a list that is trying to contain every horror film made that is not lost and is found on the…
The Theatre Bizarre
Down a seedy city street in her neighborhood, young Enola Penny is obsessed with what appears to be a long abandoned theatre. One night, she sees that the front door is slightly ajar and impulsively decides to sneak inside. But there in the dark, decrepit auditorium, a show unlike any other unfolds before her eyes. Its host is an eerie human puppet named Peg Poett who will introduce Penny to six tales of the bizarre: A couple traveling in a remote part of the French Pyrenees cross paths with a lustful witch; A paranoid lover faces the wrath of a partner who has been pushed to her limit; The Freudian dreams of an unfaithful husband blur the lines between fantasy and reality; The horrors of the real world are interpreted through the mind of a child; A woman addicted to other people's memories gets her fix through the vitreous fluid of her victims' eyeballs; And a perverse obsession with sweets turns sour for a couple in too deep.
In continuing my mission to watch more horror anthologies, I thought it was time to step away from the 80s and 90s and watch a more recent genre entry. Overall, I was quite impressed with the outcome and thankful for the effort put forth in the making of The Theatre Bizarre.
More often than not, when a film is made by horror fans the subtle nods to the genre fail to be, you know, subtle...I think it is safe to say that The Theatre Bizarre took a more tasteful approach to paying homage to the macabre. Sure, it came off as a bit of a search & find at times, but I enjoyed that aspect very much.
In the first segment,…
Decidedly uneven horror anthology that I nearly switched off, but decided to stick with when Tom Savini's name came up for the third segment. As per the course for these things I'll rate each on its own terms.
Framing Segments - Directed by Jeremy Kasten.
A young girl enters the seemingly deserted 'Theatre Bizarre', located near her apartment. She is treated to a strange puppet show. The head puppet (Udo Kier) tells her the stories that become the other segments.
As a framing device it is not too bad. It is considered among the weaker segments by most, but I thought it was nice and creepy, unlike most of the fare on offer through the rest of the film. 2.5/5…
'The Theatre Bizarre' is an ensemble of six stories with a framing composite that runs throughout between each short as a pretty caked-up puppet (Udo Kier) offers an epilogue to the last segment and an introduction to the one that follows.
All with the help of other even more not-so-scary (for 2011) puppets. The cut-scenes and the assortment of the poorly fucked up adult dolls reminded me of Michael Jackson's video for 'Thriller' by John Landis famous for comedies and the cult black-comic-horror 'An American Werewolf in London, 1981'.
And this film has the nerve to take itself seriously, knowing it is thirty four years late.
'Bizarre' is a heavy dose of sex and a multilingual commentary on everything…
Very dark anthology with lots of eyeball trauma. That list of filmmakers is refreshing. The centerpiece by Douglas Buck called "The Accident" was the standout for me and the most subtle and accomplished piece. I have to check out his feature film Sisters. Tom Savini's "Wet Dreams" is pretty great and he appears as a smug adulterer. The wraparound segment was the weakest, as is often the case with these things.
This horror anthology does pretty much what it says on the cover; It's set in a theatre, and it gets pretty bizarre.
The wrap-around, fitting-everything-together story follows a young nameless woman as she obsesses over a theatre before sneaking in one day when the door is ajar. This sounds like this would at least take up few minutes of screen time but no the sequence lasts all of 30 seconds before we are inside the theatre. As for the theatre bits in between the shorts, they are actually some of the best bits, giving us a weird and genuinely creepy kind of reminiscent but not as good as Mulholland Dr's Club Silencio.
The first short, The Mother Of Toads is…
This was one of two horror anthologies (the lacklustre CHILLERAMA was the other) which I was gutted to miss at FrightFest 2011 due to their twilight screening hour and my need to catch the last train home.
Having finally caught up with THE THEATRE BIZARRE its some way short of previous FrightFest fave TRICK 'R TREAT but a welcome addition to the modern portmanteau horror film nonetheless.
The film is bookended by an effective wraparound story revolving around a silent female spectator drawn into an abandoned and eerily strange cinema - the titular 'Theatre Bizarre' - where upon genre icon Udo Kier acts as our guide introducing each of the film's six tales (Mother of Toads, I Love You, Wet…
One-Line Review: In the end, I really liked more of the installments than I disliked so it's worth a watch.
Full Mini-Review here: themovierat.com/2015/09/18/review-the-theatre-bizarre/
Overall, "The Theatre Bizarre" is a crushing disappointment. Perhaps if some of the filmmakers had had more time or resources, they could have fleshed out more worthwhile shorts. Or perhaps the film is a fluke, a perfect storm of several filmmakers working at a low point in their game. Of the six shorts, only Douglas Buck’s “The Accident” is fully realized enough to stand on its own merits, with all the others coming in far below that film on virtually every level. Hopefully “The Accident” can find an audience outside "The Theatre Bizarre," and hopefully the filmmakers involved can get back to their usual standard of quality after this misstep, which if nothing else proves that nobody knocks it out of the park every single time.
Full review here:
Stars for Douglas Buck and Karim Hussain, verily.
Wisely frontloads the Stanley segment, which should have informed much of the latter. It acknowledges the presence of Lovecraftian mythos, and makes further wise use of time-consuming location, landscape and nature cinematography to give impact to fx and plot-driven punctuation.
Mother of toads
Not brilliant, but 100x more interesting than any of the VHS or ABCs OF DEATH anthologies of recent years.
This review reportedly contains spoilers. I can handle the truth.
Strange horror anthology that I didn't know anything about before watching. What caught my eye were some of the directors - Richard Stanley (Hardware, Dust Devil), Buddy Giovinazzo (Combat Shock).
Not a fan of anthologies in general as most of them are terrible, but thought it might be worth a watch for these directors entries alone.
To begin with the wraparound segment is terrible, as with most anthologies, what the bloody hell are they thinking!
Stanley's first section "Mother of Toads" has some good bits at the start and lays on the homage to Italian horror big time. Catriona MacColl's witch is the best thing about this, but unfortunately the story starts out weak and just gets sillier and sillier…
Fails to Horrify you despite the Awesome poster.
Insanely Gross and a low level entertainer, his movie combines six stories into a Horror anthology.
Horror Films usually need to strike that perfect tone between a Shocking moment magnified by Sound-effects and good CGI.
From a diary of FrightFest 2011 first published in Little White Lies
When twitchy, heavily mascaraed Enola Penny (Virginia Newcomb) enters the old theatre across the street that she might just have conjured in her own feverish imagination, its puppet master of ceremonies (played by ever welcome horror icon Udo Kier) might just have the perfect part for her amongst his freakish cast of automatons – but not before she has played audience to six short pieces of Grand Guignol. This unsettling narrative frame, directed by Jeremy Kasten, introduces six short films, each with its own director but all linked by a thematic focus on the macabre, that make up the Franco-American The Theatre Bizarre.
As with all omnibus films,…
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