Bite Me

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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Documentary Now! Robert Evans Mansion

The Reel Deal

Everything You Need To Know About “Mr. Runner Up” Inspiration Robert Evans

Watch the two-part finale of Documentary Now! this Wednesday at 10P on IFC.

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Photo Credit: Everett Collection

In its upcoming two-part finale, Documentary Now! spoofs the crown jewel of docs: The Kid Stays In The Picture. It’s the autobiographical documentary about Robert Evans, the unlikely Hollywood mogul whose mix of self-aggrandizing bravado, classic good looks and extremely circumstantial good luck took him from being a salesman to an actor to the head of Paramount Pictures.

If you’ve never seen the film, it’s totally worth it. Rotten Tomatoes agrees, with a staggeringly-high approval rating. Watch it before, or watch it after — doesn’t matter. You’ll appreciate it whenever.

In the meantime, here’s a bit of background that will come in handy…

Robert Loves Robert

Robert Evans desk

USA Films/Everett Collection

Robert Evans is the ultimate Robert Evans fan. The movie was narrated by Robert Evans and based on his memoir of the same name. It is totally unbiased.

He’s Kind Of A Big Deal

Robert Evans, Chinatown
Paramount Pictures

Evans produced some of Hollywood’s true classics: Chinatown, Rosemary’s Baby, The Godfather, Love Story…the list goes on. Totally legit and amazing movies.

He’s Also Kind Of A Joke

Wag The Dog
New Line Cinema

Evans has been parodied in TV shows and movies like Entourage and Wag The Dog. He is the quintessential “producer” you already have in your head.

So Wrong He’s Right

Robert Evans Slap
20th Century Film Corp

Robert Evans is a notorious narcissist whose love of self is so blind and sincere that it’s actually adorable.

There’s Something Missing

via Giphy

Entire sections of Robert Evans’ life are left out of the documentary. Maybe it’s because of timing. Maybe it’s because real life isn’t a tidy narrative. Who knows.

He Blew It

Spider coke

Evans had a pretty spectacular fall from grace. He was convicted of cocaine trafficking in the early 80’s, and was connected to a contract killing during the production of The Cotton Club. Oops.

Losing Is For Losers

Everett Collection
Everett Collection

In the Robert Evans mythology, all tragedies are just triumphs in disguise, and every story has a happy ending…for Robert Evans.

Bill Hader Jerry Wallach

With these simple facts in hand you are now prepared to thoroughly enjoy the two-part finale of Documentary Now! starting this Wednesday at 10/9c on IFC.

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Weird Roles

Anthony Michael Hall’s Most Rotten Movies

Catch Anthony Michael Hall in Weird Science on Friday at 8P on IFC.

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Photo Credit: Universal/Everett Collection

Anthony Michael Hall was the quintessential ’80s nerd. We love him in classics like The Breakfast Club and National Lampoon’s Vacation. But even the brainiest among us has his weak spots. In honor of Weird Science airing this Rotten Friday, we analyze Hall’s worst movies.

Weird Science (1985) 56%

A low point for John Hughes, Weird Science is way too wacky for its own good. Anthony Michael Hall’s Gary and his pal Wyatt (Ilan Mitchell-Smith) create the “perfect woman.” Supernatural chaos ensues. The film costars a young Bill Paxton, floppy disks, and a general disconnect from all reality.

The Caveman’s Valentine (2001) 46%

This ambitious drama starring Samuel L. Jackson couldn’t live up to its rich premise. Jackson plays Romulus, a Juilliard-educated, paranoid schizophrenic who lives in a cave. Hall co-stars as Bob, a rich man, who wants to see Romulus play the piano. The plot centers around Romulus investigating a murder, but with so much going on, the movie never quite finds its rhythm.

All About the Benjamins (2002) 30%

Ice Cube plays a bounty hunter who teams up with Mike Epps’ con man to catch diamond thieves. Hall plays Lil J, a small-time drug dealer. It’s definitely a role we’ve never seen Hall in, but overall the movie isn’t funny or original enough to justify its violence.

Freddy Got Fingered (2001) 11%

This showcase for Tom Green’s goofy gross-out comedy is often hailed as one of the worst films of all time. Green plays Gord, a 20-something slacker, who dreams of having his own animated series. Hall is Dave Davidson, a CEO of an animation studio who eventually helps Gord find success. Too bad Tom Green wasn’t so lucky.

Johnny Be Good (1988) 0%

Hall plays against type as Johnny Walker, a star quarterback. Robert Downey Jr. is his best friend and Uma Thurman plays his devoted girlfriend. Despite the support of a future A-list cast, the movie lacks central conflict and charm. Or, as TV Guide put it, “Johnny be worthless.” Ouch.

Catch the “Too Rotten to Miss” Weird Science this Friday at 8P on IFC.

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Season 6: Episode 1: Pickathon

Binge Fest

Portlandia Season 6 Now Available On DVD

The perfect addition to your locally-sourced, artisanal DVD collection.

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End of summer got you feeling like:

Portlandia Toni Screaming GIF

Ease into fall with Portlandia‘s sixth season. Relive the latest exploits of Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein’s cast of characters, including Doug and Claire’s poignant breakup, Lance’s foray into intellectual society, and the terrifying rampage of a tsukemen Noodle Monster! Plus, guest stars The Flaming Lips, Glenn Danzig, Louis C.K., Kevin Corrigan, Zoë Kravitz, and more stop by to experience what Portlandia is all about.

Pick up a copy of the DVD today, or watch full episodes and series extras now on IFC.com and the IFC app.

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