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"Human Beasts" (aka "El carnaval de las bestias") (1980)


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Human Beasts (aka El carnaval de las bestias) (1980)

w/ Paul Naschy, Eiko Nagashima, Lautaro Murúa, Silvia Aguilar, Azucena Hernández, Kogi Maritugu, Roxana Dupre, Pepe Ruiz and Julia Saly. Plus Luis Ciges (of course). And written and directed by Paul Naschy.

Paul Naschy portrays a mercenary/hitman who is seduced by his attractive (of course) and pregnant Japanese lover (Eiko Nagashima) into aiding her brother (Kogi Maritugu) and his wannabe left-wing terrorist group (à la Japan's Red Army or West Germany's Baader-Meinhof Group) in a diamond theft along a deserted road for funding purposes. But obviously not seduced well enough since, after killing the diamond courier and his bodyguards, Naschy then kills off the other members of the terrorist group with the exception (of course) of the brother and sister and makes off with the diamonds. And, in what appears to be a quick transition from Japan to Spain, the brother and sister have recruited others to their cause and have tracked down Naschy. Where, of course, more killings occur and Naschy is wounded.

At this point the movie abruptly shifts genres from crime to horror as the unconscious Naschy is taken to the estate of a doctor (Lautaro Murúa) who is locally renown for his pig stew, his two attractive (of course) daughters (Silvia Aguilar and Azucena Hernández) and his attractive (of course) maid (Roxana Dupre). Whom nurse him back to health and keep him hidden from his still on the hunt former lover. For reasons that are far from altruistic (and far from being obscure). And all under the eye of another attractive (of course (repetitious aren't I)) woman (Julia Saly) who may be real or may be a ghost or may just be a figment of Naschy's imagination due to his injuries. All of which leads to an abrupt conclusion where karma kicks into overdrive and delivers its deserved comeuppance upon all.

Random comments:

1.) This is the fourth of five movies in The Paul Naschy Collection Blu-Ray set. And, of those first four movies, I would rate this one below both Blue Eyes of the Broken Doll (1974) and Horror Rises from the Tomb (1973) but above Vengeance of the Zombies (1973).

2.) Even outside the usual sexual treatment of women in a Paul Naschy movie, this one is far from being politically correct. It has a black African female who is whipped while topless by a white European male whom she calls "master". And the whipping is not only for punishment but also for the sexual pleasure of both parties. And, elsewhere, a white European female stating "I think all Asians look alike." And, elsewhere, the multiple uses of a word that, in an entirely different context, would refer to a bundle of sticks or twigs bound together for burning.

3.) As with Blue Eyes of the Broken Doll, this movie also includes a scene where a pig is to be killed. Unlike the earlier movie, though, we cut away from the explicit details and only hear the pig's death squeals. On the flip side, though, this one includes a scene where the pigs get their revenge.

4.) A literal translation of the Spanish title for this one is "The carnival of the beasts". And there is a costume party scene that correlates to that translation. But that scene appears to exist simply to justify that title. It adds nothing to the movie as a whole. Although it does provide us with an excuse to see Paul Naschy dressed as Napoleon Bonaparte. Which he visually pulls off. But, considering how often a Napoleon delusion is comically portrayed as a sign of insanity on both the big and small screens, it struck me as just another awkward distraction.

5.) Similar to many Universal horror and science-fiction movies of the 1940s and 1950s, the soundtrack for this one is not unique to the movie but is, rather, a collection of samples from earlier movies. And whomever chose those samples chose well in my opinion.

6.) The background for the opening credits for this movie is Pieter Bruegel's The Triumph of Death. Also a good choice in my opinion:


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