Halloween Horror: When Animals Attack

I love L.A. for so many reasons, but one of the primary ones is the Cinefamily.  Every night of the week they have some random, perfectly bizarre, and utterly unexpected movie offering, and you get to watch each film in the company of like-minded nerds!  If you live in L.A. you should certainly be a member, and if you just visit (like me) it should be on your to-do list.

For the entire month of October the Cinemfamily is celebrating the most obscure of horror films.  One night that sounds particularly intriguing is coming up on the 21st.  It is called “When Animals Attack,” and it feature a pretty amazing lineup – Willard, Wild Beasts, and Shakma.  

Willard stars Bruce Davison as an emotionally stunted, introverted almost-thirtysomething worn down from a humiliating relationship with his boss (Ernest Borgnine, in fine blustery sleazeball mode). Befriending a pair of intelligent rats, Willard soon bonds with the critters and their thousands of compatriots, without realizing he’s unleashing an army of terror he can’t rule – oh no!

The premise for Wild Beasts couldn’t be simpler: the water supply for a large city zoo becomes contaminated with PCP, and the animals get loose — all becoming unstoppable killing machines. What a grand ol’ time! This gory Italian animal rampage movie gleefully continues to up the insanity factor act by act, until action items like “commercial airliner crashing into murderous elephant” become the everyday reality. Amazing!

Remember hearing a few years ago about the California man whose pet chimp went ape, ripping off the guy’s face and testicles? Did it make you flinch, covering your own parts in sympathy? Get ready to flinch once again, for Shakma will swipe at your jewels in a bloodthirsty mania. Christopher Atkins (the deeply tanned star of The Blue Lagoon) and his friends hang out after-hours in their med school building, and end up having their throats ripped out by an angered, psychotic lab test baboon who hunts them down one by one, Alien-style. Horrifying!

Hopefully you are lucky enough to be able to attend this horrific triple feature.  But if like me you can’t, rent them all and watch what happens when animals are at their worst, just in time for Halloween.


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