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The 7 Most Ridiculous Animal Attack Movies Ever Made

SNAKES ON A PLANE, Samantha McLeod, 2006, ©New Line Cinema/courtesy Everett Collection

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Humanity has dominated the animal kingdom so utterly that we forget we were ever in competition against our mammalian and reptilian brethren. Many movies try to recreate that primal terror by inflating animals to grotesque proportions and removing our ability to defend ourselves or have the sense not to pick a fight with a giant spider. With Snakes on a Plane airing this month on IFC, we thought we’d spotlight some over-the-top animal attack movies. Look out! Things are gonna get really icky.

7. Arachnid (2001)

Arachnid may be the world’s first anti-horror movie. The “arachnid response” is our fundamental fear of anything alien, a terror fundamentally wired into the human brain, and this movie spends 95 minutes undoing everything scary about spiders. After watching this movie you’ll probably split up from your group and walk backwards into a genetic engineering institute built on a spider burial ground. The director is on record as saying the best thing about this movie was how he got to live in Barcelona while filming it, and we kind of can’t disagree with him. Barcelona is pretty nice.


6. Birdemic 2: The Resurrection (2013)

Birdemic‘s unintentional awfulness earned it a place in cult fandom. The sequel embraces its Z-movie status as an excuse to suck harder than an air conditioner connected to a septic tank. And the results are less pleasant, but still cult-worthy. You can’t help but think that everyone involved seems to know that they’re working on one of the most insanely wretched things ever made. You can almost see their fingers twitching to type “LOL” in every scene.


5. Beginning of the End (1957)

In the 1950s, someone worked out how to cheaply splice footage of people and close-up animals, and instead of using it for a single shot they spawned an entire genre. Cinemas were flooded with an entire ark’s worth of inflated animals, though that ark would still only have been the size of a houseboat because all the animals were small and unthreatening. Beginning of the End was notable for choosing one of the most unthreatening animals possible, as grasshoppers aren’t very intimidating unless you’re a blade of grass. The generic title doesn’t help matters — if they’d called the movie “Attack of the Grasshoppers” at least we’d know we were in for some sweet ‘hopper action amidst all the stock footage.


4. Snakehead Terror (2004)

In this C-movie extravaganza that presupposes that no one has ever seen Piranha, an inland fishing village finds that their lake has become infested with mutated omnivorous snakehead fish, which rapidly exhaust their native food supply and start walking on land and eating humans to avoid starvation. This is the only horror movie where the protagonists would be saved by going camping in the woods. Fish emerging from the water might be a miracle of evolution but they’re still much, much worse in the air than we are. Walking Mutant Terror Fish aren’t nearly as scary/awesome as a Snarknado.


3. Night of the Lepus (1972)

Making bunny rabbits look threatening is an amazing cinematic challenge, so it’s a pity nobody told that to the makers of Night of the Lepus. Every monster sequence looks like it was intended to be adored by four-year-olds, and sounds like it was written by those four-year-olds arguing over a crayon. The result is the cutest horror movie ever made.


2. Sharknado

We have to mention the Sharknado franchise as an example of a so-bad-it’s-kind-of-good animal attack movie, even though the filmmakers are a little too in on the joke at this point. (What forgotten ’80s or ’90s TV star will show up in Sharknado 4? Vicki from Small Wonder, maybe??) Sharknado knows the pleasures of absurdly awful movies which made its undeniably great premise (it’s in the title, come on) such a hit. But by the time Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No! rolled around, we started to get a little tired of 90210‘s Ian Zeiring fighting a flying shark with a chainsaw, a sentence we never imagined we’d ever write.


1. Snakes on a Plane (2006) 

The world’s first meta-disaster monster movie, Snakes on a Plane was an early example of the perils of viral marketing — its unprecedented Internet meme success translated into about 20 cents at the box office. But that’s what makes the movie even better, since it lets you enjoy every kind of movie disaster in one motherf-ing package. And that package is a plane. Full of snakes.

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Hacked In

Funny or Die Is Taking Over

FOD TV comes to IFC every Saturday night.

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We’ve been fans of Funny or Die since we first met The Landlord. That enduring love makes it more than logical, then, that IFC is totally cool with FOD hijacking the airwaves every Saturday night. Yes, that’s happening.

The appropriately titled FOD TV looks like something pulled from public access television in the nineties. Like lo-fi broken-antenna reception and warped VHS tapes. Equal parts WTF and UHF.

Get ready for characters including The Shirtless Painter, Long-Haired Businessmen, and Pigeon Man. They’re aptly named, but for a better sense of what’s in store, here’s a taste of ASMR with Kelly Whispers:

Watch FOD TV every Saturday night during IFC’s regularly scheduled movies.

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Wicked Good

See More Evil

Stan Against Evil Season 1 is on Hulu.

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Okay, so you missed the entire first season of Stan Against Evil. There’s no shame in that, per se. But here’s the thing: Season 2 is just around the corner and you don’t want to lag behind. After all, Season 1 had some critical character development, not to mention countless plot twists, and a breathless finale cliffhanger that’s been begging for resolution since last fall. It also had this:

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The good news is that you can catch up right now on Hulu. Phew. But if you aren’t streaming yet, here’s a basic primer…

Willards Mill Is Evil

Stan spent his whole career as sheriff oblivious to the fact that his town has a nasty curse. Mostly because his recently-deceased wife was secretly killing demons and keeping Stan alive.

Demons Really Want To Kill Stan

The curse on Willards Mill stipulates that damned souls must hunt and kill each and every town sheriff, or “constable.” Oh, and these demons are shockingly creative.

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They Also Want To Kill Evie

Why? Because Evie’s a sheriff too, and the curse on Willard’s Mill doesn’t have a “one at a time” clause. Bummer, Evie.

Stan and Evie Must Work Together

Beating the curse will take two, baby, but that’s easier said than done because Stan doesn’t always seem to give a damn. Damn!

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Beware of Goats

It goes without saying for anyone who’s seen the show: If you know that ancient evil wants to kill you, be wary of anything that has cloven feet.

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Season 2 Is Lurking

Scary new things are slouching towards Willards Mill. An impending darkness descending on Stan, Evie and their cohort – eviler evil, more demony demons, and whatnot. And if Stan wants to survive, he’ll have to get even Stanlier.

Stan Against Evil Season 1 is now streaming right now on Hulu.

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SO EXCITED!!!

Reminders that the ’90s were a thing

"The Place We Live" is available for a Jessie Spano-level binge on Comedy Crib.

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Unless you stopped paying attention to the world at large in 1989, you are of course aware that the ’90s are having their pop cultural second coming. Nobody is more acutely aware of this than Dara Katz and Betsy Kenney, two comedians who met doing improv comedy and have just made their Comedy Crib debut with the hilarious ’90s TV throwback series, The Place We Live.

IFC: How would you describe “The Place We Live” to a fancy network executive you just met in an elevator?

Dara: It’s everything you loved–or loved to hate—from Melrose Place and 90210 but condensed to five minutes, funny (on purpose) and totally absurd.

IFC: How would you describe “The Place We Live” to a drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?

Betsy: “Hey Todd, why don’t you have a sip of water. Also, I think you’ll love The Place We Live because everyone has issues…just like you, Todd.”

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IFC: When you were living through the ’90s, did you think it was television’s golden age or the pop culture apocalypse?


Betsy: I wasn’t sure I knew what it was, I just knew I loved it!


Dara: Same. Was just happy that my parents let me watch. But looking back, the ’90s honored The Teen. And for that, it’s the golden age of pop culture. 

IFC: Which ’90s shows did you mine for the series, and why?

Betsy: Melrose and 90210 for the most part. If you watch an episode of either of those shows you’ll see they’re a comedic gold mine. In one single episode, they cover serious crimes, drug problems, sex and working in a law firm and/or gallery, all while being young, hot and skinny.


Dara: And almost any series we were watching in the ’90s, Full House, Saved By the Bell, My So Called Life has very similar themes, archetypes and really stupid-intense drama. We took from a lot of places. 

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IFC: How would you describe each of the show’s characters in terms of their ’90s TV stereotype?

Dara: Autumn (Sunita Mani) is the femme fatale. Robin (Dara Katz) is the book worm (because she wears glasses). Candace (Betsy Kenney) is Corey’s twin and gives great advice and has really great hair. Corey (Casey Jost) is the boy next door/popular guy. Candace and Corey’s parents decided to live in a car so the gang can live in their house. 
Lee (Jonathan Braylock) is the jock.

IFC: Why do you think the world is ready for this series?

Dara: Because everyone’s feeling major ’90s nostalgia right now, and this is that, on steroids while also being a totally new, silly thing.

Delight in the whole season of The Place We Live right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib. It’ll take you back in all the right ways.