Since the dawn of movies, filmmakers have been finding ways to make us run in terror from adorable critters. Sometimes it works, creating classics like Cujo, airing on IFC this Wednesday, March 23rd in honor of National Puppy Day. Sometimes the results are more cuddly than bone-chilling. But either way, these beasts are more in the mood for blood than kibble. Take a look at some aww-dorable animals you probably won’t be posting on your “OMG CUTE!” Pinterest page.
10. The Killer Rabbit of Caerbannog from Monty Python and the Holy Grail
No need to soil your armor, no matter how scared you are. As long as you don’t get too close, The Killer Rabbit of Caerbannog is just a harmless little fuzzball. Just ignore all those skeletons, and focus on his wiggling pink nose and itsy bitsy paws. What a cutie! It’s only if you get up close that, well, things can go a little awry. And even then, what’s the worst that could happen? Just a flesh wound at the most. Few ferocious killers are cuter than this little bunny rabbit, who just happens to treats humans like the walking carrots they are.
9. Ben the Rat from Willard
Okay, sure, maybe Ben did lead a horde of rats to devour the one man who ever showed them kindness. But if you can get past those tiny details, just look at that little bugger! All mushy fur and soft whiskers, Ben was an adorable lil’ pal before having to make some hard choices. Look, it ain’t easy out there for a rat when the whole world is conspiring to kill you. He really was a great friend there for awhile. Don’t believe us? Just ask Michael Jackson, whose 1972 ballad “Ben” served as the theme song for the film and celebrated the one-of-a-kind love between a boy and his rat.
8. The Dilophosaurus that killed Newman from Jurassic Park
Hello, Dilophosaurus. Hello, Newman. Just wanting to get the hell out of Jurassic Park and sell his illicitly gained dinosaur embryos, disgruntled programmer Dennis Nedry wasn’t really in the mood to make friends with this cute lil’ munchkin. Grateful not to come across one of the Dilophosaurus’ bigger friends, he tried a game of catch to distract the playful dino. Unfortunately, the only thing Big Dilo was looking to chase down was Dennis himself. But what a cute duo they made before Newman became lunch.
7. General Woundwort from Watership Down
As depicted in this dark animated adaptation of Richard Adams’ classic children’s novel, General Woundwort is a seriously bad dude. He maims cats and kills rivals, all in his singular pursuit of power. He’s not to be crossed. He will put you down. Oh, he’s also an adorable little bunny rabbit, with fluffy brown fur and a dark green eye. If he wasn’t an avowed mortal enemy of humans, we might just want to snuggle with him.
6. The Bear from Grizzly
The bear from the 1976 “animals gone wild” movie Grizzly is a bloodthirsty killing machine. But, much like Hannibal Lecter or Freddy Krueger, the actor portraying the beast was anything but. Teddy, an 11-foot-tall Kodiak bear, was brought in to play the murderous monster, and he proved to be the best part of this forgettable “Jaws on land” ripoff. In fact, Teddy wasn’t as interested in killing humans as he was in eating marshmallows. To get him to roar, the trainer would feed him a few, then hold another one in front of his face. The director would shoot as Teddy reached for the snack, and then add the roar later. A marshmallow-loving giant teddy bear who could rip your face off with one swipe of his claws? Now that’s adorable.
5. The Pussycats from Strays
What would you do if you moved into your dream house, only to find that a stray cat lived there? You’d probably welcome it into the family. And what if another showed up? And another? And another? And they tried to kill you? Okay, that’s when things get a little tricky. Still, this story of the original grumpy cats has an all-star cast of feline cuteness.
4. The Bunnies from Night of the Lepus
If you’re in the mood for some giant, roided-out furballs with a taste for blood, you could do a lot worse that this 1972 schlock fest. But try as they might, casting a bunch of dopey bunnies as mutant killers terrorizing a small town doesn’t exactly work. You can cover a rabbit in fake blood, and shoot them on tiny sets to make them appear huge, but at the end of the day, their cute-sy faces and perky ears make them look more like they’re leaving chocolate eggs than killing your entire family. Silly Rabbit, murder is for humans and killer bears.
3. The Sheep from Black Sheep
Just because someone carried out scientific experiments on the poor sheep in this New Zealand horror comedy, turning them from docile vegetarians into blood thirsty carnivores, doesn’t mean it’s their fault. They crave human flesh. That’s all they know. Okay, their bite turns people into half-human/half-sheep monstrosities, but that’s just an unfortunate side effect. If you can get beyond all of that, these fluffballs are as soft as your favorite sweater, and just asking for a big hug. Just avoid their teeth. Can’t stress that enough.
2. The Monkey from Monkey Shines
Another poor animal experimented on by a mad scientist. If only these evil geniuses would do peer reviewed work inside the system, the animals could be left alone to just be adorable. This time master of horror George Romero brings us the story of a medically-altered helper monkey carrying out revenge for his paralyzed master. And the little fella does such a good job of it, too. Let’s hope he was getting lots of treats for every murder.
1. The Pooch from Cujo
Who’s a good boy? Okay, not Cujo. He’s a horrible boy. But it isn’t his fault. He had bat rabies! Why don’t you go get bat rabies, and see who you end up killing? Jeez. This B-movie, based on the Stephen King book, was a modest hit at the time, and has developed a cult following over time. One of the reasons why is Cujo himself. Sure, he’s a killing machine, but he rivals Hooch on the movie dog adorability scale. What could be cuter than a goofy Saint Bernard lathered in corn syrup, wagging his tail as he pretends to eat people? Maybe he was a good boy after all.
Celebrate National Puppy Day with Cujo on IFC!