Gene Siskel once posed the question, is this movie more interesting than a documentary about how they made it? The snuff film Roar from 1981 might be a good candidate. It’s about humans living among and caring for lions in the jungle and how eventually a battle between the lions turns life-threatening for the humans.
Yes, real lions. I’ll pay to watch that.
In fact, the film was so dangerous, 70 actors and members of the crew were seriously harmed and injured during production, but none of the animals were harmed during the film’s making.
Roar stars Tippi Hedren (The Birds), Melanie Griffith (Working Girl), and the film’s director Noel Marshall. Marshall produced The Exorcist, but he never acted in, directed, or wrote another film following Roar. Maybe the fact that he was mauled on set and took several years to fully recover had something to do with it.
Drafthouse Films is now re-releasing the film in theaters on April 17, and they’ve released a new trailer for the film, which you can watch below.
In a time when the media is consumed with discussion of the Midnight Rider trial, Hedren, who suffered a fractured leg, said about Roar, “This was probably one of the most dangerous films that Hollywood has ever seen. It’s amazing no one was killed,” according to IMDb.
Cinematographer Jan de Bont, who received 120 stitches on what was his first ever film, said according to IMDb, “It was also pretty dangerous. Roar is the only picture I almost lost my head over . . . It was frustrating at times. But I was hooked. The Cats were fascinating. They never did the same thing twice. The technical problems were gigantic. When you shoot with five cameras simultaneously, each has to be ingeniously disguised so they don’t appear in the shots. This was my first Hollywood film. And I’ll never be the same again.”