Film: Day of the Animals

A movie for your shirtless-Leslie Nielsen-bear-wrestling needs.

There's no place to hide on... the Day of the Animals.

A 1977 nature horror film directed by William Girdler (Grizzly, The Manitou).

A group of people take a backpacking trip through some mountainous terrain. Their timing is rather unfortunate, since the ongoing depletion of ozone layer has exposed the animals to higher dozes of UV-radiation, which has driven them mad. "Mad" as in "they all target humans specifically".

This film has examples of:

  • Artistic License Biology: In what is almost the last line of dialogue in the entire movie, it's stated that a 'virus' caused all the homicidal behavior by the animals. Not many viruses affect raptors, bears, cougars, dogs, rats, wolves, tarantulas, rattlesnakes, and New York Ad Executives in the exact same way.
  • Attack of the Killer Whatever: All of nature. Or at least the one residing in elevated terrain.
  • Attempted Rape: Jenson, in his newfound alpha male fervor, decides to rape Beth since he "killed a man for her" and thus thinks he now owns her.
  • Bears Are Bad News: A bear makes a well timed appearance to stop Jenson raping Beth. He then tries to wrestle the bear, dying in the process.
  • The End... Or Is It?: The film ends with the eagle, that has seemingly been leading the animals, flying at the screen, suggesting that danger is not over yet.
  • Failed a Spot Check: During the first leg of the cast's journey, they consistently fail to notice the various dangerous animals that are watching them at close proximity.
  • Ghost Town: After an arduous journey out of the woods, Frank and the little girl who joined him on the way find the nearby town evacuated, with only animals and a couple of corpses in sight.
    • Also happens earlier when the campers find an abandoned and torn-apart camp with no sign whatever of the campers. This after encountering some oddly violent animals. They decide to stay there anyway.
  • Green Space Whale Aesop: Don't deplete the ozone layer or the extra solar radiation will mutate a virus and turn animals (and Leslie Nielsen) into homicidal maniacs.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: Jenson kills Beth's boyfriend by impaling him with his walking stick.
  • Jerkass: Even before driven over the edge by the hotter-than-usual sunlight, Jenson acts like a total dick to everyone.
    • Jerkass Has a Point: Painful though it is to admit it, if the group had backtracked when Jenson first suggested it, they might have all made it back to civilization safely without anyone becoming animal chow or turning on and raping/murdering someone else.
  • Left for Dead: Due to the relentless onslaught by a pack of dogs, two cast members are left for dead as the remaining ones flee for their lives.
  • The Nicknamer: Jenson refers to everyone by the nicknames he has given to them, "Hot Shot" for Buckner, "Kemosabe" for Santee, and so on.
  • No Ending: The remaining survivors all hide out in a grounded helicopter, raft downriver to escape some killer dogs, or hide in a pickup at the end — and the animals all conveniently drop dead from the "virus". Save for the evil eagle, that is.
  • Novelization: By Donald Porter.
  • Opening Scroll: The film opens with text that tells about the depletion of ozone layer, and how the events in the film are something "that might happen".
  • Reptiles Are Abhorrent: When Frank finally makes it into civilization, he runs into two cars filled with snakes, the second one leading to his death.
  • Savage Wolves: As the cast sleeps, a lone wolf suddenly attacks Mandy and scars her face badly. This forces her and her husband Frank to split up from the others to get to the local forest ranger station.
    • A much bigger pack chases three of the survivors into a grounded copter before they (the wolves, that is) just up and die.
  • Spiritual Successor: To William Girdler's previous film Grizzly, for sharing the similar location, plot, and some of the cast.
  • Walking Shirtless Scene: Jenson stops wearing a shirt when he and couple others split from the main group.
  • The X of Y