Horrorfest 2019 Presents: Day of the Animals (1977, William Girdler)


Unfortunately Day of the Animals is not as good as William Girdler’s other, more solid effort, Grizzly. However I still enjoyed certain aspects of this wonderfully dumb movie made at the height of the killer animal craze that all started with Jaws in 1975. One the main reasons to watch this hilariously bad film is to witness Leslie Nielsen hamming it up as the film’s racist, woman hating bad guy who ends up fighting a bear shirtless. Yes, you read that right: for some reason Leslie Nielsen loses his mind and decides that he is king of the forest, until a giant bear shows up and shows him who’s boss. However some of the animal kills are surprisingly good for a low budget horror film made in the 1970s.

Oh and Christopher and Lynda Day George are both likable main characters, so that helps. The reasons for nature being so angry are poorly explained, and I doubt in a year or so I will even recall watching this film. I did not hate Day of the Animals, but I didn’t like it, and so it exists in the collection of “Hey I saw that! I guess!” movies that I often see during the year.

The Dog Days…I Mean, Films..Of Summer


Inspired by Willow from Twitter. In no order:

Friday the 13th series

Dazed and Confused

The Sandlot

Jaws

George Washington

Heavyweights

Wet Hot American Summer

Terminator 2: Judgement Day 

Bottle Rocket

Do The Right Thing 

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 

The Graduate

Horrorfest 2014 Presents: Orca: The Killer Whale (1977, Michael Anderson)


Joe Bob Briggs’ commentary on this film is complete gold, and is far better than anything I could possibly write about this movie. In fact there is a good movie in here somewhere, however Orca is overall a mediocre at best Jaws rip off that fails hard because it journeys into self-parody. The film also has some of the most hilarious slow motion deaths in cinema history, as the angry killer whale has to rely on his victims to literally hang over the boat in order for him to grab them. Did I mention that the big angry whale is also seeking revenge? Does it matter that really such a thing isn’t possible? Nope. This is a movie so reality is suspended, however there is only so much that I can take before I start to laugh and write off what is happening onscreen. Case in point: the Orca manages to attack a power station, followed by it giving Richard Harris the death stare as he stands on land. Now that’s one intelligent pissed off animal. This film is literally if Free Willy’s mate was killed and he decided to go on an epic killing spree-in fact maybe Free Willy is really what would happen if Mr. Orca decided to befriend a kid instead of murdering people. But where would the fun be in that?

What’s even worse about this movie is that it wastes a good cast that includes besides Harris Charlotte Rampling (who is given very little to do whatsoever), Keenan Wynn, Bo Derek (before she became famous-what happens to her is one of the film’s highlights) Robert Carradine and a post One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest Will Sampson, who has some of the film’s less cringe worthy lines. Although I liked certain moments and I didn’t mind the film’s ridiculous plot I still cannot give this film a passing grade. And yes I must stress viewing Joe Bob Briggs’ MonsterVision commentary for this film because it is really quite humorous. I’m not sure why the 70s became so killer animal obsessed as Jaws wasn’t the earliest example, even if it did end up becoming the most famous and best of the bunch. Oh and for some reason this film has a score by the legendary Ennio Morricone. I hope he got paid really well for composing music for this turkey.

Horrorfest 2013 Presents: Ghoulies II (1988, Albert Band)


Unfortunately like many horror sequels this one is bad. I don’t even know why Ghoulies is a franchise in the first place seeing as the original was decent at best and it’s a pale Gremlins knockoff. Joe Dante ended his series while he was still ahead-too bad the creators of Ghoulies did not. Still there are some good moments in this movie and I’ll probably end up finishing the series up anyways just to be a completist. I must be a gluten for punishment.

I will say that the film has a pretty good setting: a down on its luck carnival under threat from the son of its owner. My problem with the main human villain is that he’s just not evil or sleazy enough for most of the movie. At first he just seems like someone trying to d his job until he goes all the mayor from Jaws and refuses to close the park after the danger becomes widespread. Most of the characters in this movie are thinly developed although that could be said of many movies that are still good. This film bounces from unfunny awful jokes to brutal not very scary violence.

Really though the biggest problem is the Ghoulies. I spent the entire movie wanting to squish some of them with lots of tissues, and calling an exterminator for the rest. The Gremlins have distinctive personalities and the Crites are wonderfully gruesome but the Ghoulies are boring. The first movie was enjoyable despite their presence. Skip this movie and watch a better creature feature.

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