Today’s horror fiction writers owe a great deal to an early stage empresario, Oscar Metenier. Slasher writers and movie makers should thank Oscar for the debt owed to him.
He celebrated gore just down the street from the can-can girls of the Moulin Rouge in late 19th century Paris. This gory celebration was at The Theatre du Grande Guignol – Theatre of the Big Puppet Show – founded in 1897 by Oscar Metenier in a small theatre that had originally been a chapel.
Their original plays showed graphic violence: realistic dramas of murder, rape and disembowelment, throat slashing, eye gouging and acid throwing. It was an extension of what was then called the naturalistic movement. Occasionally actors were badly hurt.