Day of the Animals
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|Day Of The Animals|
|Directed by||Wiliam Girdler|
|Produced by||Edward L. Montoro|
|Written by||Edward L. Montoro
Eleanor E. Norton
Lynda Day George
|Music by||Lalo Schifrin|
|Distributed by||Multicom Entertainment Group Inc. , Film Ventures International|
|Release date(s)||13 May 1977|
|Running time||97 minutes|
|Box office||$2.8 million|
The Day of the Animals is a 1977 American horror film thriller directed by William Girdler and based on a story written by Edward L. Montoro. Premiering on May 13, 1977, the movie reunited stars Christopher George and Richard Jaeckel, director Girdler and producer Montoro from the previous year's hit film Grizzly.
In 1978, Film Ventures International re-released the film under the title "Something Is Out There"
A battle for survival begins as a group of mountain hikers in Northern California encounter a chemically imbalanced forest. The recent depletion of the Earth's ozone layer causes the sun to shine powerful ultraviolet light carrying some kind of solar radiation that somehow causes all animals above the altitude of 5,000 feet to run amok and kill, which is very unfortunate for a group of hikers (including Christopher George, Lynda Day George, and Leslie Neilsen) who get dropped off up there by helicopter just before a quarantine is announced for all the surrounding towns. This has a dramatic effect on the rest of the nation, turning common household pets and pests into vicious attackers.
Over the course of the movie, multiple wild and dangerous animals stalk and attack the hikers, and eventually start picking them off. These include a Mountain Lion, a Grizzly Bear, a pack of Wolves and several Birds of Prey (Hawks, Falcons, Eagles and Owls).
One of the hikers, Paul Jenson (Leslie Neilsen) goes mad as he is one of the very few humans to be exposed to the solar radiation making all the animals mad, and he eventually attacks the group, killing one of them. He finally takes on a grizzly bear and is killed by a bite to the neck.
The others manage to get below the 5,000 foot "radiation zone" area until they are trapped by several German Shepherds in an isolated cabin. Two of the hikers are killed by the vicious canines and the last three of the group members escape on a raft in a nearby river. They are rescued the next day as they float down river to a Park Rangers station.
The next day, groups of U.S. Army troops, wearing radiation suits and armed with flame-throwers and various automatic weapons, arrive to secure the areas. By then almost all the animals that went mad are killed by the very same solar radiation that drove them mad in the first place. This implies that life for humans will return to normal fairly soon and the carnage will finally be over. At the end of the movie, a surviving hawk lunges at the screen just before the credits roll.
- Christopher George ... Steve Buckner: the main protagonist.
- Leslie Nielsen ... Paul Jenson: The main human antagonist.
- Lynda Day George ... Terry Marsh: Buckner's love interest.
- Richard Jaeckel ... Prof. Taylor MacGregor: Research scientist.
- Michael Ansara ... Daniel Santee
- Ruth Roman ... Mrs. Shirley Goodwyn
- Jon Cedar ... Frank Young
- Paul Mantee ... Roy Moore
- Walter Barnes ... Ranger Tucker
- Andrew Stevens ... Bob Denning
- Susan Backlinie ... Mandy Young
The grizzly bear is portrayed by the mother of Bart the Bear.
- Richard Nowell, Blood Money: A History of the First Teen Slasher Film Cycle Continuum, 2011 p 257