Wild Beasts

Wild Beasts ★★★★½

One of the most insane movies ever made and, in parts, one of the most entertainingly horrible too. I do love a film that comes across as irresponsibly dangerous, be it this or Calamity of Snakes, or Roar, because when you mix wild animals with actors and a sense that the director doesn't care who or what gets hurt, it's a spectacle that you just don't normally see.

As a piece of narrative filmmaking, there are several moments in Wild Beasts that suffer from dodgy editing and directing, and bits where you have to let your imagination take over to fill in the gaps. But they were working with real four-legged predators, and you just can't get them to repeat the same actions in multiple takes. I suppose they should've used two or three cameras to get those shots, but it's a low-budget film and the editor could only work with the footage he was given.

In that sense, it's a bit like The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, in that it's only on subsequent viewings where you notice that you don't actually see as much graphic violence as you first thought. But rats definitely get set fire to, hyenas and lions definitely bite bulls, horses definitely get pushed through windows, elephants definitely walk through an airport and a cheetah definitely sprints down a Frankfurt shopping street.

I would love to see a big-budget remake - you could use realistic puppetry instead of harming actual animals for some shots - just as long as there were no CGI wild beasts or composite effects in order to keep the humans safe. Let actors come face to face with big cats: it's what nature intended, and if it was good enough for Tippi Hedren and Melanie Griffith in Roar, then it's good enough for Jason Statham.

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