Directed by: Martin Løke
Written by: Martin Løke
Stars: Oliver Boullet, Miriam Johansson, Martin Løke... read more

Year: 2003
Genrer: Adventure, Fantasy, Splatter
Run time: 1h 15 min
My rating: 4.5 out of 5

Bread and Circus is produced by director and screenwriter Martin Løke and this is at least a very funny and quirky and smart and philosophical movie if you ask me. The film has at times been compared with Peter Jackson's early debut film 'Bad Taste'. At times, I may be inclined to agree with that; An entertaining amateur movie with a passion for green forest habitat, coast guards, explosions and plastic special effects. However, what distinguishes the films from that, is the bout of social criticism midst of all peculiarity.

Disgusted by what has happened to our world - a place of comfort and compliance, the director expresses his anger and frustration by using images of intense savagery, almost as barbaric and miserable as the society he seeks to criticize. The symbolic metaphors gives us a mix that is not too appealing to a lot of viewers, but one thing is for sure, Bread and Circus is uncompromised from his own point of view:

Is life just one big illusion? Sometimes one wonders that. The nihilistic, the spontaneous, metaphysical and surreal mind-fuck shape suddenly gives the film to become something very own far away from "Bad Taste" - A clean Art-house movie in its own name.

Bread and Circus is one of Norway's first splatter movies and is about the son of Mother Earth, who are born and will be incorporated into the system. But as an adult he struggles valiantly with a life in chains. He flees from the system's brutality and hunted by soldiers on duty to eliminate all the idiots who don't fit into society. Before he finally frees himself from his stifling existence he manages to carve his insight in stone for future generations; A message that evokes the revolt to life and get the deviant to load their weapons.

Much of the film's dedication is placed around each individual scene that contains either a cool completed special effect or something startling obscene. The film has absolutely no good actor, but it's not necessary either because it's the script and its unique approach that makes the movie great. I found the film very entertaining and it's always fun when someone tries to bend the rules, in particular as regards the filmmakers in this case.

Bread and Circus is an unusual indie film, and in every aspect of the word, it's also a Norwegian Pearl not as well known as it should be. It's a film that still has potential, even more than so, because it remains true that it dares to go where no man has ever gone before: literally into the anus of mother earth. Martin will have a great tribute to this great work and I look forward to more projects from him. If you like symbolic, amateur, blood-filled and hilarious movies, this is the absolute film for you.


Produced by: Martin Løke
Cinematography by: Oliver Boullet, Martin Løke, Trond Løke
Editing by: Martin Løke
Special Effects by: Oliver Boullet, Martin Løke
Music by: Stian Tveit
Country: Norway
Language: Englis | Norwegian
Color: Color

Distributor: Wild Eye Releasing