Today is 🌏 Earth Day (April 22), and in honour of the largest environmental event in the world, I’m sharing a list of my favourite eco-horror films. What better way to spread eco-awareness than to shock yourself with images of Mother Nature rising up against disrespectful humans and at times aggressively seeking retribution for the unwelcome manipulation of the natural world, or the mistreatment of its flora and fauna, the environment, and its resources?
In addition to the recent B-Horror films about zombie beavers and shark-nadoes, these are just a few others that I’ve found to be worthy of a good movie night — depending on your taste in cinema, you might get a kick out of these too!
King Kong (Merian C. Cooper, Ernest B. Schoedsack, 1933) – A film crew goes to a tropical island for an exotic location shoot and discovers a colossal giant gorilla who takes a shine to their female blonde star. (IMDB) — With Fay Wray (a Canadian, I’ll have you know)!
The Birds (Alfred Hitchcock, 1963) – A wealthy San Francisco socialite pursues a potential boyfriend to a small Northern California town that slowly takes a turn for the bizarre when birds of all kinds suddenly begin to attack people there in increasing numbers and with increasing viciousness. (IMBD) — Look out! Shield your eyes! Well, not for the whole movie…
Jaws (Steven Spielberg, 1975) – When a gigantic great white shark begins to menace the small island community of Amity, a police chief, a marine scientist and grizzled fisherman set out to stop it. (IMDB) — Um, obviously a must-see!
Piranha (Joe Dante, 1978) – When flesh-eating piranhas are accidentally released into a summer resort’s rivers, the guests become their next meal. (IMDB) — Since you’re already not going in the water after that last one… another one for some good summer fun!
Orca (Michael Anderson, 1977) – A hunter squares off against a killer whale seeking vengeance for the death of its mate.(IMDB) — Do a double-feature with Jaws!
Severed: Forest of the Dead (Carl Bessai, 2005) – A multi-national forestry company engages in genetic experimentation to increase logging yield in a remote section of forest. But the experimentation goes disastrously wrong, transforming a disparate group of loggers and environmental activists into the “infected” — ravenous, zombie-like creatures who prey upon the few terrified survivors while they attempt to understand and control the disaster… (IMDB) — Reminds me of that one episode of X-Files…
The Thaw (Mark A. Lewis, 2009) – A research expedition to the Arctic discovers that a melting polar ice cap has released a deadly prehistoric parasite. (IMBD) — Reminds me of that other episode of X-Files… Spooky…
Crazy But Good Fun
The Giant Gila Monster (Ray Kellog, 1959) – A giant lizard terrorizes a rural Texas community with a heroic teenager attempting to destroy the creature. (IMDB) — Gotta love the creative attempt here.
Jurassic Park (Steven Spielberg, 1993) – During a preview tour, a theme park suffers a major power breakdown that allows its cloned dinosaur exhibits to run amok. (IMDB) — A staple of any person’s childhood, no?
Mimic (Guillermo del Toro, 1997) – Three years ago, entomologist Dr. Susan Tyler genetically created an insect to kill cockroaches carrying a virulent disease. Now, the insects are out to destroy their only predator, mankind. (IMDB) — For the del Toro fans, of course.
Black Sheep (Jonathan King, 2006) – An experiment in genetic engineering turns harmless sheep into blood-thirsty killers that terrorize a sprawling New Zealand farm. (IMDB) — Because the bizarre deserves your attention too!
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Obviously, this is not an exhaustive list of all eco-horror films found in the history of cinema; just a handful of my own highlights. Which of your favourite eco-horror films would you add to this list?