Reviewed by

Christopher Armstead

Okey-dokey. Based on a novel from author John Skipp we have the film ‘Animals’ which tells the tale of a separate breed of humans who exist as some kind of wild animals with some of these wild humans hunting other animals as wild animals tend to do, while others have tasted human flesh and damn if they can’t shake how succulent humans can be and hunt us instead. After seeing the movie I’m thinking I may have to track down Mr. Skipp’s book. I’m just saying is all.

Jarrett (Marc Blucas) is depressed. He lives in a crappy town, has a seriously crappy job, has a crappy boss on this crappy job, has a crappy house, a crappy car and he has no woman. His days consist of breaking rocks with a sledge hammer… for real… this is what he does eight hours a day and he’s not a convict and he’s college educated. Jarrett’s nights consist at hanging out at the bar of his best friend Jules (Andy Comeau), a friend who has built a shrine to Jarrett’s once glorious high school athletic career at his bar, a career cut short by a college injury, which Jarrett has to look at every evening which only stands to remind Jarrett what a crap life he has. Jarrett also is good friends, platonically speaking, with the pretty bar maid Jane (Eve Amurri) who I must say if I had to look at that every night, Plato and his silly theories on friendship would be out of the picture.

Then ‘she’ walks in. ‘She’ is Nora (Nicki Aycox) who is five feet and 105 pounds of sizzlin’ hotness with the filthiest little mouth you will ever want to hear. We met Nora earlier when she was luring poor horny boys to her man Vic (Naveen Andrews) so they could eat them. Nora is sick of Vic and eating people so she has fled but Vic has told her that he will always be able to find her. Nora has eyes on Jarrett the supreme loser. Why? That’s the question I’d be asking myself, but Jarrett does no such thing and takes her home and gets the ride of his life, in addition to a bunch of scratches and bites. Nora doesn’t talk much because she, and I quote, ‘has better things to do with her mouth’. My girl.

Nora likes Jarrett and all but he is a bit of bitch-ass sissy so Nora has to bring the animal out of the man. Not easy. You see Nora needs a champion to free her from Vic’s hold on her, who is back in town by the way and has come to claim what is. Nora thinks Jarrett just might be this champion. Or not because Jarrett is still a bitch-ass sissy since Vic made him pee on himself. Thing is while Nora managed to start the process within Jarrett she couldn’t close the deal on the sissy, a situation which requires some escalation so to speak. Regardless, without getting into details, you know it has to come to down to an big old animo-a-animo showdown with the hope that Jarrett can unleash the beast within.

I’ve been kind of sitting here for a few minutes wracking my brain trying to find a way to tell you that this movie ‘Animals’ was not very good and do it a way that’s informative and constructive while not being insulting. It’s a challenge, because I just can’t simply say ‘dude, this movie sucks’ and then walk away. I wish I could but I can’t, but honestly, trying to put this in words has never been so difficult for me because there is so very little that works out in ‘Animals’ outside of poor Nicki Aycox spending an inordinate amount of time in this movie buck-ass naked. Marc Blucas too for that matter I suppose. I hope these two got along during this movie considering how intimate they had to be with each other in this movie. I know they’re professionals and all but when you have your face buried in somebody’s crotch, that’s hard to fake I’m guessing. The main draw of this film would probably be how much simulated sex you are interested in seeing Marc Blucas engage in.

Here’s the conundrum. The movie starts out slow but it also starts out with car crashes and dudes being eaten by animal men, in Reno no less, and bratty 7-11 employees getting smashed to death so how can it be slow? But it is and it never really picks up or gains any traction even though it has all of the elements required for a fast moving action tale. I mean this is a movie that has about as much simulated sex in it as any movie I’ve recently seen, that wasn’t an Emmanuelle movie, and I’d go so far to say that this sex and nudity wasn’t even gratuitous as it was plot relevant but it just didn’t help this movie. The movie also had a preponderance of special effects with wicked blue animal eyes, monster vision, folks jumping out of seven story building, gore effects and some seriously suspect CG animal effects but nothing seemed to help this movie.

Even the acting wasn’t all that bad. Nicki Aycox was exceptional, Naveen Andrews might’ve overacted a bit with all his flaring and snarling but at least he was engaged. Marc Blucas didn’t help this movie out all that much since his emotionless narration didn’t do the movie any favors, and while he was passable as the sad sack, when it came time for him to be the badass animal man, this transition really didn’t happen effectively enough to be believable. But he did seem to genuinely enjoy having simulated sex with his pretty co-stars.

Usually a bad movie leaves you with all kinds of fun things to say about it, but not this bad movie for whatever reason. Maybe because a movie with violence, action, sex, nudity and monsters is just expected to be better than this. Even by accident, it should’ve been better than this.

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