The poster to the side is the best this film gets.
Directed by: James Cullen Bressack, Creep Creepersin, Brian Dorton, Liz Gilbert, M. Kelley, and Shawn C. Phillips
Stars: Cory Jacob, Shawn C. Phillips, and Sophie Dee
Anthology films are attempting to make a comeback. CHILLERAMA, V/H/S, and THE THEATRE BIZARRE are only a few examples from recent efforts to bring the format back into prominence. THEATRE OF THE DERANGED is the latest low-budget offering of multi-storied terror from several different up-and-coming filmmakers. How does it fare?
THEATRE OF THE DERANGED is a collection of horror tales which are all introduced by a wacky host named Andy the Arsonist. These tales include a boy transformed into a monster, a group of teens who take an ill-fated trip into the countryside, a man who has an intense encounter with his best friend, events surrounding a suburban serial killer, and a cannibal girl getting revenge on her supposed attacker. Murder, mayhem, horror, and comedy all collide in this anthology film.
So, how is the movie? Not good. Not good at all. There is not a single story in this film that works. Every attempt to be scary fails spectacularly. Every attempt at humor falls flat. The characters are all inept and impossibly dumb. The host, Andy the Arsonist, is a very poor character to bring these stories together. The character is just awful and annoying. There’s nothing compelling, interesting, or endearing about him. These same sentiments can be extended to every character in the film. None of the stories have any sense of logic or progression to them. Characters will act erratically, with no relation to any events that happened before or afterwards. The stories play out as random acts of violence, with no building of tension or suspense. Horror stories need characters to care about, and monsters to be afraid of to be successful. Barring those, it at least needs to be fun. THEATRE OF THE DERANGED fails to be scary, funny, or fun.
In terms of the production itself, there is nothing to celebrate here either. Every script is uninteresting at best and unintelligible drivel at worst. Each film is lit, directed, and edited like a bad home movie. The acting is more suited to a high school stage production. The special make-up effects are terrible. There isn’t a single instance of violence or gore that is convincing in the slightest. The music is loud, shrill, and very rarely adds anything to what is already present.
There’s not much else to say. THEATRE OF THE DERANGED could possibly find an audience one day. It seems ripe for the type of audience that enjoys bad films such as THE ROOM, TROLL 2, or MANOS: HANDS OF FATE. However, if you are a more discerning horror fan in search of a genuinely good time with a good scary movie, THEATRE OF THE DERANGED will leave you wanting. Stay away. You have been warned.
THEATRE OF THE DERANGED does not have any wide release information set at this time. The film cannot be recommended at all by this critic.
Update: One of the filmmakers, James Cullen Bressack, has brought to my attention that the film is indeed available to purchase worldwide. If interested, visit Amazon.com and search for THEATRE OF THE DERANGED.
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