by psychocosmic-1 | created - 07 Feb 2013 | updated - 12 Feb 2013 | Public

Classic animal terror films. They exist somewhere between horror, terror, disaster movies and science fiction. Despite its bad reputation we can easily say, that through the eyes of Today, many of these films deliver a sense of knowledge of how to create both suspense and warm characterization. Even if you don´t like some characters, you will find them at least amusing or fascinating, together with the very realistic shots of the animal threat it self!

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1. The Birds (1963)

PG-13 | 119 min | Drama, Horror, Mystery

87 Metascore

A wealthy San Francisco socialite pursues a potential boyfriend to a small Northern California town that slowly takes a turn for the bizarre when birds of all kinds suddenly begin to attack people.

Director: Alfred Hitchcock | Stars: Rod Taylor, Tippi Hedren, Jessica Tandy, Suzanne Pleshette

Votes: 152,548 | Gross: $11.40M

Not like any other Eco Horror Film, its´unexplained bird attacks transcends the mystery both to a single individuals´psychological dilemma and to a global fear of doomsday! USA

2. Willard (1971)

GP | 95 min | Horror, Sci-Fi

A social misfit uses his only friends, his pet rats, to exact revenge on his tormentors.

Director: Daniel Mann | Stars: Bruce Davison, Elsa Lanchester, Sondra Locke, Michael Dante

Votes: 3,093 | Gross: $19.22M

Not very scary, but with its´very special and moving story of the mocked and tricked young man´s revenge with rats, it initiates the wave of the subgenre for the 1970´s! USA

3. Sssssss (1973)

PG | 99 min | Horror, Sci-Fi

A college student becomes lab assistant to a scientist who is working on a serum that can transform humans into snakes.

Director: Bernard L. Kowalski | Stars: Strother Martin, Dirk Benedict, Heather Menzies-Urich, Richard B. Shull

Votes: 2,961


4. Phase IV (1974)

PG | 84 min | Horror, Sci-Fi, Thriller

Desert ants suddenly form a collective intelligence and begin to wage war on the desert inhabitants. It is up to two scientists and a stray girl they rescue from the ants to destroy them. ... See full summary »

Director: Saul Bass | Stars: Nigel Davenport, Michael Murphy, Lynne Frederick, Alan Gifford

Votes: 6,200


5. Jaws (1975)

PG | 124 min | Adventure, Drama, Thriller

87 Metascore

When a killer shark unleashes chaos on a beach resort, it's up to a local sheriff, a marine biologist, and an old seafarer to hunt the beast down.

Director: Steven Spielberg | Stars: Roy Scheider, Robert Shaw, Richard Dreyfuss, Lorraine Gary

Votes: 501,589 | Gross: $260.00M

As I remembered, the film that rose a wave of mass hysteria among beach lovers over the world. Spielberg got his first blockbuster with basically a drama of familyism, heroism and stupidity versus the unknown, which created a plot often copied in animal attack films ever since. USA

6. She sha shou (1974)

X | 99 min | Horror

A young man who has been beaten, abused, humiliated and laughed at all his life finds that he has an unusual empathy with snakes. He can talk to them and they understand him, and eventually... See full summary »

Director: Chih-Hung Kuei | Stars: Kwok-Leung Gan, Lin Lin Li, Chun Chen, Hao Chen

Votes: 266

Taking the plot from WILLARD, this time the underdog brings help from his collection of deadly snakes! A moving, but intensively sexy and violent Asian "animal-scare film" that delivers! Am titel: "KILLER SNAKES" Hong Kong

7. Grizzly (1976)

PG | 91 min | Adventure, Horror, Thriller

An eighteen-foot-tall grizzly bear terrorizes a state park, leaving it up to a Park Ranger to save the day.

Director: William Girdler | Stars: Christopher George, Andrew Prine, Richard Jaeckel, Joan McCall

Votes: 3,415

Urgent director William Girdler makes the quickest rip-off of JAWS, and succeeds making a blockbuster out of a super lowbudget flick about campers´ terror, a maniac Grizzly Bear, and it all works, thanks to sympathetic direction, beautiful locations and a great, huge and very real bear! USA

8. Squirm (1976)

PG | 92 min | Horror

A storm causes some power lines to break and touch the ground, drawing millions of man-eating worms out of the earth, and into town where they quickly start munching on the locals.

Director: Jeff Lieberman | Stars: Don Scardino, Patricia Pearcy, R.A. Dow, Jean Sullivan

Votes: 4,717

Funny, eerie, slimy and charming, this low budget fare takes us to the damp world of a Southern swamp community where broken electric wires into the ground causes mass reaction from the population of blood and earth worms alike! USA

9. The Food of the Gods (1976)

PG | 88 min | Adventure, Horror, Sci-Fi

A group of friends travel to a remote Canadian island to hunt, only to be attacked by giant killer animals which have populated the place.

Director: Bert I. Gordon | Stars: Marjoe Gortner, Pamela Franklin, Ralph Meeker, Jon Cypher

Votes: 3,110

After the cheap colossus movies in the 1950´s Bert I Gordon blossom in this version of HG Wells classic and first Eco science fiction story. Rather creepy and horrific, about the unknown substance which, mixed with food, creates gigantism in the offspring of animals in and around an island farm. USA

10. Empire of the Ants (1977)

PG | 89 min | Adventure, Horror, Sci-Fi

A con artist tries to sell bogus real estate deals in an area overrun by giant ants.

Director: Bert I. Gordon | Stars: Joan Collins, Robert Lansing, John David Carson, Albert Salmi

Votes: 3,877

A trashy Bert I Gordon film with enlarged ant shots, still it manages to inflict suspense as beauty Joan Collins and company flea through the forests on the island into a paranoid plot involving the horde of truck sized ants... USA

11. Kingdom of the Spiders (1977)

PG | 97 min | Horror, Sci-Fi

In rural Arizona, countless killer tarantulas are migrating through a farm town, killing every living thing in their path. The town's veterinarian will do everything in his power to survive the onslaught.

Director: John 'Bud' Cardos | Stars: William Shatner, Tiffany Bolling, Woody Strode, Lieux Dressler

Votes: 3,950 | Gross: $17.00M

William Schatner in his best 70´s thriller about an invasion of killer tarantulas. Surprisingly realistic, it manages to care so much for the characters, that when everything goes wrong, we are there, with them, as the spiders close in on the whole Arizona town. USA

12. Day of the Animals (1977)

PG | 97 min | Horror, Sci-Fi, Thriller

A battle for survival ensues after a group of hikers encounters a chemically imbalanced forest.

Director: William Girdler | Stars: Christopher George, Leslie Nielsen, Lynda Day George, Richard Jaeckel

Votes: 1,820

Girdler is back with the "real threat" theme involving the breakdown of the ozone layer and how the suns´ UV rays radiates into the brains of the inhabitants of a mountainous Natural Reserve. Not only the vultures and the hawks, the owls and the wolves, the rats, bears and cougars (puma), act strangely threatening, also witness Leslie Nielsen go berserk on his poor fellow campers! USA

13. Piranha (1978)

R | 94 min | Comedy, Horror, Sci-Fi

71 Metascore

When flesh-eating piranhas are accidentally released into a summer resort's rivers, the guests become their next meal.

Director: Joe Dante | Stars: Bradford Dillman, Heather Menzies-Urich, Kevin McCarthy, Keenan Wynn

Votes: 16,772 | Gross: $6.00M

Made quickly by director Dante, its probably the best and most original of all the JAWS rip-offs which involved water animals. Military experiments with Amazon sweet water piranhas creates even a threat in the salt water river system when the deadly killer fish escape! Inspiring, with great names like Bradford Dillman, Kevin McCarthy and Barbara Steele! USA

14. Prophecy (1979)

PG | 102 min | Horror, Sci-Fi, Thriller

A log company's waste mutates the environment, creating a giant killer bear-monster.

Director: John Frankenheimer | Stars: Talia Shire, Robert Foxworth, Armand Assante, Richard Dysart

Votes: 3,609 | Gross: $18.39M

A favorite of Stephen King, its plot manifests exactly what Eco Horror is all about: The exploitation and pollution of the wilderness creates creepy mutations in life forms. When a doctor and his wife try to solve the mystery in the Nature Reserve, it is not only in the salmon, the frogs or the native human population they meet the terror! Out there in the deep forest, an enormous bear monstrosity, is just waiting to kill everything that moves! From thriller master Frankenheimer! USA

15. Alligator (1980)

R | 91 min | Horror, Sci-Fi, Thriller

A baby alligator is flushed down a Chicago toilet and survives by eating discarded laboratory rats injected with growth hormones. The small reptile grows gigantic, escapes the city sewers, and goes on a rampage.

Director: Lewis Teague | Stars: Robert Forster, Robin Riker, Michael V. Gazzo, Dean Jagger

Votes: 9,266

The Urban legend of the gator down the toilet - that grows big in the sewers, gets its ultimate film version in this engaging tale with a little sci fi thrown in. Don´t miss the wonderfully nice creepy actor Sydney Lassick, who unknowingly feeds a monster in the sewers with test hormones. Well made and rapid paced. USA

16. Humanoids from the Deep (1980)

R | 80 min | Horror, Sci-Fi

Scientific experiments backfire and produce horrific mutations: half man, half fish, which terrorize a small fishing village by killing the men and raping the women.

Directors: Barbara Peeters, Jimmy T. Murakami | Stars: Doug McClure, Ann Turkel, Vic Morrow, Cindy Weintraub

Votes: 6,267

Director Barbara Peeters didnt like the added scenes of tits and nudity in her otherwise atmospheric and thrilling little low budget flick about mutations in the water near a river based town. 1950´s inspired Salmon Humanoids actually want to procreate with human females and does so in this film! Grotesque and fun! USA

17. The Day of the Triffids (1981– )

50 min | Horror, Sci-Fi, Thriller

When a comet blinds nearly everyone in the world, a genetically-engineered species of plant takes over.

Stars: John Duttine, Emma Relph, Maurice Colbourne, Jonathan Newth

Votes: 1,735

Wyndham´s classic science fiction novel about the terrible result of a beautiful meteor rain witnessed by billions on Earth. The morning after, most people find they have lost their sight, while a minority have to fight, not only other, hostile groups of seeing people, but also the deadly Triffids, a gene engineered plant that can move around, killing people with its poisonous stinger, before they devour them! Great unsurpassed TV version with fine characterizations! England

18. Cujo (1983)

R | 93 min | Horror, Thriller

57 Metascore

Cujo, a friendly St. Bernard, contracts rabies and conducts a reign of terror on a small American town.

Director: Lewis Teague | Stars: Dee Wallace, Daniel Hugh Kelly, Danny Pintauro, Christopher Stone

Votes: 33,686 | Gross: $21.20M

Can a film about one mad dog in one single spot be successful and entertaining? The answer is yes indeed! As many other animal attack movies we are drawn into the different characters and their issues, so that when weird things start to happen, we all are involved and in there, in the car, molested by a colossal and rabid furious dog outside, you feel helpless! By director of Alligator! USA

19. Wild beasts - Belve feroci (1984)

Unrated | 92 min | Horror

The water supply for a large city zoo becomes contaminated with PCP, and the animals go crazy and get loose.

Director: Franco Prosperi | Stars: Lorraine De Selle, John Aldrich, Ugo Bologna, Louisa Lloyd

Votes: 714

Italian movies from this period can be very nasty, violent and showing no concern of animals suffering, still, if you know about it and can take it, you are in for probably the creepiest and most realistic animal attack film ever! In a Mid Europe located Zoo, animals start behaving nervous. A strong drug has appearantly been distributed out into the drinking water of the beasts. For the only time in film history we can witness tigers, lions, hyaena and polarbear, rats and elephants running amok in the city at midnight! Powerful and scary! Italy

20. Razorback (1984)

R | 95 min | Horror, Thriller

A vicious wild boar terrorizes the Australian outback. The first victim is a small child who is killed. The child's granddad is brought to trial for killing the child but acquitted. The ... See full summary »

Director: Russell Mulcahy | Stars: Gregory Harrison, Arkie Whiteley, Bill Kerr, Chris Haywood

Votes: 4,981 | Gross: $0.15M


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