I probably should have known what I was getting myself into when the director credit vanished off of the IMDB page for Anonymous Content’s ANIMALS, the highly anticipated adaptation of Craig Spector’s (A Nightmare on Elm Street: The Dream Child) novel, which he co-wrote with John Skipp. Still I think credit it due for Director Arnold Cassius (a pseudonym for Douglas Aarniokoski) who turns in quite possibly one of the worst horror films ever made.
The story centers on a blue-collar man in a dying factory town whose life is jolted after becoming involved in a romantic triangle amid a spate of uncontrolled violence.
With a massive budget and a cast consisting of “Lost” star Naveen Andrews and horror vet Nicki Aycox (Jeepers Creepers II, Dead Birds, Joy Ride 2), it’s hard to believe that the only redeeming value of the film is that you get to see Aycox naked not once, not twice, but three times. Even with a spectacle like that gracing the screen, you’ll still find yourself focusing on the many imperfections that make ANIMALS the epic disaster that it is. During a horribly staged sex scene in the rain, Aycox finds herself pinned up against a wall with her legs wrapped around her co-star’s face. As the duo are going at it like “animals”, you can literally see the water clotting up around the camera and pouring in front of the lens in clumps. While I can easily spend a good portion of this review marveling in the fact that Aycox chose ANIMALS to be her MONSTER’S BALL, I’ve got a few other eggs to fry.
ANIMALS is not only impossible to follow, but it’s also the most pretentious piece of crap I’ve ever witnessed; this film gives Uwe Boll a run for his money. While the stringing plotline is almost impossible to identify, the movie is loaded with flashes of cheesy ‘80s imagery, sex and blurry slow-motion scenes that should be banished from filmmaking altogether. When violence is about to occur, the camera shakes uncontrollably, when something is about to explode everything goes into slow-mo. The wolves in the movie look like the special FX company turned in some temp pre-vis work and the producers thought it was finished and accepted. The werewolves are the most half-assed shoddy attempt at special FX I have ever seen in a big budget movie. Think BLOOD AND CHOCOLATE, only there’s absolutely no definition in the wolves design. They’re like ghostly blue, blurry lumps of garbage.
ANIMALS is so bad that even the choreography is laughable as the ultra lame fist fights are about as captivating as watching grass grow. Furthermore, the set pieces looked cheap, crappy and completely unrealistic. I remember laughing my ass off when we saw the Sheriff with what looked like a paper badge taped to his uniform.
It’s difficult to identify exactly who is to blame for this atrocity, but I think that it’s safe to say Director Arnold Cassius has a huge hand in the problems… unless he wasn’t even on set (which wouldn’t be that shocking). If anything, he’s the director and I find it appalling as to how little creativity was displayed in ANIMALS.
ANIMALS fails on every single level and left me in a state of shock. When it was all said and done I would have needed to fill an entire notebook to list all of the problems. I highly recommend watching this film only to witness what is one of the single worst horror movies ever made. Although difficult to make it from start to finish, it’s so bad that it actually becomes captivating.
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