Earlier this week, Herschell Gordon Lewis, cinema’s “Godfather of Gore,” died at 90. From RogerEbert.com’s obituary on the Blood Feast filmmaker:
Lewis and his business partner David Friedman might have been the first to perfect the formula for selling films that showcased gore for gore’s sake, a dubious but incredibly durable triumph. Where Alfred Hitchcock sold suspense and ‘shock’ in his campaign for Psycho and kept onscreen blood to a minimum (and painted it black, courtesy of black-and-white film, which abstracted the nastiness), Lewis and Friedman sold blood, blood and more blood, in glorious color.
While Lewis was using real animal organs for his movies’ cringeworthy special effects, other directors were creating shock waves with movies that pushed the limits of good taste and featured gore galore. Here are just a few of genre cinema’s shockmeisters.