9/09/2009

The 10 Best Killer Animal Horror Movies

I was watching Mega-Shark vs. Giant Octopus, on Syfy the other day. The trailer was all over the net, but the movie itself, despite some funny moments and Debbie Gibson, was fish poo. It got me to think how many horribly crappy killer animal horror films there are, especially on Syfy. Almost all of these films are takes on the Jaws mythos, to one point or another. But, there are good ones, and this list is comprised of my favorites. Many of these films hold special places in my heart, as I do love animals (before I ever wanted to get into film, I wanted to be a veterinarian). And, a bunch of them are among the first horror movies, I ever got into.

10. - This wonderful campy, gory, and exploitative film is a masterpiece of so bad so good. A great time to be had, this one is wonderfully silly, with some truly priceless dialogue. From the director of Pieces, no less!

9. - The premise and plot of this one is pretty silly and preposterous. But, it doe shave some great acting from the cast and a truly beautiful score by Ennio Morricone. Charlotte Rampling and Bo Derek make for some easy on the eyes beauties. What is really cool, is that the killer whale, taking revenge for the death of his mate and their unborn child, could be seen in some ways, as the hero, or anti-hero, as it maybe. Basically a revenge film with a killer animal.

8. - When a dog is genetically engineered as the optimal killer, all hell break loose. Great acting from the cast, including Lance Henriksen and Allie Sheedy, an inspired script, and some really wild and cool set-pieces (including the dog going up a tree to eat a cat and the dog raping a female dog) make for a fun and enjoyable sci-fi/ horror flick. As a dog lover I really enjoy the fact that the dog attacks people who deserve it, making him, like Orca, a hero of sorts.

7. - I used to watch this one as a kid, any time it was on TV. And, it still holds up. Sure it starts off slow, but the climax is great and scenes of worms crawling out of faucets, biting people, and being all over people's house is truly nightmarish. Guaranteed to make your skin crawl and stomach churn. From underrated director Jeff Lieberman.

6. - Like so many of the films here, I used to watch this anytime it was on TV. When, an alligator baby is flushed down the toilet, it grows up to be a vicious killer. Featuring rousing and violent alligator attacks highlight, this one is a fun cult classic. You just gotta love it!

5. - This one is so damn good, that Steven Spielberg, himself, declared it his favorite Jaws rip-off, and picked Joe Dante to direct horror/ comedy Gremlins. The exciting and bloody attacks and the over all fun feel of the movie, does indeed make it the best of those movies. The sequel, from James Cameron which has flying piranha (!), is worth seeing, too.

4. - Perhaps the first of the killer animal sub-genre, this one maybe very slow to start, but Hitchcock's masterful tale of our avian friends going psycho (no pun intended) remains one of the very best. Lovely Tippi Hedren and the rest of the cast are great, and once it gets going, this one really rips. The attacks on the school and the gas station, the suspenseful climax, and creepy endings attack is fucking unforgettable.

3. - Loosely inspired by true events, this is one of the scariest movies I seen in this decade, so far. Well directed, suspenseful, nightmarish, and realistic, this movie is, I think, better than The Blair Witch Project (although I do like that movie). The cast is really good and actress Blanchard Ryan is both beautiful, and fully nude! The nihilistic feel of the movie really helps to set apart from the more campy movies on this list. Unarguably the best killer shark movie since Jaws.

2. - My favorite Stephen King book is also my favorite adaption of his work. Nail-biting, intense, and really suspenseful, this one is also highlighted by phenomenal acting from the lovely Dee Wallace Stone. Lewis Teague (who also directed Alligator) crafts a simple but scary film, with some truly jarring attacks, by the rabid dog. A personal favorite.

1. - I guess declaring this one the best killer animal film is a no brainer, but really how can it not be? Frequently ripped-off, this is one of the most influential horror films ever. A perfect film and a favorite of mine since my childhood.

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