Day of the Animals

A shocking vision of things to come...

Science Fiction Horror Thriller
97 min     5.22     1977     USA


The depletion of the earth's ozone layer causes animals above the altitude of 5000 feet to run amok, which is very unfortunate for a group of hikers who get dropped off up there by helicopter just before the quarantine is announced.


Wuchak wrote:
***What if animals went batty and attacked humans?*** Animals at high altitudes go crazy in the Sierra Nevada Mountains due to exposure to ultraviolet radiation, the result of depletion of the ozone layer. A dozen hikers regrettably get dropped off up there by helicopter just before the quarantine is announced. The backpackers are played by the likes of Christopher George (the guide), Leslie Nielsen (a boorish exec), Lynda Day George (an anchorwoman), Richard Jaeckel (a professor) and Michael Ansara (an AmerIndian guide). “Day of the Animals” (1977) is a nature-strikes-back flick cut from the same cloth as “The Birds” (1963), “Frogs” (1972) and “Grizzly” (1976). It was made by the director of the latter, William Girdler, who died at the age of 30 in early 1979 while scouting locations for his next film in the Philippines when his helicopter hit electrical lines. Although “Day” is superior to “Grizzly,” it’s not on the level of “The Birds.” The characters are dull except for those played by Nielsen, Ansara and George. It doesn’t help that Girdler doesn’t know how to photograph women, although he had the resources: blonde Susan Backlinie (Mandy) and brunette Kathleen Bracken (Beth). The first half is relatively tedious, but things pick up for the second and the animals are wonderful (hawks, vultures, cougars, snakes, rats and a bear). Speaking of the bear, Nielsen’s mad showdown with a bruin is a highlight, although the idea was lifted from the end of "Sands of the Kalahari" (1965). The film runs 1 hour, 37 minutes, and was shot in the Sierra Nevada Mountains near Long Barn, California, about 25 miles northwest of Yosemite National Park. GRADE: B-