I decided to take a break from streaming services and crack open something from my stacks of physical media. Within reach of the couch was Franco Prosperi's 1984 animal attack opus Wild Beasts.
A tainted water supply causes animals in the area to go crazy and attack humans.
I was obviously familiar with the coverbox, but holy balls was I not prepared for this movie. Wild Beasts is fucking bonkers. My jaw spent most of this movie on the floor because I couldn't wrap my head around how a) they got the animals to do some of this stuff and b) how the filmmakers were ALLOWED to do it. I swear, that cheetah chase scene is almost as impressive to me as Fulci's infamous zombie vs. shark sequence. This movie is just one crazy (and often ill-advised) set piece after another.
I watched the making of interviews afterwards and I had to scoff at some of their explanations. They got the animals from a circus and breeding farms and Prosperi made it seem like they just gave them all back after they finished shooting. Okay, but what about the rats YOU SET ON FIRE?!
I wonder which production committed more raticide, this one or Bruno Mattei's Rats: Night of Terror. I know that these rats were probably going to be offed in labs or eaten by pet snakes, but still. Not cool. They also maintained that when the animals were attacking each other (the hyena in the pig pen for instance) they just went their separate ways when they yelled “cut”. I remain unconvinced.
Perhaps the most disturbing part though was the introduction to Suzy (Louisa Lloyd) as she leapt half-naked out of bed. I literally threw my hand over the eyes, yelling “Jesus, how old is she?”. She was like, twelve if she was a day. This movie is the fucking Wild West. I guess I should have expected this from the dude who made Mondo Cane.
Common sense and decency aside, Wild Beasts is pretty bitchin'. The gore is pretty good and because there is something batshit happening every ten minutes, it really moves. I'm surprised this movie isn't talked about more, especially considering how cinephiles lost their shit when the Alamo released Roar! a few years back.
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