(1984, Italy)

Directed by Franco Prosperi

Review by solocreep

Lorraine De Selle
(Cannibal Ferox)
John Aldrich

Ugo Bologna
(Zombi 2)

Louisa Lloyd




Available on Dvd from Camera Obscura (Germany)
Featuring an interview with director Franco Prosperi.




Not a film for the squeamish, Wild Beasts is a roller coaster ride of brutality and in parts cruelty, no way a movie like this could be made today. The film makers pull no punches, no fake animals used in this bitch, uh uhh! But I'm not reviewing it to condemn it. Wild Beasts is an absolute riot, hardly a dull moment in this flick. In my humble opinion it is the best of the Animal on the Loose/Eco Horror genre. Most if not all the other movies in this genre, up to this point in time 1984, couldn't match it in gruesomeness and sheer disregard for the safety of the animals and actors, as well as taste or taboos even. Only some of the more intense Asian animal horrors, and the Mondo and Cannibal genre can out do it in real life gruesomeness and cruelty.

Wild Beasts is about PCP getting in the water supply at a Zoo and the animals all having a harsh trip and freaking the fuck out. The film opens with some very choice 80s jams by Daniele Patucchi while it shows a montage of a anonymous city in Northern Europe, intercuts and helicopter shots of the city and high rises mix with shots of an ominous looking water treatment plant, used syringes and garbage. A Federico Prosperi production directed by his pops Franco Prosperi, Wild Beasts is everything you would expect from the man who had a hand in such shockers as the Mondo Cane series, Africa Addio, and Goodbye Uncle Tom, exploitation overdose! Right off the bat it grabs you by the throat in one of those scenes that will make you turn the movie off or stare slack jawed as they whip out some horse heads and commence to hacking them in two. Feeding time for the carnivores.

We're treated to various scenes of the animals eating and drinking, some shots of a few of the other Zoo animals, and that gorgeous babe Lorraine De Selle as Laura Shwarz taking pictures and cavorting with the Zoo staff she's Dr Berner the zoo vet's squeeze. Gladys the tiger is pissed off because her cubs are biting her nipples and bringing blood, so she has been killing them. Mr mustachioed vet guy John Aldrich as Dr Berner tranquilizes Miss Gladys for a further examination, can't quite understand the aggression of the cub. Cue some uncomfortable scenes of Lauras young daughter shirtless and giving her mom a hard time via answering machine, I bet the censors in America would have crucified them for this scene, let alone all the other madness contained within, had it been released theatrically in the States.

Next we have the blind man from earlier in the movie walking with his guide dog Fritz, who is acting strangely. Unbeknownst to the poor sightless fella he walks by a couple getting ready to get down in their car, but you keep hearing rat sounds over their making out, camera pans away and we see they parked next to a sewer drain and rats are crawling out in droves. They attack a cat who get's away with some bites, but intact nonetheless. Then they get in the couples car and proceed to chew them to fuck, in a nice gory scene with faces and tits being shredded by their cruel and sharp rodent teeth. The insanity has only begun with this flick.

Cue some cool 80s sax jamz and Laura Shwarz and Dr Berner play smoochie smooch... kind of. Back in the Zoo security room you got the usual munching down on junk food and looking at porn mags and shit, when the security alarm goes off, in the big cat are. They are starting to feel that wicked trip come on and they're getting restless, when out of nowhere Elephants come bursting through the brick enclosures, fuckin' shit up and causing electrical lines to fall and blow the power supply and zap some poor fella and effectively free all the animals.

The shit has hit the fan as elephants, lions, tigers hyenas and other animals are on the LOOSE!! Back at the rat feast the police are having a fit so they call good ole Dr. Berner,who can barely believe what he hears. At the Zoo the large meat eating machines are all on the hunt, so the dumbfuck security guys go out to take a look around. I mean, you knew they were going to. What happens next is a nice prolonged attack on the Zoo workers by the resident carnivores who turn it into a blood drenched limb and gut buffet.

Scene jumps to a museum where a distinguished looking fella is rapping about ecological and biological horrors and mans insensitivity,enslavement and destruction of nature. Now we return to the limb and gut buffet proudly presented by our carnivorous friends.Scene shifts again to Laura Shwarz being pulled from the earlier conference to take a weird call from increasingly weird daughter.

BAM! Now the scene cuts to some dudes in protective suits flame throwing the rats, by now you should get the picture, this movie moves fast and is allover the place at times. Dr.Berner still has no clue about the rat attacks or that the Zoo is now a human abattoir.

To a chorus of big cats roaring we now arrive at the blind man's house.He is working on a musical piece entitled Nature Weeps. He had no idea his dog drank some of the contaminated water earlier and is both clueless and helpless when he is attacked by Frank, in a scene accompanied by soft music as Frank mauls his master to death.

Dr. Berner arrives back at the Zoo and sees things are all kind of fucked up. He find a couple of the security men dead and puts in an emergency call to the authorities. Chaos begins to reign as elephants run loose and cause multiple car pile ups. A state of emergency is declared as we survey the damage. The elephants trap a couple in their car and take out their drug fueled rage upon them,with a nice surprise,watch for it! It's madness with fire trucks police cars and ambulances everywhere.

You ever see a cheetah walk down rain slicked neon lit streets like it's a normal thing? Complete with fat tunes a rockin'? Talk about a bad time for car trouble. Witness German auto engineering try to outrun the world's fastest land animal, ending in a fiery crash, to one of the most white knuckle chase scenes in Movie History.

Still more animal on the loose fun and more death and carnage await in the Wild Beasts. It's a fast paced movie with more than enough 80s trashola, and astory ripped from the headlines.

Stick around til the end for an unexpected, twisted ending.