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"Bread and Circus" is a rare treat, a splatter movie that is brainy and yet still blows your brains out. A true Independent, in every aspect of the word, this sleeper from Norway isn't as well known as it should be. While generic output like "Undead" or even worse "House of the Dead" is peddled all over the world, movies with a heart (popping out) often remain forgotten silver. Fortunately, "Bread and Circus" still has cult potential, even more so because it stays true to the spirit of guerrilla film making and it dares to go where no man has ever gone before: quite literally into the anus of mother earth.

The story is simple, it's about a fascist regime that censors every form of life outside the ordinary. All the weak and strong, all the dumb and intelligent are cast out and left alone in the nearby woods to die. Until one day when a man rebels against the system, breaks out and with his story inspires a young couple to overthrow the fascist government for good.

The movie abounds with symbolism and social criticism as well as fart jokes and gross splatter effects. In the end, this crude mix is what makes the whole thing work. Disgusted by what has become of our world, a place of comfort and conformity, the director expresses his anger and frustration by using images of intense barbarism, almost as barbaric and wretched as the society he sets out to criticize. It's metaphors and blood, a mixture that isn't too appealing to a lot of viewers, the intellectual will be disgusted, the splatter freak might be alienated by the philosophical undertones, everybody else might feel uncomfortably normal, but one thing's for sure, "Bread and Circus" is uncompromising in it's vision, a piece of art that belongs equally in the s**t house as in the art house.

Beside that there are countless references to movies and movie history: slapstick humor from the silent era, black humor from the works of Monty Python, a sense of adventure from "Indiana Jones", martial arts sequences in homage to Jackie Chan, powerful use of music as in "Clockwork Orange", splatter effects right out of the trash masterpieces by Peter Jackson, a surreal ending that will remind you of Takashi Miike, actors that seem to come right out of comic books and direction as unyielding as Francis Ford Coppola's in "Apocalypse Now" (BaC was shot over 5 years, on an ever growing budget and a faulty camera that ruined 1/4th of all takes). All in all this is a movie lover's dream come true, a true source of inspiration for every aspiring filmmaker and a rewarding experience for everyone who dares to look beyond the surface.

ships in a plain sleeve with no artwork.