“No animals were harmed in the making of this film. 70 members of the cast and crew were.”
So says the tag-line for Roar, the latest WTF? rerelease from those cult movie-loving lunatics at the Alamo Drafthouse (see also the mayhem-filled Miami Connection and the near-indescribable sci-fi epic The Visitor). Originally released in 1981, and due to stampede its way back into theaters this April, the film was directed by Noel Marshall (executive producer of The Exorcist) and starred Marshall, his wife Tippi Hedren (The Birds), and Hedren’s daughter and future Working Girl actress Melanie Griffith. Also? A lot of wild animals.
Eleven years in the making, this adventure story was designed to raise awareness about the inhumane treatment of big cats. But what the production also proved was that big cats could badly hurt humans, including the film’s cinematographer Jan de Bont, who received 120 stitches following an incident in which, as Hedren would later recall, “his head was literally peeled.” (The response of De Bont’s newly-employed assistant to his boss’s injury? “Tippi, I’m going to quit. You take my day’s pay and buy that poor son of a bitch some flowers.”)
Still, they say a picture is worth a thousand words – and that goes doubly so when the picture involves someone being mauled by what is essentially a furry tank with claws and teeth. It is with that thought that we leave with you with the trailer for Roar.