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 Review archive:  # a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z

Bizarre - Bizarre(DVD) [Chezzy Films - 2018]

Now here’s a real oddity-a 1970’s British anthology/portmanteau film, that blends together elements of soft-core, horror, surrealism, and philosophical themes. Really I can’t think of anything quite like the aptly entitled Bizarre, and here from Chezzy Films, we get a much-needed DVD reissue of this true oddity.

Bizarre(aka, Tales Of The BizarreSecrets Of Sex) was the brainchild of legendary British distributor Antony Balch, who between the 1960’s & 1970’s was renowned for buying up  European art/exploitation films, and giving them quirky & eye-catching titles such as Weird Weirdo & Don't Deliver Us From Evil. He also  created & re-edited the sound version of notorious 1922 German occult doc Häxan. Though heavily involved with the distribution side of the film business, he only wrote/ directed two films Bizarre, and campy horror comedy Horror Hospital.

As well as been involved in film, Balch was friends with beat-writing legend, cut-up master, and all round demented thinker William S Burroughs- and this certainly shows in Bizarre, as it’s neither a easy film to try & tie down into one genre, or really fully understand what’s going on at points. Let’s begin with the narrator/ host of the stories- it’s a rather creepy looking dust covered Mummy, and this spouts from a bandage covered mouth( in a deep authoritative English male voice) a blend of qipy introductions/ philosophical comments on each of the tales we have here.  ‘Tales’ I guess, as with many things in Bizarre is of a moot word, as we often get stories with-in stories- which twists the whole thing even more.

I won’t go into too much detail on each of the ‘tales’, there inconnecting elements, or the philosophical/ surreal in-between stuff. But instead, skim over the scope we have here- we go from a story about a torture-obsessed female photographer, who gets a young male model to sit on a ‘Judas Cradle’( a wooden house with a long razor blade), as she eats suggestive food with her colleague & debates the roles of men & women. We get a rich, fat, and aging businessman knocking-up his scientist's mistress- to find out she gives birth to something rather deformed. We get a clichéd jive taking guy ringing up a hooker to get down with his pet lizard. And these are just a selection of the main tales we have here- often they end, and you’ll wonder what the hell was the point of that, or you’ll be left pondering the reason behind certainly seemingly repeated footage- like airplanes coming into land, darting zooms in & out of fiberglass dinosaurs, etc.

Quite how this oddity went down when it originally came out is anyone guesses- as there’s not really enough flesh/sex action to appeal to the sexploitation crowd. The horror touches/ elements are fairly fleeting- so it wouldn’t really appeal to a straight chill/ gore seeker. Added to this we get all the surreal/ puzzling elements added into the mix- making it difficult for a general mainstream audience. And the more brainy/ philosophical themes are wrapped in campy/ exploitation fare- so it won't really appeal to the more arty crowd.

This recent region one DVD reissue is sadly very much bare bones affair- with nothing here other than trailer reel for other releases from Chezzy films. But on the plus side, the transfer looks good enough- with the more colorful/ surreal elements really nicely popping out of the screen.


I certainly don’t get to say this much on M[m]….as we cover such a wide & bizarre range of sights & sounds, but really Bizarre is a real one-off experience. So if your looking for a truly unequal exploitation experience- that moves from creepy, to puzzling, onto amusing, and surreal Bizarre is a must!.

Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5

Roger Batty
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