Severin Films has released Wild Beasts on Blu-Ray with a new digital remaster of the video source. Up until now Wild Beasts has not had a quality home video release in the US, but that changes with Severin Films’ work – this transfer looks great, with very little damage to the video source except for minor burns here and there (most noticeable during the title sequence) and excellent color saturation. The film is a bit dim at times because most of it takes place during the night, but otherwise Wild Beasts looks excellent and it’s a real treat for collectors and fans to have this on Blu-Ray in such good quality.
The audio comes with either English or Italian 2.0 DTS-HD Master Audio. Both sound good and there’s really no correct way to watch the film – subtle differences between the audio abound, like a slightly altered score, but this was filmed in both English and Italian so it’s hard to say which one to recommend. I did find that the score seems a bit louder in the English track while the Italian dialogue is louder in the Italian track. Either way, try both out and see which one you like more. There are also English subtitles, although the same English subtitles are used for both English and Italian tracks.
Extras include five new interviews done as a joint collaboration between Freak-O-Rama and Severin. The first is with Franco Prosperi, who discusses some amusing happenings on set; he also claims there’s no animal harm in the film. Tony DiLeo gives an interview talking about his name change to John Aldrich, his work with animals, and a more truthful examination of rat deaths on-set. Mario Morra, editor, gives a lengthy interview about his work on mondo films and leaves just a few minutes at the end for talk about Wild Beasts. Carlo Tiberti, son of animal wrangler Roberto Tiberti, talks about his family’s circus background and some anecdotes from his father on the set of Wild Beasts. Finally, rather unrelated but still interesting, is a scrapped featurette from Severin meant to bring Gualtiero Jacopetti and Franco Prosperi together to discuss their mondo background. Jacopetti’s poor health resulted in a simple visit to Prosperi’s home, documented on this disc.
All told, Severin Films’ Blu-Ray release of Wild Beasts is well-done, with excellent image quality and about 80 minutes of extras. Fans of Italian horror cinema or Prosperi’s mondo works will want to pick this one up; animal enthusiasts, think twice.