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January 21, 2011

Interview: HG Lewis, the Godfather of Gore!

Heather Henshaw got a chance to sit down with the Godfather of Gore, HG Lewis, and talked about his new film The Uh Oh Show and earlier films.
1) Before the release of Blood Feast, did you anticipate any outcry because of the content?
Oh, yes. Early reactions in my cutting room warned me of an outcry … if any theatre might be brave enough to show the film and any moviegoers stupid enough to pay to see it.
2) Of the three films known as the "Blood Trilogy" (Blood Feast, Color Me Blood Red, 2000 Maniacs) what is your favorite and why?
Not just of the Trilogy but of all the movies I’ve made, “Two Thousand Maniacs” is my personal favorite. Maybe that’s because it’s my voice on the sing-song title music, which I also wrote … but more probably, it’s because we proved it’s possible to produce a playable and watchable horror movie without star names and expensive effects.

3) Bill Kerwin is a big favorite here at Cinema Head Cheese. Why was he so perfect for your films?
Bill Kerwin typified the all-American boy. Beyond that, he was invaluable on the movie set, always willing to pitch in on any level. And he knew his lines.

4) David Freidman and yourself made a beautiful team, creating some truly amazing cult films. Were you on the same page most of the time? As a producer, was he the "over-the-shoulder" type?
Dave and I always respected each other’s specialties. (I don’t dare usurp the word “talents” in this ambience.) Rather than envy what the other did, we both reveled in the good luck we’d had that somehow brought us together.

5) To me , Gore Gore Girls is a very underrated film when it comes to your resume. I think it's quite funny, and at times just down-right nasty. Were you looking to kick it up another notch when it came to gore and nudity because it was the '70s?
Quite right. “The Gore-Gore Girls” was ahead of its time. We had a delightful time shooting it and laughed at the generation-gap separating the under-40s who laughed with us and the over-60s who thought we should be strung up on a pole.

6) It's been a very welcome sight seeing you return to movies after so many years. Are you happy with the result of the Blood Feast remake? How do you feel about your films being remade in general such as 2000 Maniacs?
I have mixed feelings. In each case, the treatment wasn’t the way I’d have done it. But unquestionably the very notion of a remake is a compliment (even a back-handed compliment) to the originator.
7) You have a new film that we all anticipate to come out later this year. It is called The Uh-Oh Show originally titled Grim Fairy Tales can you tell us a little about the film?
This one may replace “Two Thousand Maniacs” as my personal favorite. “The Uh-Oh Show” centers on a wild television quiz program. If the contestant answers correctly, he or she gets a gigantic batch of prizes. But guess wrong, and … uh-oh! What separates this movie from any that I or anyone may have made before is its absolute sense of humor. Everyone who sees it will know immediately that the entire concept is a joke. And we might, finally, sew together the traditional splatter film and the mainstream movie.
8) Where did you get the idea for a game show that takes your parts? I would love to see a show really base a game of your film with real limb removal. It would defiantly rattle some cages!
I’m willing to be the m.c. if you can convince a cable network to risk having its windows smashed.
10) The film was not a finished product but still won best film and was the crowd pleaser of the night. Once the film is completed do you plan on having many more showings and re-showings at the events it played?
I wrote and directed it, but I have no hand in distribution. You’ll have to ask the producer this question. (I’m as interested as you are in the answer.)
11) I heard about a prank that you helped play on the two producers Andrew and Andy. I am told you got them good. What is the story behind that and is there any other fond memory or story you can share with us?
We were shooting on April 1, and everyone on the set agreed to set up an April Fool joke for Andrew and Andy. So Joel Wynkoop, who plays the “heavy,” and I staged a loud argument, pretending to come close to fisticuffs. Only when Andrew was dragging Joel away did we disclose the gag. This was just one of the lightweight aspects to what was the most pleasurable, good-natured shoot in which I’ve ever been involved.
12) I just want to thank you so much for your time and doing this interview are there any last words you would like to say or any upcoming projects that we should keep an eye out for in the future from you?
I’ve been in discussions with various sources about producing “Mr. Bruce and the Gore Machine.” If you know of an adventurous producer who’s interested in tackling this one, give him or her my online address.

1 comment:

  1. Fantastic interview Heather with a true talent, legend and class act. I love HG Lewis's work and while I feel like he is too humble about his talent, I love his refreshing attitude. SOMETHING WEIRD alone earned my loyalty to his work.