Plot: Bruno Rivera (Paul Naschy) is a hunted man, pursued without mercy or respite by a scorned woman. Meiko (Eiko Nagashima) loved him and was going to be his bride, which is why Bruno was invited to join a high stakes jewel heist. His past as a hired gun made him valuable and his loyalty seemed guaranteed since he was to wed Meiko, but he was out for himself and betrayed those who trusted him. The mobsters who hired him nearly killed him, but he managed to escape and in the process, gunned down Meiko’s brother and sparked her immortal vengeance. As he hunts him down, Bruno awakens at a remote, strange estate. Has he somehow found a refuge from his violent past, or will Meiko soon be knocking on his door, ready to exact her revenge? And is this odd estate just home to an eccentric assortment of folks, or is there some darker truth behind the friendly facade?
Entertainment Value: Paul Naschy has brought countless monsters to life on screen, but here he shows how monstrous mere humans can be. In this one, Naschy plays a man who betrays a woman who loves him, then tries to stay one step ahead of his dark past even as she stalks him down. While this is more of a thriller than horror movie, it does have elements that genre fans will appreciate. But it is much more grounded than some of Naschy’s films, with less emphasis on the supernatural. These are just people doing bad things to each other, not monsters or ghosts. One of his darker, more cynical movies, without question. The cast is fine and of course, Naschy headlines and carries the film, though a farting priest has a memorable supporting role. The movie takes a while to hit a good pace, thanks to a drawn out opening that slows things down a lot. But once things get established, Human Beasts levels out and starts to provide a tense, dark experience that genre fans should appreciate. There’s also a strong giallo influence here at times, so fans of giallo, horror in general, or Naschy should give this one a shot.
A few breasts, a couple naked asses, and a brief glimpse of bush. One of the breasts spills out at a dinner party, which adds some humor to the exposure. There’s also some fun sex scenes, such as an old guy whipping the maid’s ass and Naschy getting it on while pigs eat a man alive. So not a ton of sleaze, but some naked flesh and interesting situations to soak in. As I just mentioned, there is a scene where a man is feasted upon by pigs and that’s one of the memorable instances of bloodshed here. The scene is wild and quite fun, as rubber pig heads devour this poor dude in grand style. Some other violence includes gun shots, a hook to the eyeball, and poor Naschy being bled by some cannibal assholes, capping off the mayhem. The dialogue here is a little on the odd side, but rarely jumps out as over the top. Until…the dinner party. The table is lined with colorful, outrageous people who rattle off wacky lines like machine gun fire. This scene alone earns a couple points, great stuff. The dinner scene is pure insanity, but this movie also boasts the pig scene, a dead eyed woman wandering around with a pistol, and a twist at the end that gives us a fun, but abrupt conclusion. So not really off the rails throughout, but some nice spikes in craziness here and there.
Overall Insanity: 4/10