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.

Horrorfest 2014 Presents: Prom Night (1980, Paul Lynch)


From the eerie opening flashback to the suspenseful last act, Prom Night is a well made early 1980s slasher that is another quality entry in the subgenre. Long before slasher movies fell into parody and tired cliches Jamie Lee Curtis made a couple of them after doing the first two Halloween films. She was a great scream queen and here she plays a girl who is still dealing with her sister’s death years earlier. Also her father is Leslie Nielsen and prom night is approaching. The stage has been set for terror and mayhem.

Unlike later slasher films this one has a lower death count and the first kill doesn’t even happen until much later in the film. Prom Night takes its time building up the chills and thrills while also keeping the audience guessing who the killer could be. After all that’s part of the fun in a movie like this. Well that and the disco scenes which have some pretty radical music. This film feels more like a 1970s one to me although it is campy at times. I much prefer smart slasher films such as this one even if I also enjoy the dumb ones.

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