THEATRE OF FEAR. 2014. DIRECTED BY ANDREW JONES. STARRING SHIREEN ASHTON, SAM HARDING, LEE BANE, NATHAN HEAD AND JARED MORGAN. REVIEW BY SANDRA HARRIS. ©
I’m prepared to bet that you haven’t seen this one. I didn’t know it existed myself till I recently found it in a quirky little junk-shop near where I live, a shop run by a lovely bohemian couple who told me that they’ve been happily married for thirty-five years. If that’s not true love, I don’t know what is. Anyway, the film…
The Moreaus are a showbiz family down at the very bottom end of the scale. They travel around England performing their bizarre mix of variety acts to unsuspecting audiences. Unsuspecting in that audience members who ‘volunteer’ to be sawn in half or made to disappear often get exactly what they sign up for.
Basically, the Moreaus are a bunch of murderous misfits and mental defectives and their crappy little so-called ‘Midnight Horror Show’ is where the carnage happens. Except when it happens during the day during everyday situations, which is apparently also possible.
Daddy Moreau, the Master Of Ceremonies, is a grief-stricken widower who just seems to like killing, we’re not told why. Janus, his son, is a ventriloquist who commits murders when his dummy, a seriously nasty piece of work, tells him to. Apollo, another son, is an unhappy magician who gets shouted at a lot by family members. They’re not exactly a cheerful bunch, are they…?
Venus Moreau, the daughter and the only girl in the family, is a deeply unhappy, hard-drinking but beautiful burlesque dancer. We’re not told why she’s so troubled, which is a pity, unless it’s living in that messy trailer with her weirdo dad and brothers and performing nightly in that crappy show that’s gotten the dark-haired beauty so down in the mouth.
The oddly-named Trincule is another of the Moreau sons. He’s a clown, and perhaps the saddest of all the Moreau offspring. He wears his clown make-up all the time because of scarring caused by being set on fire by a bunch of thugs. He hasn’t really had a happy life…
One day, Trincule rescues a pretty girl who’s being bullied by her boyfriend. She’s grateful for his help and listens sympathetically to his story of pain and loneliness. Trincule falls head-over-heels in love with her and mistakes her kindness and pity for reciprocated ardour. How’d’you like that for a nice turn of phrase, eh…? Reciprocated ardour… Nice.
But Trincule, who quickly displays stalker-ish tendencies, needs to get rid of the girl’s boyfriend before they can truly be together. How can this be achieved? Let’s just say he wants to really, um, er, ah, get under the boyfriend’s skin. That’s not a big fat spoiler, right…?
Oh, and as if all that wasn’t bad enough, La Famille Moreau is being pursued by a slightly ridiculous, ginger-haired and luxuriantly-moustachioed hit man who’s been hired to kill the lot of them by the father of one of their murder victims. He won’t stop hunting them until he has the whole damn family in his sights. Does the film end in a bloodbath…? I couldn’t possibly comment.
This might just be the strangest, weirdest and also the most cheaply-made of all the strange and weird low-budget horror films I’ve watched so far. There are times when it’s disjointed and incoherent and it doesn’t even make sense, for gosh-darn’s sake. But it’s fun to watch and the theme song about the ‘Midnight Horror Show’ is pretty catchy.
Don’t buy it new, but if you should happen to catch sight of it in a bargain bucket somewhere, by all means snatch it up and take it home and watch it. After you’ve paid for it, obviously. Stealing is wrong. We’re not Moreaus, are we…?
AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY OF SANDRA HARRIS.
Sandra Harris is a Dublin-based performance poet, novelist, film blogger, sex blogger and short story writer. She has given more than 200 performances of her comedy sex-and-relationship poems in different venues around Dublin, including The Irish Writers’ Centre, The International Bar, Toners’ Pub (Ireland’s Most Literary Pub), the Ha’penny Inn, Le Dernier Paradis at the Trinity Inn and The Strokestown Poetry Festival.
Her articles, short stories and poems have appeared in The Metro-Herald newspaper, Ireland’s Big Issues magazine, The Irish Daily Star, The Irish Daily Sun and The Boyne Berries literary journal. In August 2014, she won the ONE LOVELY BLOG award for her (lovely!) horror film review blog. She is addicted to buying books and has been known to bring home rain-washed tomes she finds on the street and give them a home.
She is the proud possessor of a pair of unfeasibly large bosoms. They have given her- and the people around her- infinite pleasure over the years. She adores the horror genre in all its forms and will swap you anything you like for Hammer Horror or JAWS memorabilia. She would also be a great person to chat to about the differences between the Director’s Cut and the Theatrical Cut of The Wicker Man. You can contact her at:
1) ‘… BY A WOMAN WALKING HER DOG…’
2) A WRITER’S JOURNEY
3) ANNA MEETS COUNT DRACULA
4) ANOTHER FIFTY REALLY RANDOM HORROR FILM REVIEWS TO DIE FOR…
5) CANCER BALLS
6) CATCH OF THE DAY
7) FIFTY FILTHY-DIRTY SEX-POEMS YOU MUST READ BEFORE I DIE.
8) FIFTY REALLY RANDOM HORROR FILM REVIEWS TO DIE FOR…
9) THE DEVIANTS
10) VISITING DAY