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A Few Words About A few words about...™ The Herschell Gordon Lewis Feast -- in Blu-ray (1 Viewer)

Robert Harris

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Arrow's presentation of The Herschell Gordon Lewis Feast, brings to mind George Cukor's A Star is Born.

Ron Haver had worked diligently to reconstruct Mr. Cukor's 1954 CinemaScope masterpiece, and on the eve of screening the finished work for it's maker, Mr. Cukor passed away.

He never saw what Ron had done in a final state.

In a similar situation, the powers that be at Arrow have created what I can only presume is a passion project.

To bring together for his rabid fans, as many of Mr. Lewis' films as possible, as an all-emcompassing tribute, before the films (many of which only survived as faded prints) were gone forever.

Mr. Lewis passed away on September 26th, just one month shy of the the release date of this gargantuan set.

Although known conceptually as the Godfather of Gore, consummate schlockmeister, Lewis began his career as an associate producer for a meticulously produced, high quality documentary, on the history of photography, Louis Clyde Stoumen's The Naked Eye, the score of which was by Elmer Bernstein.

Possibly Mr. Lewis somehow attached himself to the word "naked" in the title, and after spending time as a college English lit professor, produced his first bit of classic schlock in 1960 -- The Prime Time.

It was followed by half a dozen equally eccentric productions: Living Venus, The Adventures of Lucky Pierre, Daughter of the Sun, Nature's Playmates, Boin-n-g...

and then,

Blood Feast, which would forever remain the basis of his concept and overall style.

Between 1963 and 1972, he was the creative force -- director, DP, writer, producer of some thirty productions, using a myriad of different aliases -- Sheldon Seymour, Francis X. Ploitation, Mark Hansen, Armand Parys, R.L. Smith, Seymour Sheldon, Sheldon S. Seymour, Lewis H. Gordon, Marvin Lester, et al.

There have been true fans of his work for decades. Surviving prints, occasionally still play in 35mm to the delight of audiences, but his work will fall into the love it or hate it category for many.

If your taste leans toward How Green Was My Valley, his films may not be your cup of tea,

But the fans know who they are, and they are legion.

For them, this set of fourteen productions will be nirvana. For those who already own Vinegar Syndrome's Lost Films, be aware that there is no duplication here. Some films not found in this set are available separately on DVD.

I've not rated the films in terms of quality, as many of the titles in the set only survive as well-loved 35mm prints. Faded, heavily scratched, etc. To attempt digital clean-up would not have been in the cards.

So they are what they are.

But there is good news, as some have been scanned from original camera negatives, and will appear better than they ever did in theaters.

Audio has been taken from prints, and again, runs the gamut from very acceptable to occasionally problematic.

Blood Feast, Color Me Blood Red, and a couple others appears startlingly clean and colorful.

With two features per disc, the 17 discs are broken up in 7 Blu-ray, 7 DVD, and 3 Special Features.

Included in the set are:

Blood Feast (1963)
Scum of the Earth (1963)
Two Thousand Maniacs! (1964)
Moonshine Mountain (1964)
Color Me Blood Red (1965)
Something Weird (1967)
The Gruesome Twosome (1967)
A Taste of Blood (1967)
She-Devils on Wheels (1968)
Just for the Hell of It (1968)
How to Make a Doll (1968)
The Wizard of Gore (1970)
This Stuff'll Kill Ya! (1971)
The Gore Gore Girls (1972)

The set has been limited in the U.S. to 2,500 copies, and comes with three discs of extras, inclusive for those who desire a true education. Have I mentioned rabid fans? If Mr. Lewis' work is your cup of tea (or whatever), best to grab a copy before they hit eBay.

RAH


 
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bgart13

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I sprang for the ultra limited set - 500 copies for the US and 500 for the UK. This is a gigantic undertaking that I'm thrilled about. And it never could have happened without the help of Lisa Petrucci and Something Weird Video. I haven't been quite this excited for a release for a while.
 

Robert Harris

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I sprang for the ultra limited set - 500 copies for the US and 500 for the UK. This is a gigantic undertaking that I'm thrilled about. And it never could have happened without the help of Lisa Petrucci and Something Weird Video. I haven't been quite this excited for a release for a while.

You'll not be disappointed
 

bgart13

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I was introduced to HGL via Blood Feast. Me and three friends rented it (and a couple other sick-looking horror movies) about -- sheesh -- 25 years ago. It's been all downhill from there!
 

bigshot

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My copy of the deluxe shock and gore set is out being shipped to me right now. I'm most interested in the David Friedman interviews. I love hearing stories about the early days of independent film distribution and the "40 thieves". That's Sexploitation had a lot of great stuff about those days too.
 

Robert Harris

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I received my copy of the Feast collection yesterday.

I still haven't decided whether to keep my copy of How Green Was My Valley in its own case or to stick it in the HGL box.

Out of respect for Roddy, I'd segregate.
 

B-ROLL

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I received my copy of the Feast collection yesterday.

I still haven't decided whether to keep my copy of How Green Was My Valley in its own case or to stick it in the HGL box.
Prolly should be with your John Ford collection ... :cool:
 

dvdclon

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Prolly should be with your John Ford collection ... :cool:

But that would be too easy. I already have the DVD in the Ford at Fox collection. Perhaps the Planet of the Apes collection would be appropriate.

Seriously, though, I'm leaving it right where it is in my alphabetized collection - right between The House Party 1-4 Collection and How High.
 

Bob Cashill

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Note that this is (or was) $100 cheaper at Amazon UK. Region free, and it was sent Fed Ex, so I got it yesterday.
 

J. Casey

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Really impressed with this set! The folks at Arrow have built upon the Something Weird Video legacy of these films and added a lot to it. Fans are quite happy.
 

bigshot

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Has anyone received the Shock and Gore version yet? I got a shipping notice over the weekend, but it hasn't arrived yet.
 

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