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

The "splatter" horror innovator was 87.

Herschell Gordon Lewis

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Herschell Gordon Lewis, a horror icon long known as the “Godfather of Gore,” has passed away of unspecified causes at 87. He was best known for innovating the “splatter” subgenre with 1963’s “Blood Feast,” which Lewis made on a $24,500 budget partly as a response to “Psycho” — he wanted to show the act of murder on film in graphic detail, not just the aftermath. Something Weird Video broke the news on Facebook.

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The filmmaker was highly prolific throughout the 1960s and early ’70s, and active in a number of sordid subgenres: nudie-cuties, juvenile-delinquent movies and other exemplars of exploitation cinema. Among his best-known — and most alluringly named — works are “The Wizard of Gore,” “She-Devils on Wheels,” “The Gruesome Twosome” and “Two Thousand Maniacs!”

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Lewis, who was the subject of the 2010 documentary “Herschell Gordon Lewis: The Godfather of Gore,” became less active in the film industry after 1972’s “The Gore Gore Girls.”

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