HUMAN BEASTS (1980)
aka The Beasts' Carnival, El carnaval de las bestias
Directed by Paul Naschy
Featuring Paul Naschy, Elko Nagashima, Lautaro Murua
Country: Spain / Japan
What it is: Horror action hodgepodge
A professional criminal is on the run from a Japanese criminal organization after making off with diamonds that he agreed to steal for them. The criminal is badly injured, but is saved by a doctor and his two daughters in their isolated country home. However, this house has some skeletons in its closet...
For a while, the only clue that we have that this is going to turn out to be a horror movie is the prominence of Paul Naschy's name in the credits; the first third of the movie primarily plays out like an action flick. Then it plays out like a combination of one of those old "house with a dreadful secret" Gothics and THE FOLKS AT RED WOLF INN
, with a smidgen of DADDY'S DEADLY DARLING
thrown in for good measure. I'm not going to blatantly give away the main horror content here (though everyone else does), though the emphasis on how good the doctor's famous "stew" is should clue you in. And since this is a Naschy film, he sleeps with most of the beautiful women in the cast. It's a bit of a mess, though I'm not going to complain about the dangling plot points because they're obviously there to distract us from the "surprise" ending. At least this one is a little bit different for Naschy, so that counts for something.