October 31, 2013

Horror-A-Day: The Wild Beasts (1983)

Halloween is so close that I can almost taste it. All I want to do is watch horror movies and eat candy. Sadly, I cannot do that. I have to work and am already too close to being diabetic. Although, sometimes I think I should just risk it. Then, reality sets in and I go to work and try to squeeze in time to watch movies and write about them, and sneak some candy now and again. Still, the one good thing I can always count on is that there are always unseen movies waiting to be seen.

Tonight's movie is one I had never heard of before a few months ago. While enjoying a day of movies at the last Hudson Horror Show (look it up), a friend asked me if I had aver seen this movie. Of course I hadn't, I am an utter amateur next to those guys. Anyway, they told me I had to see this thing. It is a movie that goes beyond the usual man versus nature into uncharted and bizarre territory. Leave it to the Italians!

The movie is called The Wild Beasts (Belve feroci) and directed by Franco Prosperi. Now' that is not a name I had been familiar with but he as a history with Italian Grindhouse cinema, having helmed Mondo cane and Africa addio. Now, this movie is berserk. The easy way to describe it is zoo animals on PCP. Yes, you read that right.

There is not all that much in the way of plot. Basically, somebody has spiked the water supply and he animals go nuts. Sure, there is a little bit of a ramp up, we do have to meet a couple of characters. At the center is Laura (Lorraine De Selle from House on the Edge of the Park and Cannibal Ferox), a reporter who visits her boyfriend Rupert Berner (John Aldrich), a zoo vet. They see some unusually aggressive behavior in a lion and her cub. However, Laura has to leave to pick up her daughter, with whom she has a strained relationship with.

Anyway, an elephant gets a little crazy and breaks down a wall, the electrical system goes haywire and all the animals are set free. What happens next is a series of animal on human violence interspersed with bit of Laura trying to get to her daughter and Berner trying to figure out what is going on. This really doesn't count as story and there is no character development, these are just scenes in an attempt to have s,etching to hang the scenes of animal violence on.

In this movie, you will see a swarm of rats overrun and devour a couple in a car, a polar bear threaten some schoolchildren, cows overtake a restaurant, an elephant crushes a man's skull, and my favorite bit, when a cheetah chases a Volkswagen through Frankfurt. I read the trick to getting a cheetah to chase a car is to tie a chicken to the bumper of the car.

Any words I have cannot accurately describe this gonzo movie. Story is nothing of consequence, it takes almost the entire movie to discover the tainted water and them the movie just ends. Of course, it ends on a bizarre note involving potential matricide. It is a suitably odd and creepy moment to end on, am indication that there is more to the story and we just witnessed the beginning of the madness.

I do not think there is any deep meaning to this, no lesson to be learned, it is just there I show animals doing crazy stuff. While most of it is faked in some fashion, I do feel the need to warn that here is some actual animal violence that is not faked.

If you can make peace with the real animal on animal violence, it is very easy to te caught up in the ridiculous mature of this movie. There is some crazy stuff, none of it makes any sense and it doesn't matter. Just sit back and watch the crazy animal stuff.

Highly Recommended.

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