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The Theatre Bizarre

67 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Down a seedy city street, a young woman is obsessed with what appears to be a long abandoned theatre. One night, she sees the front door slightly ajar and impulsively decides to sneak inside. But there in the vast, eerie auditorium, a show unlike any other unfolds before her eyes. Its host is an odd marionette-like man who will introduce her to six tales of the truly bizarre: A couple traveling in a remote part of the French Pyrenees crosses 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 fluid of her victims eyeballs; And a perverse obsession with sweets turns sour for a couple in too deep. But as the stories unfold, something strange is happening to the woman. Something irreversible and horrific. Something that awaits its next audience in THE THEATRE BIZARRE. Directed by Douglas Buck (Sisters, Family Portraits: A Trilogy of America) , Buddy Giovinazzo (Combat Shock, Life is Hot in Cracktown), David Gregory (Plague Town), Karim Hussain (The Beautiful Beast, Subconscious Cruelty), Jeremy Kasten (The Wizard of Gore (2007)), Tom Savini (Tales from the Darkside, Night of the Living Dead), and Richard Stanley (Hardware, Dust Devil)

Product Details

  • Actors: Udo Kier, Guilford Adams, Suzan Anbeh, Lindsay Goranson, André Hennicke
  • Directors: Tom Savini, Buddy Giovinazzo, David Gregory, Douglas Buck, Jeremy Kasten
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Severin Films
  • DVD Release Date: April 24, 2012
  • Run Time: 114 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (67 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B006U49SC6
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #80,439 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

45 of 51 people found the following review helpful By C. Sawin VINE VOICE on February 2, 2012
Format: DVD
What the hell happened to American horror? Remember when mainstream horror films actually offered either originality or creativity in the way victims died? Now we're practically spoon fed the same formula over and over and it doesn't help that more than half of the horror films getting the green light or being released in theaters are a remake of a film you love. The 70s, 80s, 90s, and even early 00s in some cases were a fantastic time for horror that seem to have gone the way of the dodo bird. The horror genre is no stranger to the anthology formula, but there's something about The Theatre Bizarre that manages to capture the atmosphere of certain horror films you know and love.

Tales From the Crypt, Dead of Night, Creepshow, Trick 'r Treat, and Tales From the Darkside: The Movie are a few films The Theatre Bizarre will either remind you of and/or it pays homage to. To bridge the story together, a woman is drawn to the worn down looking theater next door. Once inside, she's treated to a show hosted by a man acting like a living wind-up toy (played by Udo Kier). Just the framing segments alone are extremely creepy. The make-up, the way the people on stage move, and the way eyes are painted on the top of their eyelids. It's a bit unsettling in the best of ways. There are six stories in the film's nearly two hour runtime:

"The Mother of Toads" is one of the weakest. A couple takes a vacation in France basically in the middle of nowhere. While they're browsing shops, they meet an elderly woman who draws the man, Martin (Shane Woodward) into her home with The Necronomicon. The tea she gives him puts him under her spell and all hell breaks loose from there. This is probably a lot like the movie Frogs. The multi-colored toad vision is pretty lame.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Looking for a film that witches, murder, Lovecraftian vaginas, eyeball injections, the Necromonicon, and naked toad monsters? Well, depending my interpretation of what I saw in the melee of short films here you may be in for all that and more...all be it in small doses. These short films vary substantially in film, acting, gore, direction and writing quality. We get to taste a lot of stories and ideas and, if we don't like one of the shorts after ten minutes, just wait ten more minutes for the next one to start. If you like anthologies then don't miss this.

A macabre-marionetted Udo Kier (Mother of Tears, Iron Sky) introduces the six unrelated stories of this anthology. I have provided an brief overview of each short film along with some opinions.

The Mother of Toads--directed by Richard Stanley (Hardware, The Profane Exhibit)
Vacationing in France, an American couple encounter an old lady (Catriona MacCall; The Beyond, City of the Living Dead) selling Lovecraftian earrings who claims to possess the Necronomicon. This clichéd creepy old lady invites the boyfriend to her uber-occult home in the woods, transforms into a slimy yet hot naked witch (played by a porn star), date rapes him, and turns into a six-breasted toad monster that looks like The Creature from the Black Lagoon. MY CALL: I may have spoiled the story, but the wooden acting and blatantly random premise spoil the short film even more. Though, I must admit I found it entertaining. You find yourself asking questions like "why would he go to her house?", "why would he stay in that creepy house when she CLEARLY fancies herself a witch?", "who would ever accept a drink from someone who owns a Necronomicon!?!", and finally "the Necronomicon is French!?!
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Bindy Sue Frønkünschtein TOP 1000 REVIEWER on January 12, 2013
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
THE THEATRE BIZARRE is a refreshingly blunt gutting, dismembering, and reassembling of the horror anthology film. No pussy-footing around here! From the Lovecraft-inspired doom-magik of MOTHER OF TOADS, to the gluttonous, cannibalistic overload of SWEETS, this movie is filled to the puking-point w/ a scheming witch (TOADS), a truly obsessive / psychotic relationship ("I LOVE YOU'), a series of emasculation nightmares (WET DREAMS), a meditation on the nature of death (THE ACCIDENT), a unique, life-stealing, vampire / addict (VISION STAINS), and the ultimate break-up story / ode to BLOOD FEAST (SWEETS). The wrap-around story (THEATRE GUIGNOL) holds these gooshy tales together like a slippery demon on her clutch of rancid eggs. Highly recommended for the non-squeamish and open-minded...
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Michael E. Mitchell on September 16, 2012
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Upon reading the reviews of this on Amazon and then finally seeing it, I heartily agree with the very positive reviews, though oddly disagreeing with many of them. So here's what I liked about it (and a few minor detractions). I was afraid that this might be close to one of those utterly dreadful "8 horror film collection" deals you can find at any discount store for $5: you know, the ones filmed on someone's "smart"phone starring their acquaintances that have no business ever being offered for sale to an unsuspecting public, the kind who's quality is so utterly terrible that they don't even appeal to FANS of the "utterly terrible". This is not a film like that. It is professionally filmed, with real music, real actors, real direction, etc. In most cases, the music is superb, and when not superb is at least not annoying(another thing I feared). The acting is also superb for the most part, with the exception of some of the actors in "Sweets","Vision Stains" and "Wet Dreams", whose performances are at least adequate and not glaringly bad. There are many very wonderful exterior as well as interior shots throughout this, to appeal to almost any kind of film fan; these are not simple, one-set cheapo segments. As for the quality of the stories, I appreciated them all, though some of them were more low-key than others. Greatly appreciated the appearance of the still-beautiful(though in this role, in a very creepy way) Katarina MacColl (of genre classics such as "The Beyond" and "City of the Living Dead")in "Mother of Toads", as well as the always entertaining Udo Kier.Read more ›
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