The Video Vacuum (thevideovacuum) wrote,
The Video Vacuum

HUMAN BEASTS (1980) **


Spanish horror legend Paul Naschy stars in this Spanish-Japanese co-production as a professional thief hired by the yakuza to steal a cache of diamonds.  He rips off the big boss man and intends to run off with his sister, but after Naschy fills him with lead, his sister goes out for revenge.  When Naschy is severely wounded in the woods during the ensuing gun battle, he hobbles his way to a cabin where he is taken in by a family of pig farmers.  While he convalesces, their nympho daughter gets naked and writhes around on top of him. 


If you think that’s weird, you haven’t heard the half of it.  Pops gets his jollies by whipping the black maid (its okay, she LIKES it, folks), rocking chairs start rocking all by themselves when the clock strikes midnight, and someone starts murdering people with a hook and feeding what’s left of them to the pigs.  To top it all off, Naschy starts having really bizarre slow motion dreams that further confuses things.  In the end, Naschy learns that the family is a bunch of ravenous cannibals. 


And guess who is on the menu.


A lot of this flick just plain doesn’t work.  The constant flashbacks and dream sequences are pretty worthless and merely add to the film’s running time (it’s only 90 minutes but it still feels about 15 minutes too long).  Also, as fucked up as the second half of the film is, the set-up is far more intriguing.  Although the first half of the film is tense and involving, once Naschy gets to the cottage things get increasingly disjointed.  The “twist” ending is slight and obvious and will probably leave a bad taste in your mouth.  (Pun intended.) 


That’s not to say that the film is a complete washout.  There’s a bounty of female flesh on display and the film is just plain weird enough to keep you more than halfway interested.  We also get a good scene where Naschy blows up a woman with a grenade, but my favorite part of the film was when Naschy’s tender love scene was intercut with the bloodthirsty pigs chowing down on a helpless doctor.  


This was a change of pace for Naschy after several Wolf Man movies.  Granted, I would have much rather seen Naschy in a full fledged hard-boiled yakuza flick than a mediocre horror movie that only PRETENDS to be a hard-boiled yakuza flick, but he’s pretty good at playing a ruthless killer and is fairly decent in the more romantic scenes he shares with his Japanese love interest.  


Speaking of the Japanese, since the Japanese helped to make this movie, they insisted on throwing in the gratuitous bad model boat for no good reason whatsoever. 


AKA:  The Beasts’ Carnival.

Tags: cannibal, h, horror
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