Forces of Geek THEATRE BIZARRE Review

For the film’s wraparound segments, writer/director Jeremy Kasten – whose 2007 remake of Herschell Gordon Lewis’ THE WIZARD OF GORE was steeped in modern Guignol mayhem – enhanced the horror show concept with location shooting inside downtown Los Angeles’ historic yet ominous Million Dollar Theater, the first movie house built by Sid Grauman of Chinese Theater fame (and currently owned by Robert Voskanian, director of the ’70s grindhouse classic THE CHILD). Utilizing touches of Italian giallo and a literal interpretation of Le Théâtre du Grand-Guignol – which means “Theater of the Big Puppet” in French – Kasten bookends the film with a delectably sinister performance by the legendary Udo Kier (star of such horror classics as ANDY WARHOL’S FRANKENSTEIN and ANDY WARHOL’S DRACULA, SUSPIRIA and MARK OF THE DEVIL, blockbusters like ARMAGEDDON and BLADE, and art-house hits that include MY OWN PRIVATE IDAHO, SHADOW OF THE VAMPIRE and Lars von Trier’s DANCER IN THE DARK, BREAKING THE WAVES and MELANCHOLIA) as the theatre’s marionette-like host Pegg Poett. “THE THEATRE BIZARRE is a unique project in that it brings together so many points of view from the horror genre into one movie,” says Kasten, “and does so with little or no constraints. The fact that everyone had the opportunity to make a film with no meddling and full script and edit approval allowed it to be a purer vision of these various horror auteurs’ work.”

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