The Godfather of Gore is dead. Long live the king of exploitation cinema!
Just before Lewis kicked off his directing career with 1961's LIVING VENUS, a cinematic experiment had been unfolding across the pond in England. During the second half of the 1950s, Hammer's earliest sci-fi and horror outings, as well as Arthur Crabtree's FIEND WITHOUT A FACE, were pushing the boundaries of graphic blood-letting (and testing the mettle of conservative censors).
Lewis immediately recognised the potential of this new form of exploitation, and it was right in the middle of his early flurry of nudie cuties that he unleashed BLOOD FEAST on the world. And with that, the future of horror and exploitation film was irrevocably changed. TWO THOUSAND MANIACS! and COLOR ME BLOOD RED would follow soon after. The rest, as they say, is history.
So raise a glass to Herschell Gordon Lewis, just as he is surely raising his tonight, with his old buddy David.