Plot: Hank (Noel Marshall) is a doctor living in Africa, a man with a deep love for both man and animals. He lives on a remote estate of land that is simple, but provides him the basics he needs to survive. At least he is never lonely, as the estate is also home to over one hundred wild animals. Lions, tigers, jaguars, elephants, and more roam the estate freely, with Hank as their outnumbered host. When he is hassled by a band of poachers looking to kill some of the big cats, Hank has to venture out to stop them. While he is out and about, his family arrives in the area for their first visit to Hank’s estate. His wife, daughter, and two sons all get to the estate and unaware of Hank’s roommates, are terrified to find wild animals on the prowl. They run, hide, and panic, all while the animals sniff around and try to see who these new guests could be. But one wrong move could mean these animals might turn on them, especially without Hank around to restore order. Can the family survive an estate covered in wild animals and can Hank stop the poachers before they prey on his feline friends?
Entertainment Value: The term “one of a kind film” is overused, but Roar is the rare example where it is appropriate. The film is known as the most expensive home movie ever made, as Noel Marshall and his real life family, including wife Tippi Hedren and daughter Melanie Griffith, comprise the main cast. The cast used no stunt people and the animals were not trained as movie animals, so as you can imagine, Roar provides some hair raising moments. No animals were harmed making Roar, but there are countless stories of injuries to the cast and crew involved. Griffith had severe wounds from an attack that requires extensive plastic surgery and that’s just one of a long list of actual injuries sustained here. The lions and other cats were very real and have free interaction with the cast, so it is just madness at times. The story is thin, but works and of course, the real draw is seeing the animals and actors in such unpredictable situations. So if you want a deep story, you’ll be disappointed, but if you want to see some wild, insanely dangerous stuff, Roar more than provides.
No sex or nudity in this one, as it was apparently intended as a family comedic romp, though it doesn’t come off as such given the blood and constant dangers. There’s a good amount of blood here, some added as special effects to enhance the violence, but also quite a bit of actual attack wounds. These cats could kill someone just playing around, so most of the cast winds up getting knocked around, bitten, or in Tippi Hedren’s case, being thrown off an elephant. This isn’t structured like a horror movie though, the injuries were mostly accidents from the animals being rough and the plot treats the cats like good guys, save one rogue lion. Not much in terms of memorable dialogue, save Noel Marshall’s rants about how safe the cats are, even as they maul him repeatedly. As far as insanity, the entire cast risked their literal lives in every take, so its hard to score this one as sane. It doesn’t exploit the danger much however, so Roar isn’t a gonzo fueled “when animals attack” movie either. Regardless, Roar is a one of a kind movie that might not be traditional cult cinema, but genre fans should be able to appreciate it.
Overall Insanity: 5/10