They are often cheesy, low budget, and poorly acted, I find Creature Features to be the most entertaining of all movie genres. Sometimes scary, and often hysterically funny (even if the laughs are unintended by the filmmakers), Killer Animal movies rarely let me down – I just love ’em.
A common thread in killer animal movies is that human intervention, either accidental or deliberate, creates some sort of mutation in an organism to alter it in a dangerous manner and the humans inevitably pay ultimate the price for it.
Here are five of my favorite Creature Features, but you may want to forget the popcorn, because cheese of this magnitude deserves wine and crackers!
“Night of the Lepus” is a 1972 movie about a well intentioned experiment to reduce breeding among rabbits which had been destroying crops goes horribly wrong. The bunnies grow to the size of vans and become flesh craving killers – while still breeding like rabbits. Giant homicidal rabbits overrun a small town and kill a bunch of people. What makes this film great is not only the footage of real live bunnies running in scaled down replicas of scenery to give the impression of hugeness, but also the gratuitous use of the fakest fake movie blood I have ever seen. I don’t think it was the filmmaker’s intention to be hilarious, but that was the end result. Good stuff.
“Them!” is a sci-fi classic, filmed in 1954 in black-and-white, about ants which have mutated to horrendous size due to radiation from nuclear testing and also have a penchant for slaying humans. The mega ants find their way to the sewer systems of Los Angeles.
“Alligator” is another fine movie which revolves around a city’s sewer system. This 1980 movie is about an Alligator named Ramon who was gotten as a baby to be a pet for a little girl. One day, in a fit of rage, the girl’s dad flushes poor Ramon down the toilet. Ramon the alligator survives his attempted murder, and grows up in the Chicago sewer system, feeding on improperly disposed bodies of dogs that had been experimented on in a laboratory. Due to his unusual diet, Ramon grows to dinosaur sized, and becomes a man-eater. I don’t blame him, if I had been treated so poorly when young and helpless, I’d probably be looking for some payback as well.
“Kaw” is about my all time favorite birds, ravens, and they are on a rampage. Clearly inspired by Alfred Hitchcock’s classic, “The Birds”, Kaw gives an interesting reason for why the Ravens have suddenly gone mad.
“Black Swarm” features wasps that have been genetically engineered and weaponized by the government. These nasty bugs get loose in an upstate New York town and turn their human victims into drones, or as I like to think of them, zombees. Robert England of Nightmare on Elm Street fame plays a scientist and “weird neighbor” who in my opinion is quite loveable.
Now these kinds of movies don’t typically generate rave reviews or Academy Awards, but I say, who are they to judge? Most film critics strike me as exactly the kind of snooty elitists who would make terrific prey for giant bunnies, ants, alligators, homicidal birds or hosts for insectile possession if you ask me.
Night of the Lepus DVD – Warner Bros.: WBshop.com – The Official Online Store of Warner Bros. Studios
Them! DVD – Warner Bros.: WBshop.com – The Official Online Store of Warner Bros. Studios
Watch Alligator Trailer – Online Video Guide – TV Guide.com
Kaw Movie Download – Kaw Movie
The Birds (1963) Movie Trailer, Review, Photos, Video Clips, Cast – Reelzchannel TV
Black Swarm – RHI Entertainment – RHI Entertainment