aka: Savage Beasts, The Wild Beasts Will Get You!
Director: Franco Prosperi
Starring: Lorraine De Selle, John Aldrich, Ugo Bologna, Louisa Lloyd, John Stacy
The most bloody nightmare ever imagined!
When the water system of a big european city is contaminated with the drug PCP, the animals run amok and attacks people. Because of a small earthquake the exotic animals of a local zoo gets free aswell which includes everything from tigers to elephants. We follow the animal expert Dr. Ruphert Berner and journalist Laura Schwarz throughout this mayhem.
I have a soft spot for killer animal movies, there’s something enjoyable watching animals take revenge on all the wrong things we humans do to this world and to them. So a movie that shows a range of different animals that attacks people should be right up my alley.
Director Prosperi had experience working with animals prior to this movie from making a couple of infamous mondo movies including Goodbye Uncle Tom, Mondo Cane and Africa Addio. He creates a dark atmosphere and does a good job with this movie. Some of the animal attacks are good and I’m surprised at how much they where able to make the animals do since I’m sure they didn’t have a lot of time to film this. Some scenes does get a bit ridiculous however. It’s fun to see an elephant stomp on cars, but not quite as suspenseful to see it choke a person with his trunk.
What do fail in this movie is the character setup and the story around the animals. The most interesting part of them is the impressive moustache Berner has that would make Tom Selleck jealous. It’s also fairly tame in the violence department (it has a few gory scenes) considering this is an italian production in the early 80’s. I can only imagine what kind of carnage this movie would be if Umberto Lenzi or Lucio Fulci was behind the camera.
There seems to be a message hidden somewhere in this movie about how we treat animals and that is wrong to keep them captive for our own amusement. I’m not sure how seriously that can be taken considering Prosperi’s previous movies. Although it might be interpreted as a repentance on his part?
With some better storylines outside of the animal attacks then this would be close to becoming a cult classic. The animals are the stars of this movie and they are superb and makes this movie worth watching.
Even though there is a disclaimer at the start of the movie saying no animals were harmed I would still not recommend this movie to animal lovers.