We explain what cinema is gore, its characteristics and examples from different eras. In addition, we tell you how its origin and its history were.

In the advertising for the premiere of the gore film Nekromantik you can guess the bloody theme.In the advertising for the premiere of the gore film Nekromantik you can guess the bloody theme.
Cinema gore shows the viewer bloody scenes with all the gruesome details.

What is cinema gore?

Cinema gore or cinema splatter It is a film genre characterized by its representation of horror stories in the most graphic and stark way possible., that is, without sparing the viewer gory details or bloody, sexually explicit and/or scenes of extreme violence. It is typically a genre B seriesthat is, with commercial ambitions and a small budget, often associated with exploitation cinema (exploitation), whose main attraction is usually its morbid themes and special effects.

The name of the genus, “gore“, is a loanword from English, a language in which it refers to the blood spilled in a violent wound, to the dismemberment or to the attacks of certain animals with their horns. This name emerged in the second half of the 20th century as a label for an increasingly well-known genre of films.

The other name given to the genus is splatter, Anglo-Saxon term for “salpicón” or “enchastre”, alluding to the disorderly shedding of blood. This last name was given to the genre by the cult director George Romero (1940-2017), regarding the premiere of his film Dawn of the Dead (The dawn of the Dead) in 1978.

Cinema gore is relatively popular, especially among young audiences, and was important for the emergence of other commercial film genres, such as slasher (serial killer movies) and certain types of sleeve and anime. some films gore have been controversial and have been banned or censored in different countriesconsidered at the same level as pornography, and even held responsible for the creation of the genre snuffin which real crimes are simulated as faithfully as possible.

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It may help you: Cinematography

Features of cinema gore

Cinema gore It is characterized by the following:

  • It is a commercial film genre, with little or no artistic ambition, but often linked to underground cinematographic, that is, a cinema circulating in clandestine or amateur circuits.
  • It usually represents stories of terror and/or horrorin which situations of extreme violence (physical, sexual or psychological) abound, represented in a very explicit way.
  • His films usually have modest budgets and different special effects mechanisms, while the use of computerized tools tends to be rather rare.
  • His films usually emphasize the representation of the destruction of the human body. (dismemberment, decapitation, evisceration) and lack elaborate plots and narrative proposals.

Origin of cinema gore

The advertising for Blood Feast promoted its protagonist, known for participating in Playboy.The advertising for Blood Feast promoted its protagonist, known for participating in Playboy.
Herschell Gordon Lewis and David F. Friedman inaugurated the genre gore.

Cinema gore It was born as a genre in the second half of the 20th century, but it had important antecedentss since the beginning of the century. For example, in the French theater Grand Guignol 1908, elaborate massacres were depicted.

In the early films of Americans DW Griffith (1875-1948) and Cecil B. DeMille (1881-1959), beheadings and other forms of explicit violence were depicted. This was one of the reasons that motivated the creation of the Hays Code in the 1920s, a document that detailed what was prohibited and allowed to be shown in the cinema. Thus, for almost 50 years, censorship prevented the emergence of cinema gore.

At the end of the 1950s, film audiences rediscovered film proposals about crime, such as the works of Alfred Hitchcock (1899-1980), especially the famous Psychosis (1960). In this context, Herschell Gordon Lewis (1926-2016) and David F. Friedman (1923-2011), who produced amateur films with erotic themes, very profitable in neighborhood cinemas, decided to undertake the project of telling what Hitchcock decided not to. show in Psychosis (that is, the murder of the protagonist of the first part). This is how cinema was born gore.

In 1963, Lewis and Friedman released blood feastconsidered the first film gore proper. It was shot over nine days in Miami, with a budget of $25,000 and in full color. But this new cinema, little interested in the interpretation and artistic aspect of the story, had no place in traditional movie theaters, so it had to debut in drive-in theaters.

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The critical reception was very harsh: authors such as Stephen King called it the “worst horror film in history.” But Lewis and Friedman used everything to their advantage: they handed out vomit bags at the entrance to the drive-in theater and took advantage of the phrases of their detractors to promote their film.

Lewis and Friedman’s films had an unexpected success, and shook the morale of American society at the time.. In the following two years they produced around seven films of between 60 and 75 minutes, and between 1965 and 1972 almost 20 more themed feature films. gore. In 1963 the Italian director Mario Bava (1914-1980) joined him with the cinema giallo and in 1968 the American George Romero, with his famous film The night of the Living Dead. Lewis retired in 1972, but left a genre gore robust and ongoing, which lasts to the present.

Examples of cinema gore

Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez appear at the premiere of their gore film Grindhouse.Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez appear at the premiere of their gore film Grindhouse.
Even great directors like Quentin Tarantino ventured into the genre gore.

Some famous films of the genre gore are:

  • The Girl Who Knew Too Much (1963) by Mario Bava.
  • The Gore Gore Girls (1972) by Herschell Gordon Lewis.
  • dawn of the living dead (1978) by George Romero.
  • Nekromantik (1987) by Jörg Buttgereit.
  • Hostel (2005) by Eli Roth.
  • Grindhouse (2007) by Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodríguez.
  • Human Centipede (2009) by Tom Six.

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  • “Gore cinema” on Wikipedia.
  • “10 gore movies not suitable for weak stomachs” in Esquire Latin America.
  • “Gore” in the Dictionary of the Language of the Royal Spanish Academy.
  • “This is how ‘gore’ cinema was born: in drive-ins and with vomit bags at the entrance” in El País (Spain).
  • “Gore” in The Britannica Dictionary.
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