Though killer animals in film have existed since the release of The Lost World in 1925, two of the first motion pictures to garner mainstream success with a "nature run amok" premise were The Birds, directed by Alfred Hitchcock and released in 1963; and Jaws, directed by Steven Spielberg and released in 1975. Following Jaws, numerous horror films of a similar narrative were produced, including Grizzly (1976), Piranha (1978), and Alligator (1980). Today, natural horror films are still produced, with varying tones, such as Birdemic: Shock and Terror (2008) and The Shallows (2016).
Alligator is a 1980 American horror film directed by Lewis Teague and written by John Sayles. It stars Robert Forster, Robin Riker and Michael V. Gazzo. It also includes an appearance by actress Sue Lyon in her last screen role to date.
Set in Chicago, the film follows a police officer and a reptile expert to track a giant murderous sewer alligator, flushed down the toilet years earlier that is attacking residents after escaping from the sewers.
The film received praise from critics for its intentional satirizing. A direct-to-video sequel was released in 1991, entitled Alligator II: The Mutation. Despite the title, this film shared no characters or actors with the original, and the plot was essentially a retread of the first film. A tabletop game based on the film was distributed by the Ideal Toy Company in 1980.Arachnicide
Arachnicide (also known as L9 Commando and Spiders) is a 2014 Italian made-for-television action horror film directed by Paolo Bertola and produced by Ruben Maria Soriquez.Avalanche Sharks
Avalanche Sharks is a 2014 Canadian made-for-television horror film directed by Scott Wheeler and written by Keith Shaw. The film stars Kate Nauta, Emily Addison, Alexander Mendeluk, Mika Brooks, and Jack Cullison.Cujo (film)
Cujo is a 1983 American horror film directed by Lewis Teague based on Stephen King's 1981 novel of the same name. It was written by Don Carlos Dunaway and Barbara Turner (using the pen name Lauren Currier), and starring Dee Wallace, Daniel Hugh Kelly and Danny Pintauro.
The film revolves around a rabid St. Bernard who traps a mother and her child inside their car without food or water during a heat wave, and their attempts to survive.
Despite receiving mixed reviews and being a modest success during its theatrical release, the film has gathered cult following in the years since its release. Another film adaptation was announced in 2015 and is currently in production.Day of the Animals
Day of the Animals is a 1977 American natural horror film directed by William Girdler and based on a story written by Edward L. Montoro. Premiering on May 13, 1977, the movie reunited stars Christopher George and Richard Jaeckel, director Girdler, and producer Montoro from the previous year's hit film Grizzly. Leslie Nielsen stars as the main human antagonist.
Day of the Animals tells the story of a psychosis brought on by depletion of the Earth's ozone layer. This madness affects all animals at high altitudes. A group of hapless hikers must survive the animal onslaught and make their way to safety, even as the psychosis turns them against each other.
In 1978, Film Ventures International re-released the film to theaters as Something Is Out There. Reviews on release were generally negative, but later commentators have been more favorable.Hamilton Invaders
The Hamilton's Invaders was a 1964 series of plastic toys of giant insect type monsters, toy soldiers and vehicles. The toyline was conceived and marketed by Remco on television during the early 1960s, inspired by the giant insect (see List of natural horror films) genre that were popular from the 1950s, that were in reruns on TV.A child could propel the giant insect toys via pull-string motors towards blue soldiers while counter-attacking with heavy motorized artillery and helicopters. Remco also produced a bug-eyed helmet and grenade pistol which the child could wear for total immersion in the play-acting scenario. It is not known how the name "Hamilton" was decided upon.
Parts to these playsets are rare, as the toyline was ended after a selling for a single season (the copyright on the toy packaging is 1964). It is believed that though popular with children, their mothers did not enjoy having moving giant insects in their home.Horror film
A horror film is a film that seeks to elicit fear. Initially inspired by literature from authors like Edgar Allan Poe, Bram Stoker, and Mary Shelley, horror has existed as a film genre for more than a century. The macabre and the supernatural are frequent themes. Horror may also overlap with the fantasy, supernatural fiction, and thriller genres.
Horror films often aim to evoke viewers' nightmares, fears, revulsions and terror of the unknown. Plots within the horror genre often involve the intrusion of an evil force, event, or personage into the everyday world. Prevalent elements include ghosts, extraterrestrials, vampires, werewolves, demons, Satanism, evil clowns, gore, torture, vicious animals, evil witches, monsters, zombies, cannibalism, psychopaths, natural, ecological or man-made disasters, and serial killers.Some sub-genres of horror film include low-budget horror, action horror, comedy horror, body horror, disaster horror, found footage, holiday horror, horror drama, psychological horror, science fiction horror, slasher, supernatural horror, gothic horror, natural horror, zombie horror, disaster films, first-person horror, and teen horror.Jaws (film)
Jaws is a 1975 American thriller film directed by Steven Spielberg and based on Peter Benchley's 1974 novel of the same name. In the film, a giant man-eating great white shark attacks beachgoers on Amity Island, a fictional New England summer resort town, prompting police chief Martin Brody (Roy Scheider) to hunt it with the help of a marine biologist (Richard Dreyfuss) and a professional shark hunter (Robert Shaw). Murray Hamilton plays the mayor, and Lorraine Gary portrays Brody's wife. The screenplay is credited to Benchley, who wrote the first drafts, and actor-writer Carl Gottlieb, who rewrote the script during principal photography.
Shot mostly on location on Martha's Vineyard in Massachusetts, Jaws had a troubled production, going over budget and past schedule. As the art department's mechanical sharks often malfunctioned, Spielberg decided to mostly suggest the shark's presence, employing an ominous and minimalistic theme created by composer John Williams to indicate its impending appearances. Spielberg and others have compared this suggestive approach to that of thriller director Alfred Hitchcock. Universal Pictures gave the film what was then an exceptionally wide release for a major studio picture, on over 450 screens, accompanied by an extensive marketing campaign with a heavy emphasis on television spots and tie-in merchandise.
Considered one of the greatest films ever made, Jaws was the prototypical summer blockbuster, with its release regarded as a watershed moment in motion picture history, and it won several awards for its music and editing. It became the highest-grossing film of all time until the release of Star Wars in 1977. Both films were pivotal in establishing the modern Hollywood business model, which revolves around high box-office returns from action and adventure pictures with simple high-concept premises released during the summer in thousands of theaters and heavily advertised. It was followed by three sequels, all without Spielberg or Benchley, and many imitative thrillers. In 2001, it was selected by the Library of Congress for preservation in the United States National Film Registry, being deemed "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant".List of eco-horror films
This is a list of eco-horror films. These are documentaries dealing with the possible disastrous ecological consequences of human activity. Also included are some natural horror films and other films in the horror genre whose plots include mention of ecological issues.List of insect documentaries
This list of insect documentaries includes both educational and scientific films about insects, as well as notable documentary television programs about insects. It excludes fictional accounts of insects, such as those in the science fiction eco-horror subgenre.Lists of horror films
This is a chronological list of horror films split by decade. Often there may be considerable overlap particularly between horror and other genres (including, action, thriller, and science fiction films); the list should attempt to document films which are more closely related to horror, even if they bend genres.Morelia (snake)
Morelia is a genus of large snakes in the family Pythonidae found in Indonesia, New Guinea, and throughout Australia. Currently, up to eight species are recognized.In general, these snakes are arboreal to semiarboreal, spending much of their lives in the forest canopy. Although exceptions occur, most attain adult lengths of 2–3 m (6.6–9.8 ft).Night of the Lepus
Night of the Lepus (also known as Rabbits) is a 1972 American science fiction horror thriller film based on the science fiction novel The Year of the Angry Rabbit (1964) by Russell Braddon. It concerns an infestation of mutated rabbits.
Production was made in 1972 and released theatrically on July 26th in that year. The film was the first science fiction work for producer A. C. Lyles and for director William F. Claxton, both of whom came from Western film backgrounds. Character actors from Westerns the pair had worked on were brought in to star in the Night of the Lepus, including Stuart Whitman, Janet Leigh, Rory Calhoun, and DeForest Kelley.
Shot in Arizona, Night of the Lepus used domestic rabbits filmed against miniature models and actors dressed in rabbit costumes for the attack scenes.
Before its release, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) renamed the film from its original name of Rabbits and avoided including rabbits in most promotional materials to try to keep the featured mutant creatures a secret. However, the studio itself broke the secret by issuing rabbit's foot-themed promotional materials before the release. Widely panned by critics for its premise, bad directing, stilted acting, and laughable special effects, the film's biggest failure was considered to be the inability to make the rabbits seem scary. Night of the Lepus has gained cult status for its poor quality. It was never released on VHS but was released on Region 1 DVD in October 2005 and on Blu-Ray in June of 2018.Orca (film)
Orca (also known as Orca: The Killer Whale) is a 1977 American disaster horror film directed by Michael Anderson and produced by Dino De Laurentiis, starring Richard Harris, Charlotte Rampling and Will Sampson. It is based on Arthur Herzog's novel of the same name. The film follows a male orca whale tracking down and getting revenge on a boat captain for killing the whale's pregnant mate and their unborn calf.
Reception towards the film was unfavorable by critics and audiences alike due to its similarities to Jaws, released two years prior. Upon release, the film received only minor theatrical success, but in recent years, the film has achieved a cult following among fans of the natural horror subgenre.Piranhaconda
Piranhaconda is an American science fiction film, premiered on June 16, 2012, on the Syfy Channel. It is directed by Jim Wynorski, produced by Roger Corman, and stars Michael Madsen, Rib Hillis, Rachel Hunter, and Terri Ivens.Q (film)
Q (a.k.a. The Winged Serpent and Q – The Winged Serpent) is a 1982 monster film written, produced and directed by Larry Cohen and starring Michael Moriarty, Candy Clark, David Carradine, and Richard Roundtree.Snow Shark
Snow Shark: Ancient Snow Beast is a 2012 American horror film written, directed and photographed by Sam Qualiana, and produced by Richard Chizmar, Marc Makowski, and Greg Lamberson. The film stars Qualiana alongside Michael O'Hare, Kathy Murphy, C. J. Qualiana, Jackey Hall and Andrew Elias. The film follows the residents of a small town who are terrorized by a prehistoric man-eating shark that can swim through snow.
Production on Snow Shark began in early 2011. The film uses practical effects rather than computer-generated imagery, and its budget was partially financed by a campaign on the crowdfunding website Indiegogo. The film, which was shot in Buffalo, New York, premiered at Dipson's Amherst Theatre on April 10, 2012, and received mixed reviews. The film was released on DVD by Independent Entertainment.Strays (1991 film)
Strays is a 1991 made-for-television horror film directed by John McPherson and starring Kathleen Quinlan and Timothy Busfield.Tarantula!
Tarantula! is a 1955 American black-and-white science fiction giant monster film from Universal-International, produced by William Alland, directed by Jack Arnold, that stars John Agar, Mara Corday, and Leo G. Carroll. The screenplay by Robert M. Fresco and Martin Berkeley was based on a story by Arnold, which was in turn inspired by Fresco's teleplay for the 1955 Science Fiction Theatre episode, "No Food for Thought", that Arnold also directed.
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