Feature: A View from the Id

Bazaar Bizarre Is Not for You (or Anyone Else)

Author: Bob Etier
Published: February 06, 2011 at 6:42 pm

Author James Ellroy hosts Bazaar Bizarre, a movie so revolting it could only come from Troma. Yes, I know, most people think that there really is no such company as Troma, that it—and the films it allegedly releases—are nothing more than an urban legend. Urban or disturbin’, Troma is far from a legend.

Friends of this feature know how democratic it is. We don’t favor the blockbusters, would never review Harry Potter or Twilight, favor independents, and happily look at some of the worst schlock ever made. We gleefully sit through movies that even the director’s mother couldn’t love. So, why would a little-known film like Bazaar Bizarre inspire such anger? Is this a review or an editorial?

Bazaar Bizarre is crap. It’s worse than crap, because crappy movies make you laugh. Bazaar Bizarre makes you nauseous. It is 89 minutes of male nudity, torture, terrible camera work, and revolting narration. Somewhere between a documentary and a docudrama, it blurs the line between fiction and non-fiction with grainy reenactments that look like they are actual footage.

Bazaar Bizarre purports to be the true story of serial killer Bob Berdella, who ran a flea-market shop called Bizarre Bazaar in Kansas City, from which he sold bracelets made of bones and shrunken heads. In his spare time he imprisoned, raped, tortured, and murdered young men. He would sometimes leave them alone, tied up, while he went to work. The reenactments are grotesque and stomach-turning. Since Bazaar Bizarre is not a sincere study of a serial killer, an intelligent documentary, or an entertaining drama, one assumes that the intended audience is a group of people who enjoy seeing (or worse) men raped, tortured, and killed. There is not one shred of legitimacy to Bazaar Bizarre; it has no redeeming or artistic value. The question is, “Why did James Ellroy involve himself with this project?” I’m afraid to know.

Bottom Line: Would I buy/rent/stream Bazaar Bizarre? No. After ten minutes or so, I desperately needed a scalding shower and a steel-wool scrubdown. Did I watch more than that? Absolutely not. This is not the worst movie I’ve ever seen; I wouldn’t dignify it by calling it a movie.


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Article Author: Bob Etier

Two words describe Bob Etier: "female" and "weird." Like many freelance writers, there's something about her that isn't quite right. Read her stuff and find out what.

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