This one is absolutely savage, in more ways than one!
A young and hot Brian Cox (‘Manhunter’) plays Chuck Spillers, just released from prison where he made friends with a kindly elderly pet shop owner, Martin Blueck (played by Peter ‘The Cush’ Cushing), who used to visit him. When Chuck drops by to thank Blueck, the old man offers him a job. The pet shop upstairs is a front for a lab in the basement where he is experimenting with cages without walls for big cats and Blueck wants the younger man’s help with his experiments.
But old habits die hard and Chuck spots a safe in the basement among the lions and panthers and can’t resist breaking in one night to rip the old man off. But he soon finds himself caught in one of the cages and so begins a race against time as Chuck’s tough-as-nails wife Annie (Elaine Donnelly) tries to track down and save her husband from the cunning and charming Blueck with zero help from a police station full of crappy coppers.
Cushing and Cox are obviously excellent and the whole episode is soaked in an anxiety-triggering inevitability and topped with a dark and horrifying denouement.