Fangoria reports two individuals fainting almost simultaneously at the screening of “The Theatre Bizarre” at the Oldenberg Film Festival in Germany:
Richard Stanley, who helmed the MOTHER OF TOADS story, started out the screening within the auditorium, and was witness to the increasing disturbia that overtook the room. “We won the audience over early with jumps and laughter during MOTHER OF TOADS,” he recalls, “followed by reassuringly hearty applause. They fell a little quiet during the first half of Buddy’s segment, as if unsure which direction the film was moving in, but once I LOVE YOU started getting decent laughs in its second act, they were with us all the way. The laughs kept building with Tom Savini’s WET DREAMS, and having settled into the notion that the film was essentially a black comedy, the viewers were left wide open for the sucker punch of THE ACCIDENT. By the time VISION STAINS began, they no longer knew what to expect, how to react or which way to turn. There were a couple of what I took to be walkouts during the scenes of eye trauma, but it was only when one of the figures stumbled in the doorway near my seat that I noticed just how intense the atmosphere in the auditorium had become.
“An individual who had come with his increasingly traumatized wife, physically collapsed in the exit, body blocking the door, thus affording me a clear view of the carnage in the foyer beyond,” he continues. “The other man made it as far as the bathroom before collapsing; he was still breathing, but was bleeding copiously from the nose and didn’t look good. Doug, Buddy, Gesine and Miss Scarlett [Amaris, MOTHER co-scripter] had opted to sit out the screening in the foyer, and now found themselves dealing with what was rapidly becoming an outbreak of mass hysteria. Their first intimation that something strange was in the air came when a young German girl reeled out of the cinema during WET DREAMS clutching her heart, and yelled, ‘You all are totally f**king my brain!’”