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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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Thank Azaria

Best. Characters. Ever.

Our favorite Hank Azaria characters.

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GIFs via Giphy

Hank Azaria may well be the most prolific voice and character actor of our time. The work he’s done for The Simpsons alone has earned him a permanent place in the pop culture zeitgeist. And now he’s bringing another character to the mainstream: a washed-up sports announcer named Jim Brockmire, in the aptly titled new series Brockmire.

We’re looking forward to it. So much so that we want to look backward, too, with a short-but-sweet retrospective of some of Azaria’s important characters. Shall we begin?

Half The Recurring Simpsons Characters

He’s Comic Book Guy. He’s Chief Wiggum. He’s Apu. He’s Cletus. He’s Snake. He’s Superintendent Chalmers. He’s the Sea Captain. He’s Kurt “Can I Borrow A Feeling” Van Houten. He’s Professor Frink. He’s Carl. And he’s many more. But most importantly he’s Moe Szyslak, the staple character Azaria has voiced since his very first audition for The Simpsons.

Oh, and He’s Frank Grimes

For all the regular Simpsons characters Azaria has played over the years, his most brilliant performance may have been a one-off: Frank Grimes, the scrappy bootstrapper who worked tirelessly all his life for honest, incremental, and easily-undermined success. Azaria’s portrayal of this character was nuanced, emotional, and simply magical.

Patches O’Houlihan

Dodgeball is a “sport of violence, exclusion and degradation.” as Hank Azaria generously points out in his brief but crucial cameo in Dodgeball. That’s sage wisdom. Try applying his “five D’s” to your life on and off the court and enjoy the results.

Harold Zoid

Of Futurama fame. The crazy uncle of Dr. Zoidberg, Harold Zoid was once a lion (or lobster) of the silver screen until Smell-o-vision forced him into retirement.

Agador

The Birdcage was significant for many reasons, and the comic genius of Hank Azaria’s character “Agador” sits somewhere towards the top of that list. If you haven’t seen this movie, shame on you.

Gargamel

Nobody else could make a live-action Gargamel possible.

Ed Cochran

From Ray Donovan. Great character, great last name [editorial note: the author of this article may be bias].

Kahmunra, The Thinker, Abe Lincoln

All in the Night At The Museum: Battle Of The Smithsonian, a file that let Azaria flex his voice acting and live-action muscles in one fell swoop.

The Blue Raja

Mystery Men has everything, including a fatal case of Smash Mouth. Azaria’s iconic superhero makes the shortlist of redeemable qualities, though.

Dr. Huff

Huff put Azaria in a leading role, and it was good. So good that there is no good gif of it. Internet? More like Inter-not.

Learn more about Hank Azaria’s newest claim to fame right here, and don’t miss the premiere of Brockmire April 5 at 10P on IFC.

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Flame Out

Brockmire and Other Public Implosions

Brockmire Premieres April 5 at 10P on IFC.

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There’s less than a month until the Brockmire premiere, and to say we’re excited would be an insulting understatement. It’s not just that it stars Hank Azaria, who can do no wrong (and yes, that’s including Mystery Men, which is only cringeworthy because of Smash Mouth). It’s that the whole backstory of the titular character, Jim Brockmire, is the stuff of legends. A one-time iconic sportscaster who won the hearts of fans and players alike, he fell from grace after an unfortunate personal event triggered a seriously public meltdown. See for yourself in the NSFW Funny or Die digital short that spawned the IFC series:

See? NSFW and spectacularly catastrophic in a way that could almost be real. Which got us thinking: What are some real-life sports fails that have nothing to do with botched athletics and everything to do with going tragically off script? The internet is a dark and dirty place, friends, but these three examples are pretty special and mostly safe for work…

Disgruntled Sports Reporter

His co-anchor went offsides and he called it like he saw it.

Jim Rome vs Jim “Not Chris” Everett

You just don’t heckle a professional athlete when you’re within striking distance. Common sense.

Carl Lewis’s National Anthem

He killed it! As in murdered. It’s dead.

To see more moments just like these, we recommend spending a day in your pajamas combing through the muckiness of the internet. But to see something that’s Brockmire-level funny without having to clear your browser history, check out the sneak peeks and extras here.

Don’t miss the premiere of Brockmire April 5 at 10P on IFC.

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Mirror, Mirror

Portlandia Season 7 In Hindsight

Portlandia Season 7 Now Available Online and on the IFC App.

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Another season of Portlandia is behind us, and oh what a season it was. We laughed. We cried. And we chuckled uncomfortably while glancing nervously around the room. Like every season before it, the latest Portlandia has held a mirror up to ridiculousness of modern American life, but more than ever that same mirror has reflected our social reality in ways that are at once hysterical and sneakily thought-provoking. Here are just a few of the issues they tackled:

Nationalism

So long, America, Portland is out! And yes, the idea of Portland seceding is still less ludicrous than building a wall.

Men’s Rights

We all saw this coming. Exit gracefully, dudes.

Protests

Whatever you stand for, stand for it together. Or with at least one other person.

Free Love

No matter who we are or how we love, deep down we all have the ability to get stalky.

Social Status

Modern self-esteem basically hinges on likes, so this isn’t really a stretch at all.

These moments are just the tip of the iceberg, and much more can be found in the full seventh season of #Portlandia, available right now #online and on the #IFC app.

via GIPHY

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