"Blood Theatre" (1984) - ZombieFuel.net
Photo courtesy of Rick Sloane
by Bone Jawnson
"Just go out and make your own movie now."
- Rick Sloane (badmovies.org, 2/2/2008)
Imagine, being popcorned to death. "Blood Theatre," which was written and directed by Rick Sloane, is low-budget, but definitely not as corny as you'd think. When I started actively viewing and reviewing low-budget horror and horror/comedy movies, I was unsure what I would be in for. A cheap thrill? Maybe some blood splatters, killers, and bikinis? What I discovered were writers, directors, producers, and cinematographers, who were often the same person, creating a whole lot of something from next to nothing. These creators were, and are, disrupting the system of big-budget Hollywood blockbusters.
When I first dove into the world of Rick Sloane, I started with the cult classic "Hobgoblins." As mentioned in my previous article, it appeared to be something that resembled "Gremlins," purely because the main creatures were small and hairy. It was fun. I enjoyed it, watched it, and moved on. This past week I dove into "Blood Theatre," which was released four years prior to "Hobgoblins." Wow, I was blown away. This movie was released when Rick Sloane was twenty-three years old. Twenty-three. I cannot even remember what I was doing when I was that age, and Rick Sloane was out there, making full-length feature films.
Now, let's get down to brass tacks. One of the main locations used for filming was the historic Warner Beverly Hills Theater in Los Angeles, California. This served as a shuddered playhouse with a dark past, which was acquired by the Spotlite Theater Multiplex brand in the film. The owner sends a few employees from the current multiplex to the new one to investigate, clean it up, and get it ready to open. Lo and behold, the employees and their friends are picked off one by one in mysterious, freak accidents and an apparent psychotic killer with a knife. This movie has what you are looking for in a low-budget slash-em-up film, for sure. That is the gist of the plot; you can view the movie for yourself on Tubi TV for free. I would like to dive into this film as a whole piece of determination. Side note: there is an almost meta-like quality to the details in this movie as all of the "movies" that are advertised as playing in the multiplex during the film are actually titles to fake movies with fake trailers that are also written, filmed, and produced by Rick Sloane.
To me, "Blood Theatre" represents an incredibly determined filmmaker to write, film, direct, produce, and most importantly, control the direction of their movie. Knowing now that Rick Sloane was essentially a kid and produced an entire feature film with multiple locations, multiple kill scenes, effects, costumes, etc., is just mind-blowing to me. In researching information on "Blood Theatre," I came across a great interview on BadMovies.org from 2008, in which Rick talks about what motivates him to make his movies and why his process is the way it is. From what I have researched regarding Rick's process of making his films and controlling distribution rights, I surmised that this was a man on a bee-lined mission to create his art. That is, in itself, inspiring.
Enjoy "Blood Theatre’ as soon as you can and watch it through the lens of being determined enough to create something when someone tells you that you probably should not.