THE BEASTS aka SHAN KOU aka THE BEASTS AND BLOODY TERROR (1980)
D. DENNIS YU
This Asian made horror film is basically I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE meets THE HILLS HAVE EYES in the Chinese outback. The film is gritty, ugly and filled with unpleasant misogyny, but ultimately isn't all that good.
Within the first five minutes of the movie we have witnessed the real slaughter of a wild boar, a mouse and a snake. The movie is nothing if not really mean spirited. A brother and sister decide to go camping a few towns away. It doesn't take long for them to run afoul of the backwoods monsters who are terrorizing the small town. There are four normal guys and naturally one retarded cousin just like in every rape/revenge movie. These guys corner the sister in the woods and gang-rape her in a scene that, while sleazy, is for more restrained than you would expect. Her brother attempts to take on the thugs but they do him in, leaving him bleeding to death at the bottom of a trap/hole.
The sister ends up institutionalized from the trauma, leaving her muscle bound Father to hunt down and kill the criminal who violated his daughter and killed his son.
The problem with THE BEASTS is that the pacing is really all over the place. Nothing of interest happens in the first half hour except a lot of walking around to 80's pop music. Music that they in no way could have had permission to use such as AIR SUPPLY and THE POLICE.
THe last third with the Father taking his revenge has some splashy moments, but all the in between material is very questionable at best. The acting is atrocious and over the top, the cinematography is muddy and ugly, leaving not a lot to recommend. It is somewhat outrageous but ultimateely left me cold.
Review © Andy Copp