Day of the Animals

1977

Horror / Sci-Fi / Thriller

0
Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Rotten 40%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Spilled 31%
IMDb Rating 5.3 10 2562

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Synopsis


Uploaded By: FREEMAN

Cast

Christopher George as Steve Buckner
Susan Backlinie as Mandy Young
Andrew Stevens as Bob Denning
Richard Jaeckel as Professor MacGregor

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by lee_eisenberg 6 / 10

Surely you can't expect Leslie Nielsen to wrestle a grizzly. He does, and no calling anyone Shirley.

Eco-horror was one of the notable genres of 1970s cinema. William Girdler's "Day of the Animals" is a prime example. It depicts ozone depletion causing all wildlife above 5,000 feet to turn against humans. Of course, the best scene is Leslie Nielsen - still a few years away from his career in comedy* - wrestling a grizzly. This is a movie that, ridiculous as it is, must have been really fun to film. The animals really look like some mean mothers.

Yes, it's one of the many silly exploitation flicks of the era. Totally enjoyable, I might add. Unfortunately, the director got killed in a helicopter crash in the Philippines less than a year after the release. Too bad.

Also starring Christopher George, Lynda Day George, Richard Jaeckel, Andrew Stevens (Stella Stevens's son) and Michael Ansara (Barbara Eden's former husband).

*As late as 1987, Nielsen co-starred in the dead serious "Nuts".

Reviewed by Woodyanders 8 / 10

A superior 70's revolt-of-nature fright feature

Man's foolish, environmentally unsound overuse of aerosol spray cans causes the ozone layer to deplete; this in turn makes all the animals in the High Sierras go totally crazy and become nastily aggressive, brutally assaulting and, yes, even killing numerous hapless homo sapiens. A motley bunch of campers led by macho expert trail guide Chris George get jumped by the assorted righteously ticked-off wildlife, who have declared open season on us unfortunate humans.

Directed with commendable assurance and competence by late, great seasoned 70's schlock movie maven William ("Abby," "Grizzly") Girdler, further enhanced by Bob Sorrentino's pretty, polished cinematography and Lalo Schifrin's eerie, understated score, "Day of the Animals" passes muster as a reasonably creepy, fast-paced, and hence way above average eco-fright item. The top-notch all-star junk picture cast includes Chris George's hot blonde wife Lynda Day, a nicely cast against type Richard Jaeckel as a nerdy, jolly, bespectacled outdoors loving scientist, Ruth Roman as a stressed-out single mom trying to bond with her estranged teenage son, Michael Ansara as a proud and dignified Native American, Andrew Stevens as some goofball young guy, Paul Mantee as a tough jock pro football player who's dying of cancer, Susan Backlinie (the sexy skinny-dipper who gets munched by the great white shark in "Jaws") as an early victim, Michelle ("Demon Seed") Stacy as a traumatized mute little girl who's rescued and protected by Jon Cedar, and, best of all, Leslie Nielsen, who gloriously overplays his ripe hammy part as a hateful racist advertising executive who goes completely bonkers (Leslie roughs up a young lady, impales Stevens with a tree branch, and even wrestles a bear during a raging thunderous storm!). One especially juicy animal attack occurs when a folksy small town sheriff gets pounced in his kitchen by cute, yet lethal rats. Overall, this baby sizes up as loads of highly diverting and entertaining low-budget drive-in horror fun.

Reviewed by BandSAboutMovies 7 / 10

AWESOME.

William Girder died in a helicopter crash while scouting locations in 1978. If that hadn't ended his life, who knows the heights of lunacy he would have achieved?

In just six years, he directed nine feature films - Asylum of Satan, The Get Man, Three on a Meathook, The Manitou, Sheba Baby, Project: Kill, the astonishing Abby, Grizzly and...Day of the Animals. If this movie is any indication, I wish that he had made many more films.

This had to have been the first movie about the loss of Earth's ozone layer. Who knew that it would drive everyone nuts, including animals? Certainly not the hikers in this tale who turn against one another and try to survive all of the animal assaults.

Steve Buckner (Christopher George, who is fighting with Michael Pataki and George Eastman for most appearances on this site) has a dozen or so hikers who are about to go to Sugar Meadow for a nature hike, even though Ranger Chico Tucker (former NFL player Walt Barnes) tells him that the animals have been acting strangely.

Along for this nature trail to hell are anthropologist Professor MacGregor (Richard Jaeckel, Grizzly), a married couple named Frank and Mandy Young (Jon Cedar, who in addition to being a recurring Nazi on Hogan's Heroes was also the co-star, co-screenwriter and associate producer of The Manitou and Susan Backlinie, the first victim in Jaws), rich Shirley Goodwyn (Ruth Roman from The Baby!), her son Johnny, teenage lovers Bob Dennins (Andrew Stevens, who was in the Night Eyes films) and Beth Hughes, a former pro football player dealing with cancer named Roy Moore, a magical Native American guide named Daniel Santee (Michael Ansara, Killer Kane from the 1980's Buck Rodgers series as well as the voice of Mr. Freeze), a television reporter named Terry Marsh (Lynda Day George, always ready to scream "BASTARDS!") and finally, a frenzied Leslie Neilsen in the role of his career as Paul Jenson, an ad executive who acts like every account guy I've ever had to deal with in my 24-year-long ad career.

Before you know it, wolves are attacking people in sleeping bags, vultures circle overhead, hawks knock women off cliffs, Leslie Nielsen goes beyond bonkers and kills a dude with a walking stick and threatens to assault women before wrestling a bear and getting his neck torn out), rats attack the sheriff who decides to eat before figure out how to deal with this emergency, dogs turn on the people they loved, rattlesnakes bute people and the military dons hazmats suits to deal with all of it.

If you haven't figured it out yet, this movie is stupid. And awesome. It's stupid awesome. And if you only know Nielsen from his later comedic roles, take a look at him in this movie. I love this movie. I don't care what you think of me.

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