The best animal attack movies
Bear Cocaine surprised everyone with their way through the opening weekend. For fans of animal attack movies, this is not a shock. People love animal attack movies and can’t get enough of them. I’m not sure if it’s the man vs. nature theme of the movies, the animals themselves getting revenge on humans, or just the fun these movies provide. Regardless, they are enjoyable for audiences in theaters.
There has been a long history of animals attacking people on film. Some films that are known as ‘classic’ cinema fall into the animal attack category. We can always use more footage of animals rampaging through humans on the big screen. What are some of the best?
Because bears seem to be on everyone’s brain this weekend; then maybe we’ll start with this classic. A fifteen-foot-tall grizzly bear kills hikers and campers in a state park. When the superintendent refuses to close the park (sound familiar?), a park ranger and a military helicopter pilot take it upon themselves to kill the giant bear. There’s a lot of vicious bears in this movie, which makes it popular among animal attack fans.
When the Earth’s ozone layer begins to decrease, animals above five thousand feet begin to become aggressive. Their rage is directed at anyone who comes in contact with them. Before quarantine is implemented, a group of hikers are dropped off on a mountain. Now they must go down the mountain to get to safety, but can they trust each other? Leslie Nielsen, Christopher George, and Lynda Day George play the walkers fighting the animals.
From the novel of the same name written by Stephen King. A woman takes the family car to a mechanic. With her husband out of town, she takes their son Tad with her. She doesn’t know that the Saint Bernard family has gone rabid and killed everyone he came in contact with. Now she is stuck in her broken down car while the summer sun beats down on them. No one else knows they are involved. They have little chance of being saved. The dog tries to get into the car, so she has to protect herself and her son. It is an interesting one-act thriller. There are talks about remaking the film, but I wonder if it would work with today’s technology.
A large wild boar is killing people in the Australian outbreak. Locals laugh at the story of the big boar as anything but a made-up story. A hunter and the husband of one of the victims of the pig started trying not to suffer from its wild prey. Nothing like big pigs to make for a great movie.
Yes, we have seen sharks attack people in movies. What would happen if these sharks were genetically modified to be highly intelligent? Well, then we’d be in big trouble. A group of scientists is looking for a cure for Alzheimer’s disease. They increase the size of shark brains to accumulate the disease-fighting enzymes found in them. Unfortunately, the sharks escape and start hunting their captors. The film is star-studded, with Samuel L. Jackson, Thomas Jane, and LL Cool J leading the charge.
Based on the urban legend that someone put a baby alligator down the toilet in New York City, and it grew up to be a giant in the sewers. What if it really happened? Well, the movie will tell you. Robert Forster is a cop who looks at bodies that appear to have been eaten by a large creature. A reptile expert accompanies him as he tries to find out what is killing people and how to stop it.
This self-approved recipe of jaw strangely has spawned more films in its franchise than jaw did. Joe Dante directed this Roger Corman classic. A tank of realistic piranha at a military base is accidentally released into a river. These genetically engineered fish can live in both freshwater and saltwater. If they reach the ocean, they will grow out of control and eat everything in their path. More importantly, the stream runs right by a summer camp on the way to a gorgeous country club. Meat comes right.
Fred Hitchcock was a master of suspense, and his entry in the animal attack genre is no different. Only a gathering of birds in a school jungle gym might seem ominous. Birds start attacking people for unknown reasons. Anyone out there will quickly become a target. Those who remain in the small town must find a way to survive. A classic of Hitchcock’s filmmaking fits the bill. It even got a so-called sequel The Birds II: The End of the Land in the Nineties. This one is not remembered as a classic.
Most people would probably take this one because it appears more in the large animal category, but it still fits. A film crew heads to a remote island to shoot with their crew. They discover that there is a large apple on the island that the main actor in their film likes. Realizing that they could make more money exhibiting the big gorilla, they catch him and bring him back to New York. When the prime minister breaks from his chains, he kidnaps the actress and takes refuge on the roof of the tallest building in town. Just classic.
It had to be last on the list, right? This film is responsible for creating a summer blockbuster. The entire film industry changed its release strategy just based on this film. It was that big of a deal. A great white shark begins attacking people off the coast of Amity Island. The local Sheriff decides to hunt down the killer when the mayor won’t close the beaches down. The amazing part of this movie is what went wrong during filming, which made them edit it in a way that made the movie more scary for the audience. Nothing has touched the greatness of this one.
What are your favorite animal attack movies? Let us know in the comments.