The 1981 film Roar must rank high on any list of the most dangerous movies ever made. Directed by first-time filmmaker Noel Marshall, and starring Marshall, his actress and wife Tippi Hedren (The Birds), and young stepdaughter Melanie Griffith (Working Girl), the movie found the cast getting up close and personal with the array of big cats which, in real life, they kept as pets. Make that very very dangerous pets, as director Brian Trenchard-Smith (Turkey Shoot, BMX Bandits) explains in his new commentary about the film for the website Trailers From Hell.
“Melanie Griffith was clawed in the face, requiring reconstructive surgery,” says Trenchard-Smith. “Her mother suffered a fractured leg when thrown from an elephant. Cameraman Jan de Bont…was scalped by a lion cub…and needed reportedly over 200 stitches. Noel Marshall was wounded so many times that he developed gangrene. Over 70 cast and crew members were reported to have been injured, though Tippi disputes that figure….Roar is let down by a hammy script and Noel Marshall’s awkward performance as the cat-loving husband. I agree the movie is a bit of a trainwreck, but it’s a one-of-a-kind, I-can’t-believe-they-did-that trainwreck. So, check it out.”
Watch Trenchard-Smith’s full commentary, above.