Deep Cuts #12: Wild Beasts (1984)

Belve Feroci is the product of a very short eBay addiction. When I started getting into boutique Blu-ray movies, I scoured eBay for anything Vinegar Syndrome, Severin, or Arrow. Then if it was around 10-12 bucks, I snatched it up via blind buy. This produced mixed results. Once my wife caught on and saw the bank account during the height of my two-week addiction, I uninstalled the app on my phone. I haven’t looked back since. Instead, I joined a couple of buy/sell boutique Blu-ray groups on Facebook. Totally different.

I have always felt Severin is like the skanky Swank magazine to Vinegar Syndrome’s tacky Penthouse. Which I guess makes Arrow the classy Playboy. And sure enough, that Severin released bad Italian 80s saxophone music hits right off the bat in the menu to the movie, following through to the opening montage. 

We start with what appear to be real animal heads being fed to big cats in the zoo. I always enjoy a good bloody donkey head to start off my movie. Gives it a real mondo vibe right from the beginning. Then we witness a bloody tiger going into convulsions and I truly wonder if this is a movie even worth watching. I even read that they painted the rats black in the film because they were naturally white! Factor in the bad dubbing, and my hopes for a good movie go dashing down the toilet.  

And oh my, a topless prepubescent underage girl that’s more than a bit over sexualized getting out of bed is next. Wow. It gets more and more troublesome by the moment. I’m expecting Chris Hanson to jump out and ask me questions. I’m innocent! I just wanted some people-munching animal action, Chris! 

One thing I always appreciate is how the Italians think Americans make whoopie. A couple just pulls over in a dark alley next to a sewer and get down and dirty. He’s all up in her skirt, moaning how he can’t get enough of her, as a horde of pretty innocent and friendly looking rats begin to circle the car and dry hump – I mean — kill a cat. Of course, they open the door to let in the ambiance because the car is too cramped for love making. Wrong choice, Faye. Rats gonna eat your boobs! And they do. They eat her bare boobs. And then they get set on fire. And run around all over the place. 

Us Americans look even smarter when it comes to the zoo security office. Apparently, overnight watchmen at the zoo do not look at the video monitors of the animals, instead, they drink hard alcohol while playing cards and looking at pornographic magazines. This allows the animals to break out of the zoo and go out for a stroll on the town. 

It turns out that the animals got access to PCP through their water, therefore, going crazy and attacking everyone. Essentially, Cocaine Bear, before Cocaine Bear. Instead of killing these poor animals, they should have sent them to rehab! 

I’m not really sure how house pets, i.e., dogs, get access to the PCP infected water and their poor master didn’t get high if they drink from the same source. I’m not completely sure if they ever say how the PCP got into the water supply in the first place, what with all the nonstop animal carnage going on, I might have missed that major plot point. But the rats in the sewer, the zoo animals, and house pets are all cruel slaves to the Angel Dust. Remember: Italians favor logic the least out of all the major elements of a movie. 

The kills are plentiful, and the gore and sfx are really not too shabby for an Italian low budget film. Though, the problem with any of these animals attack films is that the animals in question sometimes appear to be too cuddly and friendly to do such dastardly deeds. Quit being so scared, people! They just want love!  

The acting and dubbing is what it is. You don’t go watching these Italian horror films for either of those aspects. You watch them for gore, boobs, and batshit crazy sequences. This film checks those boxes.  

Overall, Wild Beasts is pure unadulterated Eurotrash fun. I recommend it if you like those sorts of movies. It fits in with the Severin library perfectly. It slogs when there’s people on screen with dialogue who have to actually ACT, but when the animals are doing their thing, it’s actually pretty entertaining. But just know what you’re getting into. Because if there is one key takeaway from this film, one thing that left an impression on me the most, it’s that I really have a feeling that animals were actually hurt or at the very least abused during the making of this movie. If it were made today, PETA would be up everyone’s asses with front page news all over TMZ. And that’s a tough pill to swallow – er — line of PCP to snort. 

4.5/10 Stab Wounds  



About RetRo(n) 61 Articles
I like the 80s, slasher films, Italian directors, Evil Ed, Trash and Nancy, Ripley and Private First Class Hudson, retro crap but not SyFy crap, old school skin, Freddy and Savini, Spinell and Coscarelli, Andre Toulon, and last, but not least, Linda Blair.