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Friday, October 10, 2014

31 DAYS OF HORROR 2014-Day 10: BLACK ZOO (1963)

Eccentric private zoo owner Michael Conrad (Michael Gough) wants nothing more from life than to show off his menagerie of beautiful jungle animals and to care for them with more love than he shows to his own flesh and blood, but when his zoo is threatened by a developer who seeks to buy him out, it's time to open the cages and unleash a pack of loyal, well-trained killers...

Conrad's idea of what's acceptable in the living room.

There's just something that's so much fun about urbane British folks when they go stark raving mad, and Michael Gough really brings down the house as the homicidally-looney, animal-fancying Conrad. And as if it weren't enough that the guy has a decent number of big cats and other critters that are all too happy to maul and devour his enemies on command while being scenery-chewingly-abusive to his long-suffering wife and also to Carl, a mute teen who serves as his assistant, he's also a member in good standing of a secret cult of animal-worshippers!

The Loyal Order of Water Buffaloes this ain't.

BLACK ZOO is not a great movie by any means, but it definitely delivers when it comes to lurid, sleazy thrills that seem even more tacky and offensive due to their vintage and Britishness. It's a fun way to kill some viewing time, plus it just might traumatize the shit out of your younger kids if you opt to sit them through it. Hey, if you, their parents, aren;t going to take an active hand in the ruination of your own wee ones, who the hell else would you entrust with that vital developmental task?

Poster from the original theatrical release.

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