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The 25 best animal attacks in movie history (with video)

A scene from "Jaws"

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Nature doesn’t always win, but it can sure put up a pretty good fight. Check out some of the best (or at least somewhat memorable) cinematic examples of beasts getting the better of man, from classic creature features like “Them!” to summer blockbusters like “Jaws” to uproarious B-movies like “Birdemic: Shock and Terror.”

“Alligator” (1980)

Perhaps the most harrowing (and ridiculous) scene in this crafty little horror comedy features a bunch of youngsters dressed up like pirates for Halloween forcing one of their pals to “walk the plank” of their swimming pool, wherein lurks the giant creature that has since burst forth from the Chicago sewers. The size of the monster constantly changes throughout this amusing creature feature, depending on the needs of the scene at hand; in this case, he’s small enough to not be noticed as he lurks about in the deep end, waiting for a kid-sized snack to drop in. “Jaws” kept people out of the ocean; “Alligator” had people thinking twice before they went for a night swim in their own backyard.

“Arachnophobia” (1990)

A movie that will make you sit n’ squirm even if you like spiders (and if you do, did your mom drop you on your head when you were a baby or something?), “Arachnophobia” chronicles the invasion of a newly discovered breed of Venezuelan spider with venom that causes near-instantaneous death to its victims, leaving an entomologist (Jeff Daniels) and an eccentric exterminator (John Goodman, channeling Bill Murray’s groundhog-hunting groundskeeper in Caddyshack) as small-town America’s last hope. Relatively low-key as these kinds of creature features go, but it still has its share of creepy-crawly moments that will have you gritting your teeth and maybe even covering your eyes — like this particularly infamous bathroom scene. Horrible!

“The Beyond” (1981)

Lucio Fulci’s mad-dog crazy (well, no more so than usual) horror opus is basically a collection of gore-filled murder sequences — sorry, totally awesome gore-filled murder sequences. It’s hard to pick what might be the “best” of the lot in The Beyond (the second film in Fulci’s unofficial “Gates of Hell” trilogy, between “City of the Living Dead” and “The House by the Cemetery”), though the most outrageous is definitely the one featuring some poor bastard getting eaten alive by. . . tarantulas. For, like, a really, really long time. As with pretty much any scene in pretty much any Fulci movie, it’s best if you just kind of throw your hands up in the air and yell, “Wheeeeee!!”

“Birdemic: Shock and Terror” (2008)

Writer-director James Nguyen’s pro-entrepreneurial romantic eco-thriller chronicles the blossoming love affair between software engineer Rod (Alan Bagh) and fashion model Nathalie (Whitney Moore) as they flip the bird to the recession with their youth and success. Uh oh… did someone mention “bird?” Wouldn’t you know it, the morning after Rod and Nathalie finally get physical (her in Victoria’s Secret underwear, him completely clothed, and the clock at 47 freakin’ minutes in), a bunch of CGI birds (courtesy of an illegally downloaded and outdated version of After Effects, probably) suddenly descend upon the city, terrorizing the two lovers and the members of the “Supporting Casts” (as the opening credits call them) as they dive-bomb everything below like kamikaze pilots and explode on impact (yes, explode). Watch this right now.

“The Birds” (1963)

Alfred Hitchcock is such “The Master” that he was able to direct a flock of birds to flap around and peck at Tippi Hedren and company in what at least one critic has referred to as the director’s “last flawless film.” The quiet ‘burg of Bodega Bay, California has become the target of a series of sudden and unexplained (’cause it’s cooler not to know the why of it) attacks by some of our former fine feathered friends, though it could be argued that Hedren’s goddess-like gorgeousness made them all go batshit (or is that birdshit?) insane; Hitchcock himself went on to become obsessed with the blonde beauty who reportedly never let him indulge his sexual desires. Brilliant in its sound design (which, every now and then, involves complete and total maddening silence), “The Birds” will have you anxiously looking to the skies (and playgrounds).

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The Best Of The Last

Portlandia Goes Out With A Bang

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The end is near. In mere days Portlandia wraps up its final season, and oh what a season it’s been. Lucky for you, you can watch the entire season right now right here and on the IFC app, including this free episode courtesy of Subaru.

But now, let’s take a moment to look back at some of the new classics Fred and Carrie have so thoughtfully bestowed upon us. (We’ll be looking back through tear-blurred eyes, but you do you.)

Couples Dinner

It’s not that being single sucks, it’s that you suck if you’re single.

Cancel it!

A sketch for anyone who has cancelled more appointments than they’ve kept. Which is everyone.

Forgotten America

This one’s a “Serial” killer…everything both right and wrong about true crime podcasts.

Wedding Planners

The only bad wedding is a boring wedding.

Disaster Hut

It’s only the end of the world if your doomsday kit doesn’t include rosé.

Catch up on Portlandia’s final episodes on demand and at

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Your Portlandia Personality Test

The New Portlandia Webseries Is Going Your Way

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Carrie and Fred understand that although we have so much in common, we’re each so beautifully unique and different. To help us navigate those differences, Portlandia has found an easy and honest way to embrace our special selves in the form of a progressive new traffic system: a specific lane for every kind of driver. It’s all in honor of the show’s 8th and final season, and it’s all presented by Subaru.

Ready to find out who you really are? Match your personality to a lane and hop on the expressway to self-understanding.

Lane 10: Trucks Piled With Junk

Your junk is falling out of your trunk. Shake a tail light, people — this lane is for you.

Lane 33: Twins

You’re like a Gemini, but waaaay more pedestrian. Maybe you and a friend just wear the same outfits a lot. Who cares, it’s just twinning enough to make you feel special.

Lane 27: Broken Windows

Bad luck follows you around and everyone knows it. Your proverbial seat is always damp from proverbial rain. Is this the universe telling you to swallow your pride? Yes.

Lane 69: Filthy Cars

You’re all about convenience. Getting your car washed while you drive is a no-brainer.

Lane 43: Newly Divorced Singles

It’s been a while since you’ve driven alone, and you don’t know the rules of the road anymore. What’s too fast? What’s too slow? Are you sending the right signals? Don’t worry, the breakdown lane is nearby if you need it.

Still can’t find a lane to match your personality? Check out all the videos here. And see the final season of Portlandia this spring on IFC.

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Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide

Hits from the '80s are on repeat all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC.

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GIFs via Giphy, Photos via The Everett Collection

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