Title: Wild Beasts

Also known as:
Belve feroci (Original title)
Rovdjurens natt (Swedish DVD title)
The Wild Beasts Will Get You! (Alternative Europe title)

Year: 1984

Genre: Horror / Animal

Language: Italian

Runtime: 92 min / 87 min

Director: Franco Prosperi

Writer: Franco Prosperi, Antonio Accolla

IMDb: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0090322/

A city is in complete terror after all the animals in a zoo have been contaminated with a drug through a water supply. The animals, ranging from rats to elephant, have a hunger for human flesh and they search the streets and buildings for their food. We follow three people as they try to find a way to control the animals, but also survive themselves.

Our thoughts:
"Wild Beasts" is a rarity on the DVD market, as far as I know. Studio S Entertainment are the first ever to release it on a legit DVD, and I think it's kinda odd that it took that long for this movie to get released. The animal horror subgenre is a pretty weak one, but there's no denying that there is gold to find as well. Typical films like "Jaws" and "Cujo", but also "Razorback" is a favorite of mine. But still I have never been able to call myself a fan because of how stupid the films often get, especially the more modern ones. And that's not even counting films like "Mega Shark vs. Giant Octopus" where they just stopped trying and went for balls-out silliness. Animal horror is something that can be really intriguing and scary if done right and while I knew "Wild Beasts" wouldn't cut it, I hoped that it at least would be on the right side of it. And it was.

The animals at a city zoo get drugged through the water, and we follow a few people while they try to figure it all out and calm the animals down. That's the plot right there. Smack! Right in your face. There's nothing more to it, really. The movie doesn't focus very much on that stuff, instead it makes sure that each animal they have chosen to use will get good enough screen time and kill at least one person. The first kill scene is a couple in a car, and they are killed by rats. A pretty damn good scene, I might add. One of the better. Tigers, cheetahs, elephants and polar bear are some of the animals they have to fight. And I think the reason I didn't mind the lack of plot was because all I thought I would get from this was a bunch of different species killing people. It was spot on, but with a bit of an added bonus..

It had much, much better kill scenes than what I had pictured in my head. The animals almost always look fierce, the editing is good enough for their attacks to look real, and it's not cheap on the gore. There were some really great gore shots in there, and that's not something I had expected. I shouldn't have been surprised, being Italian and all, but the rest of the movie felt very American so you can't really judge me too hard on that.

I watched the Italian language version, and it was a bit confusing since the subtitles were for the English language. And apparently they had added quite a bit of dialog when characters are off-screen in the English one. After I figured it out things made sense, but it was a bit distracting. I don't know if this is a common thing on releases with original and dubbed sound. Other than that the release is very good, I always expect less when I hear it's a first time DVD release of an old and forgotten flick. Might be because of all these new companies like Intervision releasing what appears to be VHS rips, which is kinda annoying. I'm not one to complain about these things usually, quality isn't all that important, but when they sink too low it just doesn't seem worth spending my money on. Many companies have too much can-do-attitude (which should be a good thing) but don't have the skills to restore and all that, so they just settle with whatever rights they get their hands on that is rare on DVD and release what they can find of it.. Before going too much off topic here.. My point is that even though a lot of recently released cult classics that haven't been on DVD before are pure crap in quality, the Studio S release of "Wild Beasts" is as good quality as ever. Enough about that.

"Wild Beasts" is a very typical animal horror movie. It's exactly what you think it will be when you hear what the story is and what year it was made. Nothing spectacular, but on the plus side it has some nice kills and the gore looks good. You can't really ask for much else, can you? Besides, it's just damn fun to watch all of these animals lurk around. The concept alone entertained me, and it almost fascinated me not having to watch damn CGI animals for a change. Especially now when all we see in the animal horror category is extreme stupidity.

Positive things:
- Good kills where the editing makes it all work.
- Gorier than I had expected!
- Fun to see a variety of animals kill, even though it doesn't leave much time for the story.
Negative things:
- Not really a movie you get into emotionally.
- "Just another animal horror" is a bit harsh, but it's true, you could find better than this.
- The ending.

Gore: 2.5/5
Nudity: 0.2/5
Story: 1.5/5
Effects: 2.5/5
Comedy: 1/5

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