Severin Films and France’s Metaluna Productions today announced their international co-production of The Theater Bizarre, a modern horror anthology inspired by the over-the-top shocks of Paris’ early 20th century ‘Theatre du Grand Guignol’. The feature will be comprised of six films by six cutting-edge genre directors enlisted from around the world and granted total creative freedom. The Theater Bizarre is executive produced by Daryl J. Tucker, and produced by Severin’s Carl Daft, David Gregory and John Cregan, Metaluna’s Fabrice Lambot, and Michael Ruggiero of Nightscape Entertainment. Production on Richard Stanley’s (Hardware) segment ‘The Mother Of Toads’ began 10/10/10 in Montségur in the French Pyrenees.
The project’s six filmmakers have all made at least one modestly budgeted and internationally acclaimed movie in the horror field. The films of Douglas Buck include the 2003 Sitges sensation FAMILY PORTRAITS: A TRILOGY OF AMERICA and the recent remake of Brian DePalma’s SISTERS. Buddy Giovinazzo exploded onto the genre scene with 1986’s COMBAT SHOCK and went on to write and direct such features as the Tim Roth-starrer NO WAY HOME and last year’s acclaimed ensemble drama LIFE IS HOT IN CRACKTOWN (adapted from his novel), as well as numerous works for German television. UK native David Gregory is the industry’s foremost documentarian of horror films on DVD, and his 2008 feature debut PLAGUE TOWN was hailed as “a nightmare captured on celluloid” by Fangoria. In addition to writing and directing SUBCONSCIOUS CRUELTY and LA BELLE BÊTE, Karim Hussain is also an accomplished cinematographer whose features include the upcoming HOBO WITH A SHOTGUN. Arguably horror’s best-known special effects wizard for his landmark work on classics that include the original FRIDAY THE 13TH and DAWN OF THE DEAD – as well as a popular actor in such films as FROM DUSK TIL DAWN and MACHETE – Tom Savini directed the 1990 remake of NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD. South African born Richard Stanley is one of the genre’s most distinctive talents, whose visionary cult classics include HARDWARE and DUST DEVIL. THE THEATRE BIZARRE marks his triumphant return to horror for the first time in 18 years.
“These filmmakers are all working with the exact same budget, delivery schedule and narrative directive,” says Executive Producer Daryl J. Tucker. “They must deliver a short film of 10-20 minutes inspired by the term Grand Guignol. No other creative restrictions exist. We’re expecting great things from six of modern horror’s most distinctive writers and directors.”
“From DEAD OF NIGHT to the Amicus anthologies of the ’60s and ’70s like TALES FROM THE CRYPT to modern classics such as CREEPSHOW, the ‘portmanteau’ approach has always held a unique place in the horror genre,” says Carl Daft, co-founder and CEO of Severin Films. “THEATRE BIZARRE, with its wraparound segments shot in an ominous Parisian theatre that encase six shocking visions, will be a ferocious return to a legendary concept.”
Metaluna Productions is a Paris-based production company specializing in features (DYING GOD), shorts (DOLOROSA, INSANITY) and documentaries (“MARVEL 14: SUPER HEROES VS CENSORSHIP). The company has several feature films in development, including MANDRAGORE, TOUTES LES NUITS, and Douglas Buck’s THE BROKEN IMAGO.
Nightscape Entertainment was founded by Michael Ruggiero, a former executive at The Independent Film Channel (IFC) and Starz whose dozens of productions included GOING TO PIECES: THE RISE AND FALL OF THE SLASHER FILM, BLOODSUCKING CINEMA, BULLETS OVER HOLLYWOOD, THE SPAGHETTI WEST and CRASH: THE TELEVISION SERIES. Nightscape currently has several genre-related projects in development with filmmakers that include John Esposito (FROM DUSK TILL DAWN), Adam Rockoff (the current remake of I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE) and Tom Savini, as well as their just-announced version of legendary comic book creator Will Eisner’s A CONTRACT WITH GOD.
Severin Films, founded in 2006 with offices in Los Angeles and London, has been called “well on its way to becoming the greatest indie label of all time” by BlogCritics.org. Their DVD and Blu-ray releases include recent Goya Award winner Jess Franco’s MACUMBA SEXUAL and BLOODY MOON, Walerian Borowczyk’s IMMORAL WOMEN, the unrated Director’s Cut of Just Jaeckin’s GWENDOLINE, Richard Stanley’s restored HARDWARE, Enzo Castellari’s original INGLORIOUS BASTARDS, Oscar