Just another day on set for Herschel Gordon Lewis! He was a superb Marketer, who published many books on the subject – and yet will always be remembered by exploitation movie fans as “The Godfather Of Gore!”
Why? Well, here’s a clue:
“Nothing So Appalling In The Annals Of Horror!”
Talk about truth in advertising! This film IS appalling – but a milestone in cinema history as well! “Blood Feast” is considered one of the greatest exploitation achievements – daring to shock audiences in a way no one else had at the time!
In 1964, this film SHOCKED the world with its depiction of bloody violence and sexual situations – take a look at the classic trailer, which you are told right at the top, is:
“Truly One Of The Most Unusual Ever Filmed!”
Yep, this is the first time anyone dared to film such mayhem and madness. Flaunting all movie codes, Lewis made “Blood Feast” for around $50,000 – and it grossed millions! Yes, it’s not a great movie, but in a really fun way to watch – and at the time, it really blew the doors off grindhouse theaters across the country!
The plot is simple: A crazy Egyptian caterer named “Ramses” collects body parts from young maidens in order to bring Ishtar, an ancient goddess of good and evil back to life. And he does it with VERY BIG EYES!
This film was a shocking sensation, thanks to some very clever marketing. Legendary Grindhouse Producer David F. Friedman came up with some very effective publicity stunts for “Blood Feast”, which included giving moviegoers vomit bags reading:
“You may need this when you see ‘Blood Feast'”!
Lewis went on to make another classic exploitation film soon after:
“Gruesomely Stained In Blood Color!”
“Two Thousand Maniacs” is also a classic 60’s exploitation film. As you can see, Lewis was a master at marketing shock to audiences across the country – and he built himself a fan base that lasted for decades!
Lewis made a slew of classic exploitation in the 60’s and 70’s – films with titles like “She Devils On Wheels”, “The Wizard Of Gore” and “The Gore Gore Girls”, and even a film called “Something Weird”:
A terrific Seattle-based home video company used that for their business title, and released a number of great Lewis exploitation on home video…see more about that company and their incredible catalog here:
I did see 2000 Maniacs a long time ago, but I will now have to look out for Blood Feast!