Herschell Gordon Lewis, ‘The Godfather of Gore,’ Dies at 87

Herschell Gordon Lewis, known to his many fans as the "Godfather of Gore" passed away on Monday at the age of 87. The reason for his death is currently unknown, but his passing was announced by the Something Weird Video site.

herschell gordon lewis
(Photo: Twitter / @THR)

Lewis and his particularly odd aesthetic created an entirely new genre of horror films. They were correctly named "splatter films" given the grotesque nature of the movies and the copious amounts of fake blood used while filming. Blood Feast was made in 1963 and is considered to be the first splatter film.

As his film career continued, Lewis continued to make such splatter films as A Taste of Blood, The Wizard of Gore, Sum of the Earth!, The Gruesome Twosome, and She-Devils of Wheels. Many of the films were skewed towards the soft-core erotica themes, but some of the films did take on topics that were considered taboo at the time, such as the birth control pill and wife-swapping.

After a decade of directing splatter films, Lewis took a break from directing and turned to marketing. He was also a college teacher, a radio personality, an author of many marketing and copywriting books, and a producer and director for several commercials.

Then, in 2002, Lewis came back to the world of splatter horror films with his final movie, Blood Feast 2: All U Can Eat. This featured a cameo from one of his biggest fans, John Waters. In 2006, he was inducted into the Polly Staffle Hall of Fame, and in 2009, Lewis released a flim called The Uh-Oh! Show, which was a splatter film where game show contestants were dismembered for each incorrect answer.

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Our thoughts go out to Lewis' friends, family, and devoted fans. He and his iconic splatter film ideas will certainly be missed.

[H/T Variety]