Sunday, May 8, 2011

Wild Beasts (1984)

Finally out on Swedish DVD, Franco Prosperi’s Wild Beasts is an odd duck in every way. Sure, it’s just a normal killer animal-movie but it almost completely lacks a build-up, characters or any kind of engaging story – it’s just a lot of spectacular scenes of different animals attacking and killing people! What I understand of the story and some of the info I read about the movie before, PCP is leaked into the water and makes all the animals go crazy, most of them coming from the zoo. This means that tigers, lions, a cheetah, bears, elephants, rats… yes, even COWS, start to attack the humans in a lot of bloody and sometimes even gory ways.

In-between we’re following Lorraine De Selle and a silly-looking man with a massive moustache trying to figure out what’s happening and of course some not so impressive side-story of her daughter being trapped with her ballet-friends together with a polar bear inside a school.

The more I think of it, the less story the movie has. It’s just a very good excuse for a lot of cool animal-scenes. I’m actually very impressed by how they made the animals do all the stuff they do. I doubt the disclaimer in the beginning that no animals were hurt, because there are live rats being set on fire and some other short scenes of big cats attacking pigs and other non-carnivore beings. Thankfully, those scenes are quite short.

If you can look past those nasty scenes of real-life carnage there is a lot of fun scenes too. The elephants stomping people to death (and breaking down walls!), cows invading a restaurant, tigers tearing people into pieces and one of the coolest scenes in the whole movie: a cheetah lurking in the middle of Frankfurt and finally chasing down a Volkswagen! I have no idea how they did that, but it looks impressive. Miniature-mayhem is also included in the package, with a horde of elephants causes a passenger airplane to crash and explode into a power station! Not in the same class as Margheriti, but it’s the thought that counts!

But it would have been nice with a more interesting story around this. I would have preferred the Cryptkeeper sitting and introducing each segment than a zombie-like Lorraine De Selle staring herself to boredom at the moustached gentleman (he reminds me of Rock Manlyfist, but with brown hair instead of blonde). The end is eerily similar too Food of the Gods, but takes it one step further with showing the madness of the victims.

In the end Wild Beast is a spectacular Killer Animal-movie that finally gets an easy-to-get DVD release from Studio S (it has been released by AWE in Denmark also). The print is OK, suffers a bit from softness in some scenes. It looked quite good on my 40 inch Sony Bravia LED anyway, not much to complain about – but I never demand a perfect-looking picture. A couple of scenes seem to have been taken from an inferior video master, but does not distract much.


Weekend Video said...

Nice one, sir! Been meaning to see this one for quite some time now but with the Swedish postal service fucked up as it is i will probably see my copy on the hallway floor come late september. Bastards!

Anonymous said...

Not a great film, but I'll watch anything with Lorraine De Selle in it. Living in Frankfurt, I was also impressed by how they did the scene with the cheetah running through the streets.