Exclusive: Herschell Gordon Lewis Talks Terror Toons and Much More!


In Terror Toons 3, sisters Cindy (Beverly Lynne) and Candy (Lizzy Bordon) fight to save the world from destruction by the hands of the insane Dr. Carnage and his henchman, Max Assassin, once again!

This warped and twisted tale starring “Godfather of Gore” Herschell Gordon Lewis (Blood Feast, Two Thousand Maniacs) and directed by his protégé Joe Castro (Terror Toons 1 and 2) is one wild ride.

We caught up with HGL, and here’s what he had to tell us about Terror Toons 3 and his next upcoming film. (Yep, at 87, he’s still going strong… and gory!)

Dread Central: We know you and Joe Castro are friends… was that the main reason you decided to act in Terror Toons 3?

Herschell Gordon Lewis: Joe Castro in my opinion is a true genius in his field and is not recognized as widely and positively as he should be. We first worked together on a movie in New Orleans, and I developed a serious regard for his talent and that’s how this happened. I felt he was a kindred soul. Someone who saw beyond let’s just pull the wool over someone’s eyes in entertainment. Joe is a genuine entertainer, and as I said to you earlier, there are not many of us left so I think he is to be treasured.

Herschell Gordon Lewis

DC: What can your fans expect from you as an actor in this semi-animated flick?

HGL: What they can expect from me as an actor is hard for me to determine because I’m not involved in the editing of this. I can certainly grunt and heave with the best of them, but in the editing room is where the determination is made as to whether what I have to say or what I have to do has any affect at all on an audience who doesn’t know what geniuses we are. Joe himself would be a better criteria of what that would be, but what I will tell you is I’ve gone through effects with Joe that nobody would ever think of. Putting a pig’s head into an oven, that sounds really bloodier than it is because it is truly entertaining, and I’ve wandered in these fields of what we call splatter movies long enough to recognize that there are people who simply say, ‘Well let’s cut this guy’s arm off; let’s stab this person in the chest.’ Not Joe… Joe goes for effects and he goes for effects that are deciding what somebody on the outside will determine is entertaining or not and that is something I admire.

DC: The Terror Toons movies are a throwback to the late 60s and early 70s, without feeling like a spoof.

HGL: I think really you have hit the mother lode with that comment because it gives you the effect and yet, you say to yourself, ‘These aren’t people who are high on morphine or cocaine or something. These are people who are genuine entertainers,’ and that describes Joe Castro. There is a fellow named Jackie Morgan and he was making a movie called Blood Feast 2. Now please understand I am responsible, that’s sound horrible doesn’t it?, for Blood Feast 1 and Blood Feast 1 is usually regarded as the mother lode of the entire world of what we now call splatter films. We just called them gory movies but the idea behind these was to make a motion picture that the major film companies either couldn’t make or wouldn’t make but then somebody, some brave theater, because at that time it was theaters or nothing, there was no such thing as video cassettes or DVD’s, some brave theater might show or some braver theater goer, I’d pay a quarter to sit there and look at and we were very lucky with what we did there although it was all quite deliberate. Trying to make something that wasn’t just awash in blood, that doesn’t require talent, we see it all the time now. People who want to invade our sacred territory will shoot scenes just to make them as bloody as possible. That isn’t the point. The point is to have someone who is watching this thing to say yuck, wow, without the yuck, the wow alone is very easy, just go to your nearest street corner and kill somebody, you’ll get a yuck. Does that mean you’re talented? Certainly not. If you are of a Joe Castro mold, you will go to the nearest street corner and you’ll say ‘Hey, do you want to make fifty dollars? Now you just stand here for a minute and you’re going to feel something and I’m going to ask you to pretend that what I have done is stab your eye out, I’m telling you in advance this is not what’s going to happen, I don’t want a lawsuit, I don’t want a criminal conviction, what I want is your co-operation for an idea to show what can be done.’ And that is the Joe Castro mode.

DC: What’s going on with the film you directed, Blood Mania? It’s listed as post-production on IMDb.

HGL: Yes, it’s still in post-production and I will tell you without any worry at all of someone saying, ‘How dare you say that?,’ I don’t understand why it’s still in post-production. Blood Mania is a Canadian production as you may know and it consists of four episodes that are loosely tied together by a narrator, I’m the narrator, and I also wrote one of the four episodes and I directed two of them and the scripts for the other two were done by people from Alberta in Canada. I shot my sequences in July of 2014 and that’s over two years ago. I see no reason for that or anything to sit on a shelf for two years to wait for editing to take place. That’s not the notion behind what we do but that’s where that is right now, now I’m told, I get a weekly phone call to try and make me feel better. I’ll feel better when the movie is released, or at the very least, excreted.

DC: LOL, that’s hilarious. Well, we’ll be waiting. Thanks so much; it’s always a pleasure talking with you.

HGL: The pleasure is mine, thank you.

Terror Toons 3



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