Top 13 Killer Animal Flicks!

Sharks, dogs, rats, snakes, even earthworms. Any one of them (being big enough, or with enough of their friends) can kill you dead…quickly. The animal world is pretty much a bastard with big teeth and an insatiable appetite waiting to eat whatever lesser life form comes across its path. Piranha 3DD is the newest reminder of that.

Everyone loves their favorite pet and can’t get enough of happy little penguins or otters or other cute creatures, but the truth is animals can be simply brutal. Just keep that little fact in the back of your mind the next time you bend down to pet a strange dog. Snap! Goodbye nose. With that in mind, and with Piranha 3DD hitting the open waters, isn’t it only fitting that we would take a look back at the Top 13 Killer Animal Films of All Time?!?!

Of course we mustn’t forget our honorable mentions! Who could forget such great animalistic frights like Wolfen, Of Unknown Origin and Mulberry Street? Some great animal horror films have that element of humor that bring a whole different form of entertainment to the story like Sharktopus (a personal guilty pleasure) and Snakes on a Plane. But perhaps the most effective animal attack films are the ones that take place in the water, where we are at our most vulnerable, such as Rogue and Deep Blue Sea. But those are just the HMs! Now dig in (in no particular order…but honestly most of the better ones are near the end) to the Top 13!

animals13slids - Top 13 Killer Animal Flicks!
Piranha (1978)
Might as well start right here, the film that was the original inspiration for this new series of Piranha 3D films. Joe Dante directed this bastard child of Jaws that took the aquatic threat out of the ocean and put it into the river, thus expanding the number of people certain to be freaked out. For some reason whenever the government begins experimental weaponization of anything, calamity ensures and Operation: Razorteeth was no different. Let’s see…combine man-eating fish with government intervention. Bad idea. This horrifically bloody, edge-of-your-seat adventure is campy and fun and makes you think twice before dipping your tootsies in even the most serene bodies of water. Nom nom nom.

MORE 13 Killer Animal Flicks on the NEXT page!

What do you think?

Written by Steve Barton

You're such an inspiration for the ways that I will never, ever choose to be.


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  1. I just want to add an extra “hell yeah!” for Of Unknown Origin. It may have only gotten an Honorable Mention, but other than The Birds, it creeped me out more than just about anything else here. And I’ll second Foy’s praise for Bug. Love that flick!

    • I actually acquired the 1975 film Bug a few years back. I had received a Barnes and Noble gift card for Christmas and decided to forgo using it to purchase new literature for a change and instead add to the home video collection.

      As luck had it, I found the DVD’s of Bug and John Badham’s 1979 Dracula (the one with Frank Langella, which is still my favorite screen version of the tale to date) on sale at a discount right there on the shelf in the store. Sometimes the movie gods do deem to smile upon Cinemascribe.

      Bug is awesome. I think there’s a tendency to a degree to dismiss it out of hand as cheesy or a “so good it’s bad movie” because the F/X are dated and the premise seems wonky…..but it isn’t a bad movie at all. It’s a fairly smart movie with a deliberate pace that manages to be increasingly creepy as it progresses. Plus, Bradford Dillman is excellent as the scientist who begins experimenting with the insects.

      In an interesting, roundabout sort of “six degrees of asphyxiation” kind of way, Bug also connects to this list in that the man who directed it- Jeannot Szwarc -also directed the direct sequel to the number one film on this list.

      A side thought here for the good Doctor: : If you’re going with relative shlock like Anaconda based on the “entertainment value”, then why not go for it and toss in the 1970’s era stinker Night of the Lepus. Giant, killer bunny rabbits, man. It doesn’t even matter that the film is awful…that movie deserves a mention for the sheer fact that even attempting that premise took some sack.

  2. Any list that mentions Squirm is okay with me. Such an underrated flick. I’ll also second the love for Slugs and give an honorary shout out to Arachnophobia! That flick STILL makes me itchy!

  3. Some solid picks in there (Kong, Birds, Cujo, Jurassic, Jaws!) and a few of your own colourful personal favorites, it seems. And why not? 😉 Great list! And yes, Grizzy Man was terrifying BECAUSE it was real. Treadwell’s naivety of the situation only heightened this for me.

  4. I agree with alot of people here. do not agree with Anaconda and Lake Placid being on this list. should’ve been replaced with Razorback,PigHunt, Rogue or Grizzly

  5. I’ve seen almost all of these and I agree with this list!

    Kinda surprised Squirm is on there…. It’s probably one of the scariest films I’ve ever seen, simply coz the only thing in the world that I’m terrified of is worms, but the movie itself didn’t have enough gross-out moments to make it an entertaining fun old film.

    Jaws deserves the first spot in my book! I don’t think there’s any other film I like more than Jaws… It gets the number 1 spot on my movie list!

  6. It’s a hybrid killer animal/zombie movie, but Black Sheep has to be mentioned, as does Shark Attack 3.

    Also, it’s only partly a killer animal movie, but I think The Grey should be near the top of this list.

    • Lake Placid and Anaconda are stupid and atrocious and Eight Legged Freaks isn’t?! Can I have what you’re smoking? At least those first two deliver on the gory goods one would expect from a killer animal flick.

      • Eight Legged Freaks is intentionally stupid and at least creative while Anaconda and Lake Placid just stupid and moronic. Lake Placid is one of the most flaccid monster movies I’ve ever seen.

        • flaccid…uhhuhuhuh. :)I knew there’d be a lot of love for Grizzly Man. Thought about including some of those old Faces of Death animal attack victims too. Remember the police officer who got rolled by the croc or the snake bite victim. Yowza!

          • Grizzly Man is a weird inclusion. Why not include Fly Away Home at this rate? Or Babe?

  7. Grizzly Man? Are you fucking kidding me? That’s not a killer animal movie, it’s a stupid documentary on a moronic tree hugger who got what was coming to him.

  8. “How anyone can watch this film and not smile all the way through it is beyond me.”

    Allow me to introduce myself. I’m the that thought Anaconda sucked when he saw it opening weekend and still thinks its shitty. Never gotten the love for this one outside of Jon Voight’s performance.

    If King Kong and Jurassic Park makes the list then there’s no excuse omitting Them! Certainly belongs a best killer animal flick more than Anaconda or Lake Placid.

    An honorable mention that is mostly forgotten about today is Bug from 1974. AKA the cockroaches that make you burst into flames movie.

  9. Cool list. I especially like that Squirm was included. I dont ever hear too much about that film, but it was always one of My favorites. I think the croc from Eaten Alive shouldve been included even though it looks fake as hell. And even though He didnt kill anyone (except a rat) Church from Pet Sematary. Thats one creepy ass cat.

  10. um Doctor Gash? wheres “Rogue”? seriously that one was probably the best killer croc movie I have seen and one of the best australian horror films i have seen too

    also thank you for puting Kingdom of the Spiders on the List 🙂

    . . . what about the movie Arachnophobia

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