Director: Douglas Buck, Buddy Giovinazzo, David Gregory, Karim Hussain, Jeremy Kasten, Tom Savini, Richard Stanley
Screenplay: Scarlett Amaris, Douglas Buck, John Esposito, Buddy Giovinazzo, David Gregory, Karim Hussain, Emiliano Ranzani, Richard Stanley, Zach Chassler
Cast: Kaniehtiio Horn, Catriona MacColl, André Hennicke, Tom Savini, Udo Kier, Lena Kleine
Producers: Carl Daft, David Gregory, Fabrice Lambot, Jean-Pierre Putters, Daryl Tucker
Print Source: Severin Films/Metaluna Productions
The mandate was simple. Take six of the genre film universe’s most fascinating independent auteur figures. Give each of them an identical production budget. Turn them loose to craft a short film with no further rules or boundaries. The result is THE THEATRE BIZARRE, a shocking Grand Guignol anthology feature shot in four countries that encompasses new work from Richard Stanley (HARDWARE, DUST DEVIL), Karim Hussain (SUBCONSCIOUS CRUELTY, LA BELLE BETE), Buddy Giovinazzo ( COMBAT SHOCK, LIFE IS HOT IN CRACKTOWN), Tom Savini (special make-up effects genius, director of the 1990 NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD), Douglas Buck (CUTTING MOMENTS, SISTERS remake) and David Gregory (PLAGUE TOWN, founder of the Severin Films label), with a wraparound segment (featuring none other than Udo Kier!) from Jeremy Kasten (THE WIZARD OF GORE remake).
The individual plots, tones and styles are as dissimilar from one another as could be possible. Stanley’s THE MOTHER OF TOADS is an atmospheric and perverse Lovecraftian chiller shot in France starring Lucio Fulci vet Catriona MacColl. Buck’s THE ACCIDENT is a peacefully disquieting meditation on death that evokes Malick over mayhem. Shot in Berlin, Giovinazzo’s ominously titled I LOVE YOU details the psychosexual agony of a bad romantic pairing taking a turn for the worst, starring ANTIBODIES’ André Hennicke. Savini’s WET DREAMS showcases Debbie Rochon as a housewife getting wise to her cheating husband’s ways and features grisly FX by Toetag Pictures (AUGUST UNDERGROUND). Hussain’s gruesome Montreal-lensed VISION STAINS is a surrealistic nightmare starring THE WILD HUNT’s Kaniehtiio Horn in a tour-de-force performance as a special kind of writer with a work methodology that will shock your senses – along with hers. Gregory’s stylish SWEETS is a theatrically comic, Burtonesque gorefest of bad love, worse eating habits and very distasteful social practices.
Each segment takes you to a very different stop on the horror map, with loads of cool surprises popping up for the discerning genre fan. Gregory’s segment features an appearance by ’70s exploitation queen Lynn Lowry (SCORE, THE CRAZIES, I DRINK YOUR BLOOD, SHIVERS — the latter also screening at Fantasia this year as part of our Cinepix tribute). Two segments feature original scores by the great Simon Boswell (SANTA SANGRE, HARDWARE, STAGEFRIGHT, LORD OF ILLUSIONS…). While each filmmaker had total autonomy, there was a lot of cross-over, with Hussain photographing Stanley and Buck’s segments as well as his own, Gregory serving as a producer across the board and Buck editing four entries. Two of the six segments were shot in Montreal. Nearly all of the filmmakers involved with the project first met at Fantasia. So, what better place to birth this film into the world than here? Get your scrubs on and prepare for a very bloody delivery. The frightening. The poetic. The stomach-turning. The powerful. THE THEATRE BIZARRE.