Allan becomes a quadriplegic after getting hit by a truck while jogging. Ella, a genetically engineered monkey trained to fetch and assist him to live, obeys his every want. One thing the designers of Ella didn’t count on was her reaction to human emotion. Ella begins to respond to Allan’s underlying rage and frustration and would obey his every darkest wish. Her allegiance to him eventually gives way to obsession and then into savage jealousy, even as Alan is informed that his condition may be reversible.
Ella the monkey is a true screen villain. She is terrifying but has our sympathy because she is also a victim. She’s a victim of man, something almost all these killer animals will have in common.
For as small as spiders are they tend to scare people out of their wits more than anything. Maybe it is indeed their size that make them so frightening; its the ability to go undetected as they crawl around you or on you. And I’m sure you’ve all heard this one, we eat an average of four live spiders in our sleep each year. Indeed they can come and go as they please. Jeff Daniels and John Goodman are a lot of fun as an Arachnophobe and an exterminator. The lead tarantula carries his own, as he so effortlessly takes people out with his venomous bites. Arachnophobia has few special effects but doesn’t need them. The film plays more with the effect that spiders have on humans, and the fear we experience.
The Island of Dr. Moreau
This is the story of an eccentric scientist who has devoted his life to combining human and animal DNA to make a crossbreed being. Through this wrongful experimentation, he upsets the balance of nature and has created an island inhabited by creatures who think like humans but behave like animals. Their actions and instincts are curbed by the Doctor through electric shock devices embedded in their bodies; the creatures begin to realize what they are and who’s causing the pain. Its only a matter of time before Dr. Morues “children” revolt and take over the island.
There are three different versions of this chilling story, which originated from the novel written by H.G. Wells. The first film was made in 1933 and starred Bella Lugosi and was titled “The Island of Lost Souls.”
There was another made in 1996 starring Marlon Brando and Val Kilmer. My favorite is the 1977 version starring Burt Lancaster and Michael York. Why not see all three and decide which one thrills you the most.
An expedition to a remote part of the Congo in Africa turns deadly as the group of explorers, and diamond hunters, encounter a savage group of gorillas protecting the islands treasure. Congo was originally written as a novel by Michael Crichton, the same writer who brought us Jurassic Park.
The gorilla creatures stay in the shadows for a great part of the movie but the cast is fine along the way including a wonderfully obnoxious European Tim Curry, and the always solid Laura Linney. The payoff may not be as good as it could have been, the special effect make up dept created some pretty horrifying killer Animals. This film might appeal to you in two ways as it does me, as not only a favorite killer animal movie but as a bad movie you love.
Planet of the Apes
My favorite killer Animal Movie and probably my favorite movie of all time is The Planet of the Apes and its a frighteningly prophetic Masterpiece. An astronaut crew crash land on an unknown planet in the future. They have stumbled upon a society in which apes have evolved into the dominant species and humans have been subjugated into slavery. The apes are intelligent, militant and consider humans not only slaves but enemies for the way their ancestors treated apes.
Chilling and thought provoking with what may be the most memorable ending to a film, Taylor stumbling upon the wreckage of the statue of liberty and we finally find out what planet it is. Great acting, great makeup, great Killer Animal movie. Of course I am referring to the original 1968 version starring Roddey McDowall and Kim Hunter. Tim Burton made his own version in 2001. Although the costumes and make up were spectacular, the story and acting fell short.