In Honour of Earth Day: A Look at Eco-Horror

Today is ūüĆŹ¬†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!

Cinematic Classics

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…

JawsJaws¬†(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!

severedSevered: 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 sheepBlack 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?