BADass SINema Unearthed - Blu-ray Review
- Published Date
- by Loron Hays
“She’s not crazy, she’s being chased by a cheetah!” And in this way, Italian filmmaker Franco Prosperi brings animal attraction to a whole new level. Having broken free of the mondo documentaries he is partially responsible for, he went feral with his first horror film. Now celebrating its debut on blu-ray, Wild Beasts is an effective stab at eco horror.
When PCP hits the water supply, an entire zoo goes bananas and breaks out, seeking havoc and human flesh while wrecking all sorts of shit in a German city. Wild Beasts, now available thanks to Severin Films, is untamed and EXACTLY the exploitative entertainment we horror hounds crave. It’s unleashed and purely insane in its approach to violence and, for all you animal lovers out there, absolutely slaps the shit out of all the animal trainers out there.
Starring Tony Di Leo, Lorraine De Selle, John Aldrich, and Ugo Bologna, Wild Beasts is also an editor’s nightmare come true. Imagine trying to assemble just the right shots of carnage stemming from wild animals – both real and some practical effects (as far as close-ups are concerned) – into sequences that make sense! We got lions, tigers, bears (OH MY) all on the loose. From elephants smashing human skulls to rats ripping nipples off women, Wild Beasts has a lot of violent scenes showcasing attacks upon humans from the wildest of animals. What the humans think might possible be an earthquake turns out to be charging elephants and then there are the bulls that go charging down the street.
Wild Beasts is both intense and loopy. Welcome to the weird and wacky world of exploitation, right? It takes its idea from the streets – showing us a whole hell of a lot of needles strewn all about in the gutters – and then allows us to follow the stream of the canals and runoffs right into the water supply of the caged animals. The whole PCP angle is outrageous, sure, but the animal attacks are legit and terrifying. And the payoff in the film’s final moments is truly incredible. The sheer audacity of the film to tackle animals and then move to the youngest among us makes for a gripping experience of rock ‘em, schlock ‘em trash cinema.
The score from Daniele Patucchi (The Man from Deep River) is both solemn and bouncy, reflecting the highs and lows of the animals on parade. The film is humorous enough, but there’s a seedy underbelly, too. Because these animals were former circus inclusions, you’ll have to consider their handlers’ attitudes toward them. Most of these poor creatures were probably abused in some fashion. Consider this film then a document of an era that is (hopefully) gone.
This horror film is pure carnage and, as the animals do indeed RISE UP, there’s a healthy dose of swagger thrown at some the human attacks; they had it coming. And then there is the disturbing sequence of a couple trying to get a few moments of quiet time in their car only to be disturbed and eventually devoured by an angry attack of rats. How’s that for a abstinence message? As far as horror films go, you can’t get any more severe than with the slaughter on display in this Italian film.
There isn’t a soul safe when warm blooded humans become the prey in Wild Beasts.
MPAA Rating: Not rated.
Runtime: 92 mins
Director: Franco Prosperi
Writer: Franco Prosperi
Cast: Lorraine De Selle, John Aldrich, Ugo Bologna
Tagline: The Wild Beasts Will Get You!
Memorable Movie Quote:
Theatrical Distributor: No U.S. theatrical release
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date: February 7, 2017
Synopsis: For his final work, Godfather Of Mondo Franco E. Prosperi took on the 'Nature Strikes Back' genre and delivered perhaps the most shocking movie of his controversial career: When PCP gets into the water supply of a city zoo, the drug-crazed beasts – including tigers, lions, cheetahs, hyenas and elephants, as well as seeing eye dogs and sewer rats – go berserk and rampage through the streets of Rome. What follows is a terrifying mix of actual animal attacks (supervised by professional circus trainers) and over-the-top '80s Italian gore that remains the greatest eco-revenge shocker in EuroCult history.
Home Video Distributor: Severin Films
Available on Blu-ray - February 7, 2017
Screen Formats: 1.66:1
Discs: Blu-ray Disc; Single disc
Region Encoding: Region A
Severin Films is killing it lately. Their release of Wild Beasts on 1080p is a crisp and bloody affair. There are a lot of nighttime scenes and they are held together by a transfer that keeps things in place. Lines are thick and colors are bursting with juicy flavor. If there are hiccups in the presentation, it is due to the ravages of time and not a flaw in the transfer itself. The animals are heavily detailed and look fearsome. The sound is presented in a standard 2.0 stereo track. Both English and Italian are offered.
The late and great filmmaker Franco Prosperi is interviewed in one of the supplemental items and his recount of how the film came about – including tales of revolution in Zimbabwe – is both interesting and funny. The lightheartedness continues with the interview with actor Tony Di Leo. Also included is a bizarre look into the industry of the Italian circus and a look at the art of the shockumentary. Overall, a good release from one of the leaders of bizarre entertainment.
- Altered Beasts – Interview With Director Franco E. Prosperi
- Wild Tony – Interview With Actor Tony Di Leo
- Cut After Cut – Interview With Editor & Mondo Filmmaker Mario Morra
- The Circus is in Town – Interview With Animal Wrangler Roberto Tiberti's son, Carlo Tiberti
- House Of Wild Beasts – A Visit to the Home of Franco E. Prosperi
- Original International Trailer