Wild Beasts

Wild Beasts ★★★

Leave it to the Italians to take a popular trend in American cinema (this time the animal attack film such as Grizzly) and amp up the outrageousness. PCP is released into the Frankfurt water supply. The jungle beasts held in captivity at the zoo drink the water, escape their cages, and terrorize the city. There’s a gross and morally unacceptable sequence where a bunch of rats are lit on fire, but other than that, the film is lighter on the animal cruelty that one may fear from an Italian animal attack exploiter. More frequent is the disturbing male gaze view of prepubescent girls which seriously leaves a gross taste in the viewer’s mouth. Outside of these aspects, the film is a fun if dumb as shit horror effort. The cinematography is a bit murky, but the gore is first rate and absurd, with the most memorable kill involving a woman’s head being stomped by an elephant. John Aldrich is a blank slate as the mustachioed scientist hero, as is pretty Eurotrash regular Lorraine De Selle. Between this, Emanuelle In America, Cannibal Ferox, and House on the Edge of the Park, De Selle has one of the most impressively sleazy acting resumes in genre film history. The final ten minutes are initially hilarious but feel anticlimactic and don’t resolve the plot. Fans of lower-tier Italian nastiness will enjoy this one.

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