by Hans ten Cate
Wednesday, 12 February 1997

Here is a quick rundown of the Fierce Creatures plot. If you are the type of person that prefers not to know about a movie's plot before seeing the film, STOP here. If you are interested in reading more about the filming of Fierce Creatures and the alternative ending the film was going to have, tune into the next issue of the Daily Llama as well. Anyway, here's the story:

Wealthy Australian corporate raider Rod McCain, as portrayed by Kevin Kline, is the head of Octopus Enterprises. The organization has recently acquired a small English zoo as part of a larger group of acquisitions. Rod's ne'er-do-well son, Vince, also played by Kline, meets and is enamored of Octopus's new marketing director, Willa Weston, played by Jaimie Lee Curtis.

Willa loves zoos and wants a chance to make the newly acquired Marwood Zoo profitable but, in the interim, Rod has sent Rollo Lee, played by John Cleese, to run the zoo. Rollo knows this is his last chance to prove himself worthy so he is ruthless in his methods of whipping Marwood Zoo into shape. He initiates a 'fierce creatures only' policy based on the 'well-known' fact that the public thrives on violence and ferocity. All other non-violent animals have to go.

The zookeepers, including Michael Palin as 'Bugsy' the insect keeper, try to convince Rollo that their cuddly little animals are actually very fierce and shouldn't be shipped out. Meerkats are ridiculously made out to be killers, along with ant-eaters, coati mundis and lemurs as the zookeepers feign injury and carnage at their handling. Rollo proves he means business and takes all the cute creatures out and pretends to systematically shoot them to the horror of the keepers.

Willa and Vince arrive and seemingly come to the keepers' rescue by eliminating Rollo's fierce creatures policy, but then anger them further by grossly commercializing the zoo. Vince solicits millions of dollars of product endorsements, then embezzles the money. Meanwhile, Rollo befriends the zookeepers after they find out that he has not killed any of the animals (he had been hiding them in his apartment!). Together they discover that Rod McCain intends to sell the zoo to Japanese investors so that it can be turned into a golf course. Also, Willa continues to catch Rollo in innocent, yet seemingly sexually compromising, situations and becomes attracted to the middle-aged sexual lothario.

When Rod comes to England to visit the zoo, he confronts his son, Vince, about the embezzled money. In a standoff between Rod, Vince, and the zoo keepers, Bugsy accidentally shoots and kills Rod. Then, Rollo, Willa, the zoo keepers, and Vince plot to make the incident look like a suicide by dressing Vince as his father and faking the suicide in front of the police. In the end, Vince gets control of Octopus, Rollo gets Willa, the zoo keepers keep the zoo, and all is well with the world.

Stay tuned for other Fierce Creatures tits bits... uhm, tid bits (I keep making boobs)...