The Theater Bizarre – Evil, Sex and Death

Orchestrated by director Jeremy KastenThe Theater Bizarre has been designed with as an inspiration; the theater Grand Guignol of Paris.
The host is Udo Krier interpreting a muppet. He introduced sketches after sketches of about 20 minutes each, to a sole woman that has been strongly attracted to that theater across the street, which opened its doors the second she came in front of it.

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Cruelty, sex, temptation and death, let’s take each short film one by one.

The Mother of Toads

A young couple goes to France, encounter a creepy women (nd apparently her look doesn’t seem to bother anyone), who starts to talk about the Necronomicon. *Poof* Amazing, the guy actually wanted to read it for years, he then agrees to come later to her house in order to peek into it. He might be handsome, poor thing is stupid and naive.

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Director Richard Stanley chose to create a universe almost worth of an exploitation film, along with the croaking of the toads provoking an auditive hallucination of hysterical laughs, its awful creature or some psychedelic shots,  but is too grotesque in its seriousness to be one.

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In a nutshell, evil has got more to offer than any human being, and actually doesn’t give you a choice. Therefore wether you like it or not, you will have to abide to its law. What a script!

I Love You

Buddy Giovinazzo, however, took a step further in his script’s logic pattern. The movie starts in a cleaner/clearer environment up to some immaculate white bathroom, where a man is laying on the floor, unconscious. The only color is scarlet blood all around him. Please meet Axel.
He wakes up, has a nasty cut on his hand and starts calling his girlfriend, Mo, who will not pick up, he tries than a friend, and explain to him that he doesn’t know what happened.

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We spectators know that his friend is with his girlfriend, right below his apartment window. She’s getting up to break-up with Axel.
Extremely clever woman, she knows his future ex-boyfriend is obsessionally jealous but decides anyway to tell him with all cruelty possible, that she cheated on him for 3 years, with many guys. Whore.

Interesting matching of colors. She's almost disappearing into the decor.

Interesting matching of colors. She’s almost disappearing into the decor.

Unfortunately, cruelty and jealousy are not a great match, girl. The director approached the subject with a schizophrenic, unstable camera’s point-of-view, that is messing with us, but doesn’t protect us from the disappointing end in which  only the dialogues are worth the ride.

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Oh and please someone explain to me what the fuck they’re drinking! (Get27?)

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Wet Dreams

“Unite your stories to define your life.” That’s pretty much it.

However if you are interesting in knowing how to get a headache here’s the recipe: take several dreams, choose a person who will be caught in its own nightmare, then caught in an other person nightmare, and finally caught in an other person’s dream becoming his nightmare. Put the icing on the cake; set up some blurry lines between reality and onirism.

Possible explanation for this short film, signed Tom Savini, is Carla, a woman victim of domestic violence who’s husband doesn’t only beat her, but cheats with his psychologist’s wife. He is subjected to several dreams in which he is almost castrated. To take her revenge, his wife will complete that unfinished act.

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The plot is great, interesting, but God, it is so ugly in its own disturbing madness which is pushed to the limit of no longer sustaining any ounce of credibility. A shame, the story got real potential.

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The Accident

Douglas Buck breaks a little bit the rhythm with his short, however keeps te same morbid atmosphere of suffocating darkness.

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A mother and her daughter are driving along talking about death (usual conversation) when they pull over. A biker had an accident with a moose, and died of it.
Starts a black poetic discussion around death, and the big question “Why do we die”. It is not because we’re bad, explains the mother, it is to make room for the new ones.
The subject is delicate, the way it is filmed is interesting and powerful, it is a tale explaining that death is random, so let it go.

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Vision Stains

My favorite, by Karim Hussain.

Cronenberg is his major influence, it has to! And when I say Cronenberg, I mean senior and junior. Indeed, Brandon Cronenberg‘s Antiviral influence is also palpable in Vision Stains.

A woman kills other women (who want to die, so it’s totally okay), in order to retain the chronological flash of their lives passing before their eyes experienced at the moment of their last breath. Thus, she injects a needle into one of their eye, removes a liquid that she will inject to her own right after that. In a transe, she will write their story down on several books. All this as a tribute to those women for which she is a voice.

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The medical aspect of the movie, and the cronenbergian aspect of the story is brillant. The woman is then caught by her own rules, into this spiral of “more”. Like a drug addict, she needs more, she needs a stronger dose, and tries to reach the sun, but goes back to Earth with her eyes burnt.
It is better to be blind and dream than seeing it all and not be able to escape.
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It is filmed in a very clever way, and the director made some refine choices when it came to the music and established strong background presence. With the breathtaking use of whispers, screams and elliptical images, Hussain creates this final dome where the air is suffocating and weights on your chest.

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Sweets

David Gregory couldn’t explain better a love story based on bulimia.
If chocolate helps you get through a breakup, the director sees food in Sweets as being the pillars of a relationship, taking into account the fact that food rots and disintegrates leaving a stinky smell behind it, like breakups do.

We are in a living room, a guy is eating and crying, surround by food. In front of him, a woman is holding a melting ice cream that she barely licks. They’re breaking up.

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He doesn’t want to let her go and yet she insists in warning him that she is not a good person. He reminds her of how great they were before, and the director offers us some flashbacks in which each time, the woman got a new hair cut and color, and in which the couple is having sexual intercourses through food, and more specifically through sweets.
In a crescendo, eating food becomes nasty, disturbing and vicious. It is threatening and this is against what the woman wanted to warn her lover.

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However, her character is manipulating him, she can control food, and thus wants to apply this control on other people through nourishment. She is amused with cruelty, and go even further with this guy by considering him like a goat that she is fattening, until he is ready to be eaten. A form of bulimia that reaches its climax with cannibalism in a Salò, or the 120 days of Sodom table of sins.

Very esthetic, and well structured with pop art scenes and burtonian environments, Gregory placed us in an underground world we didn’t know about.

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