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LA Film Fest Review: The Wizard of Gore

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Horror movies seem to come and go in cycles. Just as the wave of Japanese re-makes tapered off, so-called “torture” porn began its ascent. Given that, it’s refreshing to watch a horror film like The Wizard of Gore that doesn’t fit neatly into any category. It certainly has its share of gore (wonderfully specific and gruesome, by the way), but the bloodletting never overshadows the psychological war that is at the heart of the film’s story.

The universe of The Wizard of Gore is a dystopian downtown Los Angeles, half-Suicide Girls, half-Blade Runner. Into this world comes Ed Bigelow (Kip Pardue), a peculiar sort fond of bespoke suits and horn-rimmed glasses. Along with his girlfriend Maggie (Bijou Phillips), he attends a magic show presided over by Montag the Magnificent (Crispin Glover). There they see a trick that startles everyone. To the horror of the audience, Montag eviscerates a woman on stage. As everyone begins to panic, the lights flash off. When they return, the woman stands on the stage completely fine, her intestines safely returned to the comfort of her body.