has come up behind them. I will occasionally be invited to a horror film festival and the demographic there is really surprising because the average individual who attends these horror conventions was not alive when I made 'Blood Feast' and '2,000 Maniacs' and 'Color Me Blood Red' and 'The Gore Gore Girls' and 'Wizard of Gore', and so on. They weren't alive. So I am there, supposedly, not as emeritus but as sort of a historical icon. That's funny, too, because here were movies that cost absolutely nothing to make, with casts of nobodies, and certainly no production value worth anything, and they still live. They still breathe. They are still selling DVDs at a time in which some major companies' productions that were made six months ago simply vanished into oblivion.

I think the rationale behind that is that today's audiences know the difference between a producer or a director who's having a good time and saying, "Hey, c'mon, join me," and a producer or a director who is so enamored of what he is doing that he loses sight of the person on the other end of the camera, on the screen looking at it, saying, "Eh, so what?" Today, with the gap having narrowed so much between independent and major company product, it becomes more significant than ever.
... "