Kip Pardue stars as Ed Bigelow, a hipster douche bag who lives off a fat trust fund and runs a weekly newspaper out of his posh loft. For kicks, he and gal pal Maggie (Bijou Phillips and her expansive forehead) check out a magic show featuring Montag the Magnificent (Crispin Glover rockin’ a pompadour). The act consists of Montag disemboweling, cooking or chopping up random strippers (all played by actual Suicide Girls) from the audience. They’re fine, of course. All part of the act … or is it? The following day these same lovely Suicide Girl volunteers turn up dead.
The story is a neo-noir with its flashback structure and murder mystery plot. Bigelow’s vintage wardrobe further emphasizes the retro style. The film hinges on Glover’s gloriously unhinged performance as Montag. Forget subtlety — he knows it would be wasted here — Glover chews the scenery with aplomb, managing to outdo his fellow cult co-stars, Brad Dourif and Jeffrey Combs. Pardue plays Bigelow similar to Peter Weller in Naked Lunch: He’s too hip to be empathetic.
Overall, The Wizard of Gore stands as a rare success in the horror remake trend, and really shines when Glover is on screen.
—Mike White www.metrotimes.com/detroit/couch-trip