Zadar! Cow from Hell

Director: Robert C. Hughes
Screenwriters: Merle Kessler

Institute History

  • 1989 Sundance Film Festival


Zadar! Cow from Hell is a whimsical, even-lyrical look at a ridiculously incompetent group of low-rent filmmakers who invade a small Iowa town to make a low-budget horror movie. This offbeat comedy marks the feature-film debut of Duck’s Breath Mystery Theatre.

With a screenplay by the troupe’s Merle Kessler, Zadar! Cow from Hell profiles a motley collection of sleazy movie characters trying to create a movie that doesn’t exist about a giant cow that, well, doesn’t exist either. Caught in the puzzled center of all this nonsense is a community of skeptical Iowa townspeople, whose volunteer spirit and good-natured hospitality gradually turn to open hostility as they realize they’re as competent to make a film as these Hollywood types.” Besides, the movie’s so-called special-effects whiz has stuck unmovable cow horns on all of them for the mutant zombie-cow sequence.

Zadar! Cow from Hell evokes a rich midwestern sensibility and wry sense of humor in the midst of this Hollywood versus Iowa pseudoconflict, all of which is couched—after a sort—in the tradition of regional storytelling. Producer.director Robert C. Hughes first worked with the troupe on Nickelodeon’s “Out of Control” television program, as well as last year’s Emmy-winning children’s series, “Dr. Science,” for the Fox Network.

Screening Details

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