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Bazaar Bizarre

2.5 out of 5 stars 38 customer reviews

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(Mar 08, 2011)
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Editorial Reviews

When Chris Bryson was discovered limping down a street in 1988 wearing only a dog collar, the horrifying acts of one Kansas City resident were exposed. Bob Berdella, a local fascinated by the occult, had been spending his off hours torturing, sodomizing and murdering young men. Follow true crime author James Ellroy ('L.A. Confidential', 'The Black Dahlia') as he traces the history of Bob Berdella's sordid crimes with interviews of Bryson, gruesome reenactments, and disturbing musical numbers. Revisit the horror and try to come out alive.

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: James Ellroy
  • Directors: Benjamin Meade
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, Dolby, HiFi Sound, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Troma Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: March 8, 2011
  • Run Time: 89 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 2.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B003UBHQUS
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #129,550 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
Bazaar Bizarre is a strange little film. A mixed beast, partially a brutal documentary about a very heinous serial killer, Bob Berdella, and partially a campy festival of BADLY acted reenactments and worse music (it's from Troma, what do you expect?) the movie manages to be seriously disturbing despite its' infinite cheese. The segments of actual interview footage with the police, court reporters, and Berdella himself present a case riddled with problems--not least homophobia and a nonchalant attitude toward the disappearences of male prostitutes--and Berdella himself one of the most cold, unsympathetic characters one could interact with. Against this chilly backdrop, we get occasionally laugh-out-loud reenactments with B-movie acting, copious nudity, poor special effects and the omnipresent Terrible Music. It shouldn't work, but somehow it does. At the end, you'll ask yourself what the hell you just watched, but it's still worth watching. There's a lot of food for thought in there, buried in the dreck.
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There's a normal documentary in here somewhere, but there's so much weird padding and prurience mucking up the ediing, I just gave up about a quarter in. And, there's some unnecessary frontal nudity of an injured, terrified young man that's pretty darn disrespectful to the victims and their survivors. And, why the band (who, no doubt, are someone's brother-in-law's buddies or something) keep showing up is beyond me...
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What is the deal with the scenes of the band playing? The music is kinda crappy, and the scenes do not mesh with the rest of the film at all. In my opinion, they could have left those scenes out, and the movie would have made more sense. Maybe someone in the band was friends with the director. That's the only way I can think of that would posses the director to put in this nonsense.

The case is interesting, but more time could have been spent showing the actual interview with Bob Bordella, instead of this poorly composed piece of crap.
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Format: DVD
Throughout the whole movie we're guided by homophobic presenter, James Ellroy taking quick jabs with no factual information. There really wasn't anything I enjoyed about this whatsoever. It starts off like a cheesy instructional video from the 80's and just stays that way. It's full of shameless self-promotion through which we hear terrible music by some terrible "artist". Of course there are a few factual statements taken first-hand but this is just repeated. It's more of a morbid parody with not much to offer. There are some clips from an interview with the perpetrator but that really doesn't save this. There are disgusting reenactments portrayed here complete with a "music video" from supporting trash band also portraying these clips. It seemed as though this "James Ellroy" had nothing to contribute and maybe had something, himself, to hide in his own personal life relating to the subject. Just completely ridiculous and attempts in no way to bring closure to victims nor their families. A shameful release and not worth your time nor money. This whole documentary is on YouTube if you're still curious and I admit, the way it was summarized was intriguing yet I wouldn't recommend looking into it.
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I found this to be an entertaining and interesting documentary, as I had never heard of Berdella before. The guy was a pure and simple nut. As far as the quality of the production goes, it lacks a lot, and that is, frankly, to be expected from a Troma release. There were some okay re-enactments and such, so I don't fault them for that, but the "musical" interludes with the band playing were absolutely superfluous and I fast-forwarded through them. The musical parts went on for FAR too long each time, and they added nothing to the documentary, other than length. A shorter, tighter running length would have made this a much better film.

Even with these problems, I liked the film and would recommend it.
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To be fair, I only made it through about 20 minutes of this before turning it off. A fan of true crime and documentaries, this was not what was expected. This is more for those aficionados of the gruesome fictional genre, rather than those of documentaries.
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It could have been an interesting documentary without the cheesy titles and OMG THE BAND! What the heck was that? Otherwise the interviews were legitimate. He got off easy dying of a heart attack & being separated from the main population of prison. I think the last comment is perceptive. Had he lived he would have eventually been ignored & he would have coughed up more crimes. 47 people disappeared from his hunting area during his reign, he was comfortable and set up to do his crimes. That all equals experience gained through practice. Skip over the BAND & you might have a more informative experience. I think the police were a bit slow on the draw when the first considered the escaped person simply part of a lovers quarrel despite his injuries and his account. That would not have been the assumption with a heterosexual. But the Cop? warning about being careful of strangers at the end was certainly on point. Unfortunately there are folks who are most vulnerable that rely on strangers to eat. If we can't help them out of their vulnerable status in a positive way other than arrest them simply because of that vulnerability, then there is an obligation to protect them as they cannot protect themselves.
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