Blu-ray Review: Day of the Animals (1977)

May 15, 2021

Written by DanXIII

Daniel XIII; the result of an arcane ritual involving a King Diamond album, a box of Count Chocula, and a copy of Swank magazine, is a screenwriter, director, producer, actor, artist, and reviewer of fright flicks…Who hates ya baby?

Outdoors-man Steve Buckner (the ever-reliable Christopher George) treks into the mountains with a rando assortment of hikers comprised of TV actors, Georges wife Lynda (whom he also co-starred with in the absolutely sublime slasher, Pieces) and Leslie Neilson (eventually doing a pre-Airplane/Police Squad/Naked Gun heel turn… but more on that in a bit).
As science wouldn’t have it, the animals on that there mountain are going blood fuckin’ simple thanks to toxins from the sun’s radiation leaking through a hole in the ozone layer (but only those at 5000 feet elevation are affected)… but first the group must wander around and make with the small talk for a sight.
When the animals do begin their assault the group is left rather defenseless thanks to Steve’s bullshit rule about not carrying firearms into the woods… although to be fair, how would he guess that such a ludicrous series of events was about to go down?
As much as a threat as the wildlife is, shit turns ever more sour when Neilson, already a Kong-sized asshair of a man, falls victim to that revoltin’ radiation and turns into a murderous maniac as well!
Day of the Animals features some solid animal footage, a few effective attack sequences, and some gorgeous natural locales… but none of that is why you should watch this (even though that animal biz is probably why you picked this flick up in the first place).
The real star here is, by far the acting.  Everyone in this thing is trying to carve the largest slice of ham humanly possible, and there are some true contenders for the Cheese Crown, but Neilson far and away surpasses everyone; and whether he’s being a prize-winning dickus to everyone in his vicinity, constantly mentioning his advertising exec job, or tearing off his shirt to become a bare-chested rage-machine, he’s absolutely sublime in every inch of footage he appears in.
In case you are keeping score at home, the runner-up is Michael Andreas as the town sheriff who has rats literally thrown at him simulating what I’m sure the filmmakers assumed would be indescribable animal on human mayhem while getting a midnight snack. It is complete, side-splitting lunacy.
Once you catch your breath from all that glorious nonsense, you’ll find an ass-load of bonus content to dive into on this Severin Blu-ray release!
First up we get two audio commentaries; one courtesy of nature-run-amok movie expert Lee Gambin and the other featuring Evil Dead producing mainstay Scott Spiegel moderating a conversation with actors Lynda Day George and John Cedar, as well as author Stephen Thrower discussing the career of Day of the Animals‘ distributor, Edward L. Montoro.
Next comes a selection of interviews featuring actors Bobby Porter, Andrew Stevens, and Day George, as well as animal wrangler Monty Cox, followed by an archival “making of” featurette.
Last we get an alternate opening sequence (utilizing the picture’s original title of Something is Out There), radio spot, a trio of TV spots, and the film’s trailer.
I really can say nothing more than just buy this complete nonsense post fuckin’ haste!


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