As far as I’m concerned, movies that feature enormous animals eating, dismembering, eviscerating, disembowling or otherwise destroying human beings is a recipe for success. And I’m talking big, super dangerous animals here, so take your Birds and Bats and Snakes on a Plane and shove ’em. Not all movies with this formula are mindless — anyone who’s read Moby Dick can tell you that the story runs much deeper than the quest to kill a whale — but even the cruddiest movies where oversized animals treat people like Rosie O’Donnell treats french fries is worth watching. After the jump, take a look at 10 movies where gigantic animals kill people. Sometimes it’s for food, and sometimes it’s for revenge, but whatever the reason, it friggin’ rules.
Jaws – Great White Shark
The most infamous – and deservedly so – of all “big animals that kill people” movies is Jaws, a movie so terrifying that it kept hundreds of thousands of people out of the water for fear they’d be ripped to shreds by a great white shark. From the very start, the great white completely overpowers its victims, dragging them through the water before finally swallowing them. Quint’s death was perhaps the most gruesome, as sliding into the shark’s enormous mouth made quite a mess, but the most poignant was the death of the boy on the raft.
Cujo – St. Bernard
Cujo, the big, friendly St. Bernard turned into a slobbering vehicle of death after being bitten by a rabid bat. The end of the film – where Donna and Tad are trapped inside their car while Cujo lurks nearby – is the scariest, as there’s no telling what the big, powerful canine will choose to do next. Man’s Best Friend, a movie about a giant Mastiff, followed a similar formula, but a rabid St. Bernard is scarier than a genetically engineered Mastiff any day.
Deep Blue Sea – Mako Sharks
Deep Blue Sea featured mako sharks, not great whites, and in real life, mako sharks are large, aggressive, incredibly fast, and responsible for attacks on humans. The makos in Deep Blue Sea, however, were genetically engineered to be larger than normal size and, as a result, their enlarged brains led to higher intelligence. Working together and strategizing, the makos are able to kill just about every human in the movie, often in spectacular, gory fashion. If you’ve seen Deep Blue Sea, then you know that the best death of all – and it isn’t even close – is that of Russell Franklin.
Alligator – Alligator
Alligator is one of my favorite movies of all time and is probably the movie responsible for my obsession with animal-on-human violence. A baby alligator named Ramon (yes, Ramon) is flushed down the toilet and survives in the sewers by feasting on genetically altered dogs. This causes Ramon to grow to a ridiculous size and eventually, he emerges from the sewers to eat anyone in his path. Cops, waitresses, and even children aren’t safe from the wrath of this humongous reptile.
Anaconda – Anaconda
The anaconda is rumored to have eaten people, and the snake in the movie Anaconda turns rumor into fact. I’m glad Ice Cube made it through the movie alive, but it’s a shame J-Lo survived as well. I’m guessing the snake would have had a hard time swallowing her ass anyway. The best part of the movie isn’t actually a killing or an eating, but when the anaconda regurgitates Jon Voight. Creepy.
Moby Dick – Sperm Whale
Herman Melville’s classic novel was (of course) turned into a movie, chronicalling the obsessive Captain Ahab and his quest to kill Moby Dick, the great white sperm whale. Sperm whales – the largest of all toothed whales – can be aggressive and dangerous, and Moby Dick was no exception. The leviathan easily made work of Ahab’s boats, splintering them into pieces and sending Ahab’s crew to their watery graves.
Orca – Killer Whale (Orca)
Unlike a lot of the other animals in this article, the killer whale in Orca looks to kill for revenge. After witnessing the death of his mate and his baby at the hands of Captain Nolan, the killer whale tracks and follows Nolan, intent on destroying him. Out in the water, man doesn’t stand a chance against a killer whale, a true apex predator that has been known to kill even great white sharks. When I was a kid, I lived in San Diego for awhile and twice got to meet and pet Shamu during the Sea World Killer Whale Show. Both times, I refused to put my hand in his mouth and scratch his tongue. I’d make the same decision were I given a third opportunity.
Them! – Ants
In Them!, a nest of ants is turned into an army of enormous insects thanks to some pretty substantial exposure to radiation. The movie, which was made in 1954, was one of the very first to feature oversized animals – in this case insects – as antagonists. Like the xenomorphs in Aliens, the flamethrower seems to be the most effective weapon against these oversized bugs.
King Kong – Ape
Even though Kong isn’t a mindless killing machine and actually possesses a personality and emotions, he doesn’t have much reservation about smashing fools that get all up in his face. In both the 1933 and 2005 versions of this movie, humans that are unfortunate to be around when Kong is pissed and rampaging often find themselves smashed, picked up and thrown, or, best of all, picked up and bitten in half. Even though I knew exactly how the 2005 version would end, I still found myself rooting for Kong to smash the attacking planes and escape New York City with Ann Darrow.
Jurassic Park – Tyrannosaurus Rex
Sure, Tyrannosaurs are extinct, but that doesn’t exclude them from this article. Velociraptors and Dilophosaurs claim victims of their own in Jurassic Park, but the Tyrannosaur is the real scene-stealer. In the original Jurassic Park, the T-Rex has only one human kill, but it’s a great one: he plucks a guy right off a toilet, shakes him around a bit, and then eats him. The T-Rex really seems to enjoy it, too.