Best of the Day: Roar – May 26, 2015

One of the most dangerous movies ever made—starring The Birds’ Tippi Hedren, The Exorcist’s Noel Marshall, and more than 100 largely untrained wild animals—comes to the Brattle.

Welcome to Best of the Day, our daily recommendation for what to check out around town. If you do one thing in Boston today, consider this.


Roar

Film still from Roar.

If you thought Mad Max: Fury Road was the ultimate vehicle for gonzo action to hit cinemas this summer, think again—that particular honor belongs to Roar. Recently resurrected from obscurity by Drafthouse Films, Roar has a peculiar backstory: In the ’70s, The Birds star Tippi Hedren; her then-husband, The Exorcist producer Noel Marshall; and their kids (including Hedren’s daughter, Melanie Griffith) decided to make a movie that would spread a message of wildlife preservation, fueled by their own passion for collecting big cats. They spent the next decade attempting to wrangle more than 100 largely untrained wild animals, including lions, tigers, leopards, cheetahs, cougars, jaguars, and elephants into a heartwarming family film. What resulted was—and we say this without hyperbole—perhaps the most insane thing ever committed to celluloid.

Don’t believe us? Just watch the trailer:

Did that make the hairs on the back of your neck stand up? If not, you’re not exactly passing the Voight-Kampff test right now, but that’s another matter—just know that the sheer intensity of this trailer is not simply editing trickery. The entire movie feels like this: from the first moment Marshall gets attacked by a “friendly” lion to the gobsmacking scene where an elephant flings Hedren around in a barrel. All 102 minutes of this film feel like you’re watching something incredibly dangerous, and it’s because you are. Roar is the strangest adrenaline rush you’ll see this summer, and it’s at the Brattle for three days this week, starting tonight.

May 26, 8:30 p.m., May 27-28, 7 p.m. and 9:15 p.m., Brattle Theatre, 40 Brattle St., Cambridge, 617-876-6838, brattlefilm.org.