Reviewed by

Christopher Armstead

ĎThe Wizard of Goreí from director Jeremy Kasten, who I think I can safely say after seeing his previous film ĎThe Thirstí is a very sick man, is a remake of a film from 1970 that Iíve never heard of and as such Iíve never seen, and is one of those tripped out mind blowing confusing as hell psychedelic experience type flicks that I generally do not like because I, for the most part, donít like sitting around in a state of confusion while I watch a movie. Alas, I didnít like this one much either as I sat around in a state of confusion while watching this movie.

Forgive me whilst I try to use you as a sounding board to help me figure out what this movie is about. Actor Kip Pardue narrates as the character Edmund Bigelow who exists in this weird noir-esque type world and publishes an underground newspaper chronicling the weird goings on this weird world. Edmund is quite the odd egg himself embracing a throwback style of living with old school 1950ís style clothes complete with Fedora, patent leather shoes and suspenders. He has a rotary phone, an old TV and no DVD player to complete the illusion heís created for himself. When we first meet Edmund heís beaten and bloodied and goes to visit a mysterious man named Dr. Chong (Brad Dourif), apparently having finished some job that he was dispatched to do, and Dr. Chong then performs some acupuncture and lays some leeches on the man as he tells his tale about how it came to this point.

It would seem that about a week ago while out enjoying the freaky sights of this freaky world with his hot girlfriend Maggie (Bijou Phillips), Edmund gets a card to visit a magic show. Needing some fodder for his newspaper, the pair check it out where they first get to witness the gross performance of a some Geek opening act, played by a completely unrecognizable Jeffrey Combs, who thrills the audience by eating maggots and biting the heads off of fat juicy rats. But the main event is what amazes Edmund as he witnesses stylings of Montag the Magnificent (Crispin Glover) who eats glass

among other things, but then pulls a woman out of the audience and proceeds to slaughter her most brutally to the disgust of the audience, only to have a quick light show and then display the naked woman standing there as if nothing has happened to her. Impressive. The problems for Edmund begin when the woman he saw Montag kill in the show appears murdered in his dreams. Worst yet is when this woman really does turn up deep sixed, leading Edmund to repeatedly visit the show to see a new woman murdered each night on stage and then dream that woman murdered only to find her dead in reality when he wakes up, with Edmund beginning to believe he might have something to do with the murders. Crazy man.

What Edmund learns from his friend Jinky the Medical Examiner (Joshua John Miller) is the presence of the psychotropic drug tetrodotoxin and its phenomenal mind control properties. Edmund figures that somehow Montag is controlling his brain forcing Edmund to confront what is real, what is fake, what in his life is authentic and what his drug induced brain has dreamed up. And if Edmund does manage to figure it out, maybe he can send me an E-mail.

So I didnít Ďgetí this movie. Like Edmund I spent most of the film confused, not knowing what was real and what was imagined, but unlike Edmund who seemed to find clarity as the closing credits rolled, my stupid ass was still sitting in my chair confused as hell. Now when it comes to movies that ĎI donít getí I really canít be too hard on them because what is complete and total confusion to me just might appear crystal clear as Dasani to you so by all means have at it and see what you can see.

Aside from the overall mind-f**k that was ĎThe Wizard of Goreí Kastenís film did have a nice dark gothic look and feel to it, though at times it was little too dark and I had a hard time making out what was going on, the performances were good, though casting Crispin Glover and Brad Dourif as weirdoes probably werenít the most difficult casting decisions that Kasten had to deal with. And though I donít know Jeremy Kasten personally, but from viewing a couple of movies by the dude I think I do know two things about the man with one being that he likes fake bloodÖ a lot, and two being that he likes naked womenÖ A LOT. Hard to hate on a man that likes naked women as much as this dude apparently does.

So like I said, I didnít like this movie very much but it was an ambitious project and it also had plenty of style. Sure I didnít know exactly what the hell was going on in this thing and I could have done without watching it, but your wavelengths may be different from mine and you might find this thing revolutionary. By all means, have at it.

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