The Man Behind the Gore

Inside Criterion / On the Channel — Oct 25, 2019


When he set out to become a director in the early 1960s, Herschell Gordon Lewis wanted to work on the kinds of movies that the major studios could never dream of making. His taste for the perverse gave rise to a string of censorship-flouting flicks that ranged from the gruesome to the sleazy to the just downright deranged, including the 1963 drive-in classic Blood Feast, a landmark of exploitation cinema. In anticipation of Halloween next week, we’re getting your heads spinning and stomachs churning with a celebration of Lewis on the Criterion Channel. At the center of our tribute is the premiere of the latest episode of Meet the Filmmakers, a documentary portrait that captures a visit Tangerine director Sean Baker paid to the Godfather of Gore’s Florida home in 2009. In the above teaser, Lewis reflects on his quick-and-dirty approach to directing and details how he achieved some of his most shocking effects. Click over to the Channel to watch the documentary in full alongside a generous spattering of his greatest gross-out hits.