Taxi For Otis Productions began life in 1999 when Warren Speed launched Growling Clown Entertainment in Newcastle Upon Tyne. Back then the company primarily produced and promoted live events in nightclubs, music venues and theatres … including the popular variety show ‘Cabaret Excentrique’, the chain of stand-up comedy shows under the name ‘Funny Bones Comedy Clubs’, and the peculiar freakshow clubnight ‘House of the Golden Lotus’. All three of these events ran for a number of years in various locations throughout the North of England.
In the early days mainman Warren Speed also worked as an agent for a number of comedians including people such as Sarah Millican, Alan Carr, Jason Manford, Steffen Peddie and Patrick Monahan – all of whom have gone on to much bigger things.
Growling Clown Entertainment were also responsible for running the Newcastle Gateshead comedy festival for three years from 2008 – 2010, bringing household names such as Davey Johns, Rhod Gilbert, Reginald D Hunter and Mickey Flanagan to venues in the twin cities.
2010 was also the year Warren and his company released their first feature film … the shamelessly trashy B-Movie ‘Zombie Women of Satan’ which was released worldwide on DVD and created quite a stir when it played at the Cannes Film Festival the same year. The movie also aired on the UK and US Horror TV channels, and led to Warren making a sequel which was released worldwide in 2016.
2016 also saw the release of the 80minute mockumentary ‘Clown Panic’ – loosely based on the genuine killer clown scares in Britain and America.
In 2017 Warren totally revitalized and rebranded his company, naming it Taxi For Otis Productions (after his 6’6″ Great Dane), to move the company forward into more ‘serious’ film-making territory and away from all the OTT clown shenanigans the company had been previously known for.
‘Coulrophobia’ the company’s third feature length movie was released in November 2017, and is a much darker movie than Warren’s earlier two zombie films. It tells the tale of a group of kick-ass roller derby girls who go camping in the remote Scottish highlands, only to be abducted by a crazy family of ex-circus performers and forced to take part in a series of gruesome challenges to stay alive. Horrortalk.com described it as “… a meaner, nastier movie than it’s predecessors … it’s still clowning around, but there’s a ferocity there, behind the greasepaint smile!”
Late 2017 also sees the release of the first part of a 150minute documentary all about latex clothing and alternative models, and as with all of the other films Warren and his team have made, this one is available on DVD, Amazon Prime and other worldwide digital platforms.
Besides their movies, Taxi For Otis Productions are also responsible for the long-running and very popular monthly Grindhouse Rock Night (held at Reds Bar within the Northumbria University Student Union in central Newcastle), and the monthly Funny Bones Comedy show (held at the Durham Gala Theatre).
In February 2018 the company aim to shoot the bulk of their next movie – a supernatural horror movie, provisionally titled ‘The Brightness’ – about a very odd and very reclusive family who live in an isolated cottage in bleak countryside.
Company CEO Warren Speed is also currently working on a TV sitcom idea with well known British comedian Joe Pasquale.