Well, I did it. I made it through five Animals Attacking Humans films. It’s 3:29. I got home about 20 minutes ago (if I started to write about muni in SF this thing would end up longer than my thesis) and I’m exhausted but so happy.
Phase IV = masterpiece
Unexpected, right? I thought this one was going to be fun, maybe a little uncomfortable because of large numbers of insects and so on, but relatively harmless. Wrong! This movie is fucking awesome!
Here’s the break down: Solar eclipse causes a mutation in the ants. Different species start communicating with each other and it turns out what they are communicating can be summed up as “death to farm animals…oh, and some humans.” So some Sean-Connery-Want-To-Be scientist ant specialist guy sets up what appears to be a billion dollar science project in the middle of the rural South West, bringing studly mathematician with him. While trying to kill ants with something called “Yellow,” they inadvertantly (and yet eerily nonchalauntly) kill some of their neighbors. Except this hottie young girl, who proceeds to develop some hard core sexual tension with the middle-aged mathematician. So, inexplicably, the ants turn out to be messin’ with all their heads and just want to make ant-people-hybrids with the old guy and his new teenage crush?
And, thing is, it sounds like a joke but it was genuinely creepy. Some well shot scenes with the (alien) ants and a really great show down between a praying mantis and an ant that’s fucking with the air conditioning (because when the temperature gets about 90, the computers won’t work. of course.)
Alligator = huge
If there’s one thing sewer alligators love to eat, it’s genetically mutated puppies. And the villains in this movie provide plenty of them as they scoop pets off the street and perform experimental surgeries on them, dumping their bodies in the sewer.
Another movie I thought was going to be awful (in that fun way) and actually ended up being genuinely scary (sometimes). The film seems to accomplish this by showing brief flashes of alligator jaws hiding in the background instead of constantly zeroing in on a prey.
From a generic standpoint, the most delightful thing for me to see in this film is the scientist babe that, obviously, does it with the hero after hours of alligator hunting.
Jaws = not so boring
This is the third time I’ve seen Jaws and I’m finally willing to admit that it’s not as boring as I originally thought. Sure, there are some slow parts that have far too much to do with big game hunting, but seeing it on the big screen with a really clear print was an experience I never thought I’d never have, and I’m actually glad I did. Plus, it’s sort of a no-brainer for an Animals Attacking Humans marathon.
Did you know Lee Marvin was first choice to play the Robert Shaw part? He said he’d “rather go fishing” (according to IMDB). Too bad, I think that would have been awesome. Lee Marvin is walking sex, even at that age.
Day of the Animals = Jaws on crack
About 5 minutes into Day of the Animals – around the 47th time Leslie Nielson called Christopher George “Hot Shot” – I realized this was a movie you have to let kind of wash over you until you get to the serious killing. As Jesse, the host of Midnite for Maniacs pointed out, DOTA was really concerned with character development. In other words: they took their fucking time.
But when it got there, this movie really shined. As some man at the silent film festival remarked on seeing the promotional poster for this event proclaimed: “Leslie Nielson wrestles a bear? And she’s topless!” (he meant Leslie Nielson, not the bear. See the funny part is that he thought Leslie was a woman…see!…eh…) Not only does Leslie Nielson wrestle a bear, but he spears someone, tries to rape the dead guy’s girlfriend, pushes a grandma, and punches her 12-year-old grandson, all amidst thunder and lightning.
Moral of the story? Take it easy on the hairspray, the ozone might deplete and every single animal (including Leslie Nielson) will want blood.
Piranha II: The Spawning = God awful
Weird tagline, because it actually wasn’t a vacation at all. There was a cop, his estranged wife, their kid, a military dude trying to clear his conscience, some dynamite fishermen, a doctor and some red-headed gold digger, two bitches on a house boat, and a whole bunch of other forgettable but really tan people that all seem to live on the island.
I hear tell (IMDB) that James Cameron, the credited director, had little to do with this movie. He was there for all the shooting, but this dude named Assonitis (sounds like an awful disease, har har) wouldn’t let him see the dailies. He also wasn’t allowed to have anything to do with editing. In fact, he snuck into the editing room and cut his own version, only to have Assonitis destroy it.
Despite all the drama, Cameron still says Piranha 2 is the best flying piranha movie ever made.
Let’s put it this way: I’d rather watching Piranha 2: The Spawning than Mama Mia any day.