23 August 2014

Human Beasts (1980)
88 min.
Directed by Paul Naschy.
With Paul Naschy, Eiko Nagashima, Silvia Aguilar, Lautaro Murúa, Kogi Maritugu, Azucena Hernández, Luis Ciges.
Another Paul Naschy extravaganza, this one set in Japan!

Actually, it isn't much of an extravaganza. Frankly, it's a bit dull.

Bruno Rivera (Naschy) is a professional hitman who accepts an assignment by the Japanese mob to steal a cache of diamonds. He gets the gems, but then decides to keep them for himself.

Wrong move. The mob organization finds him, guns him down, and leaves him for dead.

Thankfully, a nearby doctor named Simón (Murúa) takes Bruno in, and with the aid of his three daughters, nurses him back to health. End of story?

Not quite. Soon, someone begins killing those around the Simón family. Who could the madman be? What do they want? Is Bruno next on the psycho's list?

Human Beasts may be required viewing for fans of Naschy (or Spanish horror films, in general), but unfortunately it lacks a much-needed consistency.

It veers wildly from action thriller, to slasher, to giallo, to finally, Texas Chainsaw wannabe.

There's no crime in wanting to transcend genres. But Human Beasts shifts gears without having gained much momentum, without focus, and much too often.

The subplot of Bruno being seduced by Simón's daughters (not just one of them, mind you, but two of them!) is particularly annoying this time out.

Aka The Beasts' Carnival.

Spanish title: El Carnaval de las Bestias.

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