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

A scene from "Jaws"

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“Shakma” (1990)

“Dear lord. . . more simians.” That’s what “Planet of the Apes” star Roddy McDowall must’ve thought (along with “Well, at least I can afford to remodel the garage now”) when he signed on to star in this silly shocker in which a murderous baboon stalks the research facility that had once been its prison, killing off security guards and eventually going after a group of teenagers who are playing a sort of mix of Dungeons and Dragons and murder mystery dinner theatre. Pretty stupid as these things go, but at least it gives it the old college try — and really, the movie can’t help but score some points with both a title like that and a ridiculously redundant tagline (“The world’s most aggressive primate just got mad”). Christopher Atkins co-stars, leaving the nudity to the monkey as he dons a more extensive wardrobe than he did in “The Blue Lagoon.”

“The Swarm” (1978)

Irwin Allen, the “Master of Disaster” behind “The Poseidon Adventure” and “The Towering Inferno,” conjured up a bunch of killer insects for this often hilarious Bee-movie (ha!) in which an all-star cast — including Michael Caine, Katharine Ross, Richard Widmark, Richard Chamberlain, Olivia de Havilland, Ben Johnson, Lee Grant, Patty Duke, Slim Pickens, Fred MacMurray and even Henry Fonda (whew!) — tries really hard not to get stung as a lot of angry bees start buzzing around a small Texas town. Dumb stuff, but you can’t beat that “Cannonball Run”-style line-up; the film even managed to score an Oscar nomination for — of all things — Best Costume Design (hey, all those stars have to look good as they run, scream and swat at the damn things). Caine has said that this is the worst film he’s ever made, but he’s said that about a lot of his movies; also, check out de Havilland’s now-notorious moan at about 3:10 in the clip. The children!

“Tentacles” (1977)

Before he took on the killer bees of “The Swarm,” Henry Fonda was part of this horror film co-starring John Huston and Shelley Winters (huh?) in which a great white shark — er, sorry, a giant octopus — threatens to scare away the 10,000 tourists that make their way to Ocean Beach every summer. It’s actually all Fonda’s fault, as his company’s excavation of an underwater tunnel has inspired the beast to go on a man-eating (or at least man-squeezing) rampage; Huston eventually fights nature with nature by unleashing a bunch of killer whales on the horrible creature. You know you’d do the same thing.

“Them!” (1954)

“Them!” (fantastic title, you must admit) is one of the first “nuclear monster” movies and probably the first “big bug” film. Our fear of nuclear war manifests itself in the form of giant insects looking to make a meal out of the residents of a small Southwestern town; meanwhile, scientists try to figure out how to solve this little (big) problem whilst musing on the morality of the bomb tests that caused the whole mess in the first place. “Them!” is a decadent cinematic picnic lunch of silly dialogue, sillier acting and neat-o old-school (really old-school) special effects (which were nominated for an Oscar) — sit down and dig in, puny human.

“Wolfen” (1981)

A nifty New York fable based on a novel by Whitley Strieber (written before he gained international notoriety by claiming he was abducted by aliens), “Wolfen” spotlights a Native American legend about an advanced species of wolf that just so happens to be right above man on the food chain — and that’s starting to get a little fed up with all this “industrial revolution” stuff, particularly around Battery Park. Albert Finney plays the detective on the case of a recent series of animal attacks, which becomes quite the eye-opening endeavor for a jaded New Yorker who thinks he’s seen it all (especially when the beasts start crashing through panes of glass!). “Wolfen” is one of the earliest films to use a stylized visual effect to portray the subjective POV of a non-human character (making a sex scene between Finney and Diane Venora a rather unnerving sight); the technique was later adapted and expanded for “Predator.”

What’s your favorite animal attack moment? Tell us in the comments below or on Facebook and Twitter.

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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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