Featuring the talents of THE WIZARD OF GORE‘s Jeremy Kasten, DUST DEVIL’s Richard Stanley, COMBAT SHOCK’s Buddy Giovinazzo, NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD’s Tom Savini, SISTERS’ Douglas Buck, SUBCONSCIOUS CRUELTY’s Karim Hussain and PLAGUE TOWN’s David Gregory, I couldn’t wait to see THE THEATRE BIZARRE…and that evening had finally come. Not that I had particular expectations, but having heard all about it from friends David Bertrand and Kier-la Janisse and fellow Montrealers and filmmakers Buck and Hussain themselves, I was excited to experience the film on my own. People had given me their personal rankings of the segments, their thoughts on rough cuts and it all sounded quite marvelous.
Considerably packed, this was the first film of the fest so far—aside from the opening film, RED STATE maybe—that truly felt like an event. Half the theater was packed with various filmmakers, actors, producers and writers that had been involved with THE THEATRE BIZARRE at some point, and when the cast and crew took the stage at the end for the Q&A, it was quite the sight. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. (Also, a special thanks to Adam Abouaccar for taking these photos of THE THEATRE BIZARRE’s cast and crew after its Fantasia screening.)
THE THEATRE BIZARRE opens with an appropriately Grand Guignol sequence, introducing Kasten’s wraparound aesthetic, which reminds one of the filmmaker’s WIZARD OF GORE remake, as well as establishes the film’s host: a definitely fitting and endearingly creepy Udo Kier.