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Down a seedy city street in her neighborhood, young Enola Penny is obsessed with what appears to be a long abandoned theatre. One night, she sees that the front door is slightly ajar and impulsively decides to sneak inside. But there in the dark, decrepit auditorium, a show unlike any other unfolds before her eyes. Its host is an eerie human puppet named Peg Poett who will introduce Penny to six tales of the bizarre: A couple traveling in a remote part of the French Pyrenees cross paths with a lustful witch; A paranoid lover faces the wrath of a partner who has been pushed to her limit; The Freudian dreams of an unfaithful husband blur the lines between fantasy and reality; The horrors of the real world are interpreted through the mind of a child; A woman addicted to other people's memories gets her fix through the vitreous fluid of her victims' eyeballs; And a perverse obsession with sweets turns sour for a couple in too deep. But as the stories unfold, something much stranger is ... Written by
"Theater Bizarre" is a horror anthology that much reminds me of last years "Little Deaths" in that it takes some rather strange and extreme ideas for some of the stories of which there are many. So lets start at the extremely disappointing beginning...
"Mother of toads" is a totally lame and rather typical horror story about a couple on holidays meeting a strange witch inviting them to look at her Necronomicon. Some Lovecraft references, nudity and slimy frogs just don't nail it here. Total snooze fest with the laziest storyline of all.
"I love you" continues equally boring with bad acting, annoying German accents and a dysfunctional couple at the end of their relationship. Throat-slitting and blood on white sheets also don't nail it since the story goes nowhere and seems rather childish to me. Basically as forgettable as the first story and nosedives with dumb lines like "My vagina and your penis never were friends".
"Wet dreams" is about a guy having nightmares about castration and a psycho therapist telling him to open his eyes to wake up from his dreams. The whole thing ends in a rather bloody mess with a twisted idea for the end but ultimately the whole storytelling is uneven and suffers from bad acting.
"The accident" is the first highlight here. This is no real horror story but a rather slow meditation on life and death through the eyes of a mother and her little daughter who witness a motorcycle accident. This has great atmosphere and some really gripping visuals (the deer looked frightenly real and the acting is great) and is especially moody because of the perfect piano score and great editing. Unfortunately the promising short leads absolutely nowhere in the end.
"Vision stains" is some really twisted stuff by "Subconscious cruelty" director Karim Hussain. It starts off gritty with a homeless girl getting high on heroin in some dirty back alley when suddenly another girl appears and kills her and takes her eye liquid in a syringe injecting it in her own eyeball. The basic idea of transferring the last flashing pictures while dying to another person reminded me of an Italian movie with a camera (can't remember the title). But this one goes further and uses some pretty disturbing images. This one has a point to end on but honestly I found it a little uneven too.
Last but not least "Sweets" continues the disturbing imagery with some pretty nasty food fetishes and a bizarre break up scene of a couple. The guys acting is pretty incredible and makes the food fetish theme twice as bizarre. It all culminates in one of the goriest scenes of this anthology.
The surrounding Theatre-Plot with Udo Kier has some great visuals by "Wizard of Gore" Remake Director Jeremy Kasten but the lack of a story and Kiers accent which is nearly as annoying as that of the male lead in "I love you" ruin it.
After all this is your typical anthology. It fails on many levels (most of the time on the lazy storytelling) but has some nice ideas and visuals. Its hard to say which story is the best because basically the first half totally sucks and the second raises the bar a lot but because of the flaws has no real highlight. If you want some bizarre stories like in "Little Deaths" enjoy the second half but don't expect too much. Even with all those sick ideas ... when the curtain falls I was left thinking "Meeeeeh".
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