April 29, 2015

Podcast Episode 54: ROAR Is The Most Insane Thing I've Ever Seen


Some movies defy explanation.  Defy logic.  Defy reality.

And then there's Roar, a movie that was directed by fucking lions.

The story of Roar's production seems so unhinged from reality that you wouldn't believe it really happened if the film itself wasn't there to taunt you with the proof of its own deranged existence.  Writer/director/star Noel Marshall, his wife Tippi Hedren, their sons John and Jerry and their daughter Melanie Griffith spent the 1970s living in a sprawling California estate surrounded by over 100 wild lions, tigers, panthers and leopards.  Their unique lifestyle was part of their fervent support of wildlife conservation and the ethical treatment of large jungle cats, and they felt these issues were so important that the best way to bring them proper attention was to shoot a feature film starring themselves and their extended feline family.  So they embarked on a decade-long cinematic journey in which no animals were harmed, but most of the humans suffered grievous bodily injuries.  Director of photography Jan De Bont (who would go on to direct Speed) was fucking scalped and had to get 220 stitches in the back of his head.  That's what happens when you try to shoot scenes with a hundred untrained lions.

This really happened.  In this universe.  If you think I'm making it all up, just take a look at this trailer, courtesy of my personal idols over at Drafthouse Films who have recently re-released this long forgotten scrap of madness into theaters.


How do you not want to immediately watch that movie?

Bart returns for this week's episode of the podcast and I threw him right into the deep end with a midnight screening of Roar, a movie that's basically ninety minutes of terrified humans being chased by giant killer animals.  It is both the most entertaining and the most horrifying thing I've seen in a theater this year.  We were so dumbfounded in fact, that it actually turned into a pretty short conversation on the relative scale of this podcast, so we changed gears about halfway through to catch up with Star Wars, Batman v. Superman and our first look at Jared Leto's incarnation of The Joker.

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Next Week: Avengers: Age Of Ultron, obviously.