Blu Ray Review-The Lost Films Of Herschell Gordon Lewis


When people think of H.G. Lewis, they think of his horror classics. They think of a director who was cutting edge, daring and very not afraid of a little controversy. When I was told of a collection of lost films, I must not have read the full memo because what I got and what I was expecting were two different things. While I am one of the people who always seem to want to test the limits in film with what I watch, sometimes I just want certain directors to give me a certain kind of film. I would not want to go to the movies and see a Todd Solondz family PG film, and I would not want to see David Lynch make a Pixar film. These directors I am a fan of who they are, and what they are in film, I do not want them to give me something that I feel is out of their element and reach. Though, if Pixar gave Lynch the reigns, that would be noteworthy. But, with that being said let’s look at the latest sell out Harmony Korine and his Hollywood film coming out later, directors I feel need to think they can do it all. This collection clearly shows that maybe they cannot.

You are telling me this is the work of the man, who redefined horror? Ecstasies of Women is from 1969, it focuses on a character named Harry, he is a man whose buddies throw him a bachelor party before he ties the knot. Sounds simple enough, like most men Harry goes on and on about past conquests, and it seems as the night keeps going the women at the club start to remind him of them. This is 70 minutes plus of just random talk, like listening to an old home video of someone’s father talking about who he banged before marrying someone’s mom. It had no humor and was just bland talking, but it does feature some nudity and the nudity is pretty impressive for a film that was shot almost 44 years ago. The women in this film are the selling point, and you can tell what would inspire later Lewis works. This film moves at a snail pace, but has enough nudity to keep maybe a pervert happy. It felt like a bad version of a drugged out Bachelor I guess.

Linda and Abilene is our next film, and it plays out like soft porn western. This one focuses on Abilene and Tod who were orphans on this western land. As things in life do happen in the west, Tod and Abilene become sexually attracted to each other, and like most people do Tod gets weirded out and runs away. He meets Linda, who is a local bar woman and they begin having sex and a relationship, because in the west the sex is first relationship later, no questions asked. And of course, Abilene gets taken advantage of by a cowboy named Rawhide, (she should have checked his ID) and all this leads to more problems as Tod wants revenge, because no one can have sex with his orphaned sister but him, and Linda gets jealous and feels like she is being compared to Abilene. Let’s be honest, this is not going to be anywhere near Unforgiven level of acting, or even Silverado. But, for what it was supposed to be, I guess it was ok. The nudity while not as raunchy as of what was before it, or what is coming up, it was still a little hardcore. It was interesting, but for the wrong reasons.

Black Love is our last 70 minute lost film; to be blunt it is a black porn film. This has black people having full on sex for 70 minutes. If that is your cup of tea, trust me this one will overflow your glass. The narrator at times is humorous but this was not really something I was really excited about, nor did I get into it. I am not a huge fan of porn, I have maybe in my lifetime seen 10 tops, and those were not so much stimulation or pleasure but because I may have known someone in the film. I mean, I never even been inside a strip club, I have maybe dated one or two, I do not kiss and tell, but I have never been in a club in my life because to me that is not a place of sexual delight it is more of a place for women to degrade themselves for money to men who cannot get it up to their wives but need a fantasy to make them feel more manly. That rant aside, this is not for me. The other two were ok to a point, the 70’s no rules film making was ok, but this is not the Lewis I know.

4 out of 10