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Franco Prosperi's gore laden and late blooming Nature Gone Wild flick THE WILD BEASTS (Camera Obscura's restored DVD is coming soon; ) has become a case of reality imitating art after dozens of exotic animals escaped from a private wild animal preserve in Zanesville, Ohio after the owner unlocked their cages before committing suicide. It's a literal "Lions, Tigers and Bears, Oh, my" as an estimated 48 animals are on the loose spread out over a town with a population of around 25,000 residents. Among the aggressive beasts on the loose are cheetahs, wolves, lions, black bears, grizzly's and a Siberian tiger.
Reports say the animals were last fed on Monday and residents of Zanesville were ordered to stay in their homes till the situation is under control. Schools were also closed. Reportedly nearly all the animals have been found and shot at this time. While the out of control beasts of Prosperi's film were running amuck after their water supply was laced with PCP, the owner of this exotic animal preserve had a prior arrest for animal cruelty. Similarly, there was also a 1978 Made For TV movie entitled MANEATERS ARE LOOSE! about two Bengal tigers unleashed on a California town. A tiger on the prowl was also the center of attention in the suspenseful BURNING BRIGHT (2010) about a mother and her son attempting to elude a tiger that stalks them inside the house they've been trapped inside of.
Going back to this literally wild news story, the potential for a mass amount of human casualties was thankfully avoided, but it's a shame that these animals had to be put down. It does raise questions as to how many, if any were actually tranquilized as opposed to being killed and why those animals shot down couldn't have been saved considering tranquilizers were reportedly on sight. It also bears asking as to why this man was allowed to contain so many animals you'd commonly find in Africa or within the safe confines of a zoo. So if you live in a town with an eccentric wild animal wrangler, be careful every time you step outside; it's a jungle out there!
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I've been a huge movie buff since childhood catching old horror and monster flicks on Shock Theater and kung fu movies at the drive-in during the late 70's and early 80's. I've had a long time fascination with, and appreciate all genres of fantastic cinema, good and bad. One fans cheese is another fans juicy steak. I like both equally and seldom find a film I truly dislike as I will find something of interest in just about anything. The bulk of the films or tv series' seen here are mostly from my childhood, or films I own in what has become an Amazing Colossal DVD collection.