Day of the Animals (1977)

   

Directed by: William Girdler

Written by:
Eleanor E. Morton & William W. Morton

Produced & Story by: Edward L. Montoro

Starring:

Christopher George .... Steve Buckner
Leslie Neilson .... Paul Jenson
Lynda Day George .... Terry Marsh
Richard Jaeckel .... Prof. Taylor MacGregor
Michael Ansara .... Daniel Santee
Ruth Roman .... Mrs. Shirley Goodwyn
Bobby Porter .... John Goodwyn
Jon Cedar .... Frank Young
Paul Mantee .... Roy Moore
Walter Barnes .... Ranger Tucker
Andrew Stevens .... Bob Dennings
Susan Backlinie .... Mandy Young
Michelle Stacy .... Little Girl

Release Date: Theatrical: May 13, 1977

*Images courtesy at:www.stomptokyo.com

 

Rating:

 

It is a hot summer and the ozone layer in the Earth causes animals above the altitude of 5000 feet to run amok and to kill.
A helicopter drops off a group of tourists led by a ranger named Steve Buckner (Christopher George) during this incident and this time they are learning about survival as they are being chased by hawks, tigers and other wild animals.
They all end of getting lost with very little food.
Some of them separate to find a way back as one of the people are viciously tricked by a nasty and crazy man named Paul Jenson (Leslie Neilson) who claims that there's a helicopter nearby to the mountain area next to a watchtower to make it back to safe grounds but it makes their adventure more deadly who chose to follow him.
However the animals run amok in the small town near the mountains as well with people turning up dead attacked by dogs, rats and rattlesnakes
.

 

There's a good beginning of the film exposing wild animals on the top of a rocky mountain looking around when the opening credits start to occur as this looked perfectly creepy since they don't look pleasant at all.
A nice shocking moment with a coyote attacking one of the hikers while sleeping which looked very intense and suspenseful wondering if this will go to the point in a murderous rage here. It looked very fast while spotting everything here.
There's a scene which looks nicely uplifting on people singing at a campfire as well as a good close up shot on both Steve Buckner and Daniel Santee having a real serious discussion on a situation which showed nice timing here. Plus with this moment there's a perfect discussion with Daniel Santee talking to Mrs. Shirley Goodwyn about her son and showing concern about their relationship in which this was a very strong and serious scene and well written in. It was nice to have this in the story adding good drama to everything.
A nice moment when we spot the main character's hiking up and we spot some vulture's swooping near a child named John which seemed to be a nice start off to a suspenseful flick as well as nice shots on the birds watching overhead. Plus good sunlight shining on everyone which looked perfectly hot too.
We spot a very disturbing situation with a couple named Bob Dennings and Beth Hughes struggling through the forest and the heat as well as great shots on hawks staring at them and they get scared that they are being stalked by them which draws in perfectly to the suspense here. Things seem more disturbing with Beth suffocating and acting too weak to move and losing her sanity which was powerful to watch all of this. Also perfect intense moments with the hawks attacking her which can be hard to watch. However there's a scene when she falls off a cliff and heading to the ground as the effects looked a bit cheap here. Again this was a low budgeter.
Nice intensity between the two main character's Steve and Paul Johnson on their dispute on who to follow which looked perfect on a peer pressuring situation as well as figuring out who is crazier along with spotting the naive one's following the wrong type to go another path. Good intensity on cetrain forceful situations with Paul driving Steve's anger out of him.
Plus we spot extremely disturbing situations with Paul acting abusive towards the people who followed him as this was done in a good psychological fashion and very believeable by how we spot on what he tries to do towards someone adding suggestive rape scene's. This moment is for sure a powerful and intense one that is hard to turn your head away with all that is happening here.
A nice creepy moment with Ranger Tucker entering a rattling sound near a kitchen door and about to open it as it makes you cringe wondering what can possibly happen here. Plus we spot a shocking moment with rats eating his snack and then leaping out and attacking him which very much reminds you of those old fashioned type of horror flicks by how this was all done. It looked sliaghtly cheesy but at the same time pretty terrifying.
We have perfect and touching situations with Bob and a little girl trying to struggle through the madness as well as nice scenery on a deserted neighborhood. Plus adding great firghts when we spot a dog watching them with clenched teeth as well as a vehicle with rattlesnakes which was perfectly put into the story.
Lots of great shots on others struggling against a band of german shepherd's inside a cabin which looked highly energised and terrifying with all the attacks that happen here making this look perfectly intense.
Plus another situation with a few people trying to reach a broken down helicopter while a bunch of coyote's try to lunge at them as this keeps you peeled wondering whether or not they'll make it in time.
Bottom line is that this is a
well done film and a nice look at the great outdoors with it's terror involved in it.
The film is extremely suspenseful and adventurous especially when you see the animals attacking people or finding the small town area deserted with people turning up dead due to being murdered by these animals. Made on a good budget for a b-film too. Very similar to a film titled Grizzly.

Everyone in this one does an impressive job. Christopher George (Steve Buckner) again plays a serious role and the hero in the film but still shows a great performance. Does a good job commanding others and really getting into a discussion on what to do next which looked very strong here. He also knew on how to soften up while talking to one of the main women in this flick and acting believeably charming here. Plus does a great job with his hotheaded aggressions too in a certain scene and was good with his physical blocking too really adding perfect characteristics throughout this a great deal.
Leslie Nielson (Paul Jenson) was terrific as an insane and nasty tourist as you just feel like hitting him and gets what he deserves in the end. He stands out the most in this film and was well remembered for it. Also comes across well whenever he acted sarcastic in certain situations coming across as a believeable wise ass. Also was perfect with his intensive rage along with acting perfectly violent too which shows off superbly too. Has a great growly voice whenever he was speaking aggressively.
Lynda Day
(Terry Marsh) seemed to pull off her role well as a journalist. She shows a believeable intelligence into her actions as well as having a real likeable personality into her part too. Plus does a perfect no nonsense appeal whever something dysfunctional happens and showing a good disgusting approach to an insane moment too. I really liked on what she did in this film showing alot of good energy and spunk into her part here. A shame she quit acting in the late 80's.
Michael Ansara (Daniel Santee) seemed to really know his craft playing a caring and wise one in the film. Showed off terrifically as another one showing a no nonsense attitude especially when it came to sarcasm in which he showed a perfect focus to all of this. Plus does well when he has a serious discussion on someone's child showing a perfect cincenr with his speaking and acting believeably sympathetic. He for sure shows off a believeable straight forward and caring type of person. One of the best actors in this film I found.
Ruth Roman
(Mrs. Shirley Goodwyn) seemed to stand out perfectly as a dimwitted and nagging mother to her child. However, her energy at times needed to pick up. Does a good job with her hyped type of speaking and believeable when she is getting on your nerves to what she does here. She for sure stood out as one of those types that is hard to please and not making clever choices. Does a nice job with her emotional behavior while having a serious discussion in one scene which shows a nice softness to her attitude too.
Bobby Porter (John Goodwyn) certainly pulls off his charm as a kid in the film getting into mischief as well as doing well with his hyperactive behavior too. Plus shows it off nicely when he is overwhelmed while being nagged at. He seemed to study this part fairly well and deserves a good pat on the back for his efforts here. He later on became a full time stunt man for shows.
Andrew Stevens
(Bob Dennings) had a real effective supporting role in which he can be well remembered for his part in it. Does a nice job with his insane aggressions while struggling to survive showing a perfect high intensity here. Also does well trying to get it together and trying to stay powerful as well as nearly losing it too which he studied real hard by portraying this which comes off superbly. Does a nice job getting emotional too which made you think that he was really like that on the shoot. He was a worthy character actor for sure.
Michelle Stacy (Little Girl) only appears quarter way through the flick but was worth mentioning in this film in which she was perfect by acting disturbed and silent showing a perfect expressionless look on her face. She also does a good job crying and running to someone or showing a perfect scared wide eyed expression when she spots some terror happening. She for sure was a great choice for this part in the film.

Nothing really gory which isn't necessary anyhow as it covers a good plot.
A woman named Mandy is clawed half to death by hawks.
A group of rats have bitten a forest rangers face which isn't too gruesome either but very creepy.

The music composed by Lalo Schifrin who does an impressive job with this film (Especially during the opening) along with good strong violin playing for it's time worked in countless other films. There's good metal tapping sounds along with high pitched flute playing too as this blends in well showing the great outdoors and the intensity within that's all happening here. Also good deep keyboard plunking sounds too which also works in well along with dark adventureous and suspenseful types of sounds throughout the story. All in all the music was superb for the story alltogether.

Paul Jenson: Hey, hot shot. We're out of food.
Steve Buckner: I know!
Paul Jenson: Well were is that food that is supposed to be around here?
Steve Buckner: It's up ahead.
Paul Jenson: You say.
Steve Buckner: That's right I say.
Paul Jenson: You here that everyone. Hot shot says there's food up ahead. That is if he is reading his map right. Well what the hell let's get going I'm hungry.
Steve Buckner: Okay Mr. Jenson. Get your ass in gear and let's go! .

Paul Jenson: If there's a God left up there to believe in. My father who art in heaven you've a made a jack ass out of me for years. Neville's God, that's the God I believe in! You see what you want you take. You take it! And I am going to do just that!

Tucker's Wife: Tucker, I don't like going down without you!

Tucker: Rats. Damn rats

Sam: God sent a plague down on us because we're just a bunch of no good fellers.

Daniel Santee: You know, when I was a boy, my father couldn't wait to get off the reservation. He even changed his name to Mr. White.