“The best laid schemes o’ Mice an’ Men/ Gang aft agley,” said the giant cat with his mouth full of both.
When Tippi Hedren married a producer named Noel Marshall, the two of them decided to make a film about their shared passion of conservation, using the nature preserve upon which they kept scores of untrained big cats. Intended to be a bright, sunny Disney-style adventure film in the style of SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON, the making of ROAR saw the situation quickly become something else entirely.
Basically, and I know this comes as a shock, but it’s not the greatest idea to make an unscripted movie with undomesticated lions.
It’s not the greatest idea to go near undomesticated lions.
It’s not the greatest idea to assume lions can be domesticated.
If a film can fall backwards into a genre by accident, then ROAR is most definitely a horror film. This movie is like if that lion scene from THE HAPPENING was two hours long. It’s like JAWS if Roy Scheider kept the shark in a pool in his backyard and kept inviting friends over to take a dip. It’s a terrible idea. But as disaster cinema, it’s transfixing.
The blood is real. The movie honestly looks pretty good, because it had a talented crew. The cinematographer was Jan de Bont, who later shot FLESH + BLOOD, LEONARD PART 6, and DIE HARD. Man’s got to have some good stories. And if you know any of the stories about the making of ROAR, he’s lucky to have made it through this shoot. [DO NOT GOOGLE IF YOU ARE SQUEAMISH.]
Public safety warning: This is what all cats would do if they were lion-sized.
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