Human hunting

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"Hunting humans" redirects here. For the 2002 film, see Hunting Humans.

Human hunting refers to people hunting and killing humans for the purpose of revenge, pleasure, entertainment, or sustenance. In Hunting Humans: The Rise Of The Modern Multiple Murderer, Elliott Leyton, professor of anthropology at Memorial University in St. Johns, Newfoundland, debunks the myth of the killer-sophisticate and argues that modern serial killers seek out and kill victims who represent of a social class slightly above his (or to a lesser extent, her) own that has denied the killer the desired status. Some science fiction writers depicted fictional future or alternate history tyrannical regimes where the hunting of humans for sport is institutionalised (see The Sound of His Horn).

Though it is mostly known as a prevalent theme in fiction, there have been historical incidents of the practice being carried out during times of social upheaval.[1] A 2016 report by Daniel Wright, senior lecturer in tourism at the University of Central Lancashire, predicts the hunting of the poor will become a hobby of the superrich in a future plagued by economic and ecological disasters and overpopulation.[2]

Literature and written fiction[edit]


Numerous films have used the theme of human hunting as the basis or as a feature of their plot. The first film to ever feature it was the 1932 film The Most Dangerous Game, which is based on the Richard Edward Connell short story of the same name. Other films that deal with human hunting are:


  • American Dad! (2007) – In Season 3, Episode 1, "The Vacation Goo", The Smith family become castaways after getting separated from their cruise ship. They eventually wash up on an island and find themselves being hunted for sport by the rich people living there. After several harrowing days, the hunters find and shoot the entire family, at which point they realize the island is a theme park based on "The Most Dangerous Game" and the hunters were actually armed with paintball guns.[9]
  • Archer (2012) – In the episode "El Contador," a drug lord hunts Archer.
  • Bonanza (1965) – In the episode "The Far, Far Better Thing", "Little Joe" Cartwright is hunted by his former friend, Sharp Tongue.[10]
  • Bonanza (1973) – The final episode of the long-running western, titled "The Hunter" featured "Little" Joe Cartwright, played by Michael Landon, being hunted by a war-deranged ex-Army officer. The villain—who fancies himself as a hunter—steals Joe's supplies, water and wagon, then allows him to flee as his "prey," before later going after him to kill him. Joe is forced to rely on his wits and luck to defeat the villain.[11]
  • Challenge of the Superfriends (1978) – The episode "Revenge on Gorilla City" has several Superfriends members being hunted by members of the Legion of Doom with mind-controlled Gorillas.[12]
  • Charlie's Angels (1979) – In the episode "Angel Hunt", Kelly, Kris, and Tiffany are hunted.[13]
  • Cold Case (2004 and 2005) – The character of George Marks, played by John Billingsley in the episodes “Mind Hunters” (2004) [14] and “The Woods” (2005),[15] is shown hunting his victims in forests, much like the real-life serial killer Robert Hansen.
  • Combat! (1964) – The episode "The Hunter" features a German officer, a hunter in civilian life, who hunts the unarmed Sgt. Saunders.[16]
  • Community (2010) – In Season 2, Episode 2 "Accounting for Lawyers", Pierce tells the group that there is an island in Indonesia where you can hunt humans.[17]
  • Criminal Minds (2007) – The episode Open Season revolves around two brothers who kidnap people and release them in the Idaho wilderness and hunt them down with compound bows.[18]
  • The Critic (1994) – In the episode "Dial 'M' for Mother", in one of the running gags during the main credits, Jay's boss Duke calls him, inviting Jay to his ranch upon the news that Duke has received legal permission to hunt man. Jay is advised to bring "jogging shoes".[19]
  • CSI: Miami (2011) – In Season 9, Episode 16 "Hunting Ground", the CSI team discovers a club that hunts human prey.[20]
  • Dark Angel (2001) – In the episode "Pollo Loco", one of the characters hunts humans.[21]
  • Das Millionenspiel (1970) – a television movie version of Robert Sheckley's story The Prize of Peril in which the main character is hunted as part of a television reality show.[22]
  • Doctor Who (1976) – In the serial The Deadly Assassin the Doctor enters a virtual reality and is hunted by an assassin in a jungle environment.[23]
  • "Dogboys" (1998) – a television movie, is a prison drama in which a secret group of hunters hunts inmates.[24]
  • Dollhouse (2009) – The second episode of the first season, "The Target," sees main character Echo taken on a date by the client in the countryside, and then hunted by him.[25]
  • Futurama (2003) – During the episode "Spanish Fry,"[26] aliens abduct Fry and cut off this nose. The "human horn" is sold as an aphrodisiac because aliens confuse the nose with the male penis. Morbo the news monster states that human hunting is legal with a hunting license.
  • Get Smart (1966) – In the episode "Island of the Darned", Max and 99 are lured to a Caribbean island where they are hunted.[27]
  • Gilligan's Island (1967) – In the episode “The Hunter”, a deranged hunter comes to the island and tries to hunt down Gilligan.[28]
  • The Green Hornet (1966) – The episode "The Hunters and The Hunted" deals with a group of hunters who hunt criminals.[29]
  • Human Giant (2007) – In episode 106, “Kneel Before Zerg”, one sketch featured astronaut Cliff Tarpey (Rob Huebel) who created his own reality TV show called "Lunartics" in which he and two other astronauts capture people, hunt them down and kill them on the moon, for entertainment purposes.[30]
  • The Incredible Hulk (1979) – In the episode “The Snare”, David Banner is befriended by a rich man under false pretenses. Later, he is hunted until he hulks out and attacks his antagonist.[31]
  • I Spy (1968) – In the episode "The Name of the Game", Kelly and Scott are hunted.[32]
  • It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia (2008) – In the episode "Mac and Dennis: Manhunters", Mac and Dennis hunt Rickety Cricket.[33]
  • Johnny Bravo (2000) – In the episode “Virtual Johnny/Hold That Schmoe/Hunted”, the “Hunted” segment parodies Richard Connell's "The Most Dangerous Game".[34]
  • Kraft Suspense Theatre (1963) – The episode "The Hunt" deals with a sheriff who hunts escaped prisoners.[35]
  • Logan's Run (1977) – In the episode "Capture", Logan and Francis are hunted.[36]
  • Lone Star Hate (2008) – a documentary that examines a hate crime homicide where the victim had been hunted in the wilderness for some considerable time by his homophobic killers before being shot dead.[37]
  • Lost in Space (1967) – In the episode "Hunter's Moon", Professor John Robinson kills an alien hunter's prey, and the alien chooses to hunt Robinson instead.[38]
  • The Monkees (1967) – In the episode "Monkees Marooned", the Monkees are searching for treasure on an island and are hunted.[39]
  • Monsters vs. Aliens – In the episode "The Sorry Syndrome/Speak Not the Q Word", Sta'abi is offended by Susan's apologies to her, and hunts Susan as part of an alien ritual.[40]
  • The Outer Limits (1964) – In the episode "Fun and Games", a man and a woman are hunted by a male alien and female alien as part of a reality TV show for aliens.[41]
  • Parks and Recreation (2009) – In the episode "Citizen Knope," the perfurme magnate Dennis Feinstein advises Ben Wyatt to treat his servant "like you would some person in another country that you paid $25,000 to hunt." Ben indignantly asks what he's talking about, and he replies, "I'm talking about the best vacation of my life!"
  • Pumpkin Scissors (2006) – In the episode "War Relief Unit", the protagonists stop a viscount who used a prototype tank to hunt his subjects (and later the protagonists) for sport
  • Renegade (1994) – The episode "Thrill Kill" features convicts being hunted for fun/as target practice by novice/wannabe assassins.[42]
  • Savages (1974) – A television film based on the book Deathwatch by Robb White[43]
  • The Simpsons (2005) – The episode "Treehouse of Horror XVI" featured a section which also parodies Richard Connell's "The Most Dangerous Game".[44]
  • Sliders (1996) – In the episode "Rules of the Game", the heroes are caught in a televised game in which killer androids hunt humans, and players are allowed to kill each other at a certain point in the game.[45]
  • Sliders (1998) – In the episode "The Dying Fields", half human, half Kromagg soldiers hunt humans.[46]
  • Star Trek (1966) – in the episode "The Squire of Gothos", Captain Kirk volunteers as human prey in a hunt to the powerful alien Trelane in exchange for sparing his ship.
  • Star Trek (1967) – in the episode "Arena", Captain Kirk is forced to fight an alien who hunts him.[47]
  • Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (1993) – In the episode "Captive Pursuit", an alien is being pursued by alien hunters.[48]
  • Star Trek: Voyager – The Hirogen, aliens who hunt humans and other sentient beings, appear in several episodes that deal with human/sentient hunting to various degrees, including "Hunters" (1998),[49] "Prey" (1998),[50] "The Killing Game" (1998),[51] "Tsunkatse" (2000),[52] and "Flesh and Blood" (2000).[53]
  • Star Wars: Clone Wars (2011) – In the episode "Padawan Lost", a Trandoshan captures Ahsoka and hunts her,[54] and in the episode "Wookiee Hunt", Chewbacca is also hunted.[55]
  • Supernatural (2006) – The season one episode "The Benders" portrays a family of inbreeders whose generational pastime is the hunting and killing of the random people they kidnap. It is notably one of only two episodes where brother detectives, Sam and Dean Winchester, actually confront human "monsters", rather than the "supernatural" boogeymen, the derived namesake of the show.[56]
  • Torchwood (2006) – The episode entitled "Countrycide" of the BBC science fiction series deals with a group of cannibals who hunt/trap travellers through their village on a traditional ten-year cycle.[57]
  • Xena: Warrior Princess (2001) – In the sixth season episode "Dangerous Prey", Xena and Varia are hunted by a madman who has been kidnapping and hunting Amazons for sport, in search of a challenge worthy of his skills as a hunter.[58]

Video games[edit]

  • Suikoden IV contains a back scenario where aristocrats from the Scarlet Moon empire engaged in a cruel hobby dubbed "human-hunting".
  • Digital Devil Saga 2 has an antagonistic group known as the Karma Society that hunts other humans for food.
  • Deer Avenger and its sequels revolve around a bipedal, talking deer which hunts humans, especially hunters, in order to avenge his fellow deer which have been hunted.
  • The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion includes a quest (titled "Caught in the Hunt") which revolves around the player becoming the target of a human hunt.
  • Hitman: Contracts contains a level where the protagonist must rescue the potential victim of a human hunt from an English manor.
  • Manhunt revolves around a fictitious convicted murderer, James Earl Cash, who is forced to hunt other convicts as part of a snuff film.
  • Smash TV is based on a fictional TV game show in which the main character is put in an arena to fight waves of clones for money and prizes.
  • Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin and Castlevania: Harmony of Despair there is an enemy called Lerajie which is described as an evil hunter who uses ricocheting bullets to attack and kill humans from afar.


During the Spanish Civil War, a real-world version of this practice became popular among the sons of wealthy landowners. The hunts took place on horseback and targeted landless peasants as an extension of the White Terror. They were jokingly referred to as "Reforma agraria" referencing both the grave their quarry would eventually be dumped into, and the land reforms the lower classes had been attempting to attain.[1]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Hochschild, Adam (2016). Spain in Our Hearts. New York, New York: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. p. 37. ISBN 9780547973180. 
  2. ^ Hunting HUMANS set to become big business for the super rich within next 100 years Mirror. 21 June 2016.
  3. ^ Carlos_Lohan (10 December 1975). "La comtesse perverse (1974) - IMDb". IMDb. 
  4. ^ "The Dangerous Game (1953)". IMDb. 
  5. ^ kenrogers30-1 (10 July 1991). "Deadly Game (TV Movie 1991)". IMDb. 
  6. ^ BUTCHER-5 (25 April 1995). "Dominion (1995)". IMDb. 
  7. ^ jbarker71 (22 July 2003). "Hunting Humans (Video 2002)". IMDb. 
  8. ^ freydis-e ( (18 August 1988). "Lethal Woman (1988)". IMDb. 
  9. ^ Taylor Kingston (20 July 2014). ""American Dad!" The Vacation Goo (TV Episode 2007)". IMDb. 
  10. ^ ""Bonanza" The Far, Far Better Thing (TV Episode 1965)". IMDb. 
  11. ^ ""Bonanza" The Hunter (TV Episode 1973)". IMDb. 28 January 2013. 
  12. ^ ""Challenge of the Superfriends" Revenge on Gorilla City/The Anti-Matter Monster (TV Episode 1978)". IMDb. 
  13. ^ gridoon2013 (8 January 2013). ""Charlie's Angels" Angel Hunt (TV Episode 1979)". IMDb. 
  14. ^ hessdl (16 September 2009). ""Cold Case" Mind Hunters (TV Episode 2004)". IMDb. 
  15. ^ spbotten (1 August 2013). ""Cold Case" The Woods (TV Episode 2005)". IMDb. 
  16. ^ Jim Marchese (4 July 2014). ""Combat!" The Hunter (TV Episode 1964)". IMDb. 
  17. ^ "Community (TV Series 2009– )". IMDb. 
  18. ^ ""Criminal Minds" Open Season (TV Episode 2007)". IMDb. 
  19. ^ ""The Critic" Dial 'M' for Mother (TV Episode 1994)". IMDb. 
  20. ^ ccthemovieman-1 (23 April 2012). ""CSI: Miami" Hunting Ground (TV Episode 2011)". IMDb. 
  21. ^ ""Dark Angel" Pollo Loco (TV Episode 2001)". IMDb. 
  22. ^ "Das Millionenspiel (TV Movie 1970)". IMDb. 
  23. ^ Theo Robertson (30 October 2013). ""Doctor Who" The Deadly Assassin: Part One (TV Episode 1976)". IMDb. 
  24. ^ lastliberal (4 April 1998). "Dogboys (TV Movie 1998)". IMDb. 
  25. ^ teleiap (22 February 2009). ""Dollhouse" The Target (TV Episode 2009)". IMDb. 
  26. ^ Tweekums (19 August 2012). ""Futurama" Spanish Fry (TV Episode 2003)". IMDb. 
  27. ^ zsenorsock (15 October 2007). ""Get Smart" Island of the Darned (TV Episode 1966)". IMDb. 
  28. ^ ""Gilligan's Island" The Hunter (TV Episode 1967)". IMDb. 
  29. ^ ""The Green Hornet" The Hunters and the Hunted (TV Episode 1966)". IMDb. 
  30. ^ ""Human Giant" Kneel Before Zerg (TV Episode 2007)". IMDb. 
  31. ^ Anton Cvetan (Noxtan1324) (9 November 2011). ""The Incredible Hulk" The Snare (TV Episode 1979)". IMDb. 
  32. ^ ""I Spy" The Name of the Game (TV Episode 1968)". IMDb. 
  33. ^ ""It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia" Mac and Dennis: Manhunters (TV Episode 2008)". IMDb. 
  34. ^ ""Johnny Bravo" Virtual Johnny/Hold That Schmoe/Hunted (TV Episode 2000)". IMDb. 
  35. ^ Jay Raskin (24 April 2010). ""Kraft Suspense Theatre" The Hunt (TV Episode 1963)". IMDb. 
  36. ^ ""Logan's Run" Capture (TV Episode 1977)". IMDb. 
  37. ^ Nekkedguns (27 June 1998). "Lone Star Hate (1998)". IMDb. 
  38. ^ StuOz (25 July 2011). ""Lost in Space" Hunter's Moon (TV Episode 1967)". IMDb. 
  39. ^ ""The Monkees" Monkees Marooned (TV Episode 1967)". IMDb. 14 January 2014. 
  40. ^ ""Monsters vs. Aliens" The Sorry Syndrome/Speak Not the Q Word (TV Episode 2013)". IMDb. 
  41. ^ boxwriter2008 (23 December 2011). ""The Outer Limits" Fun and Games (TV Episode 1964)". IMDb. 
  42. ^ ""Renegade" Thrill Kill (TV Episode 1994)". IMDb. 
  43. ^ helpless_dancer (11 September 1974). "Savages (TV Movie 1974)". IMDb. 
  44. ^ Atomic_Peace (12 September 2012). ""The Simpsons" Treehouse of Horror XVI (TV Episode 2005)". IMDb. 
  45. ^ ""Sliders" Rules of the Game (TV Episode 1996)". IMDb. 
  46. ^ lisawea (6 January 2008). ""Sliders" The Dying Fields (TV Episode 1998)". IMDb. 
  47. ^ bkoganbing (17 January 2015). ""Star Trek" Arena (TV Episode 1967)". IMDb. 
  48. ^ mstomaso (17 February 2008). ""Star Trek: Deep Space Nine" Captive Pursuit (TV Episode 1993)". IMDb. 
  49. ^ XweAponX (6 October 2013). ""Star Trek: Voyager" Hunters (TV Episode 1998)". IMDb. 
  50. ^ Tweekums (2 February 2010). ""Star Trek: Voyager" Prey (TV Episode 1998)". IMDb. 
  51. ^ planktonrules (23 February 2015). ""Star Trek: Voyager" The Killing Game: Part 1 (TV Episode 1998)". IMDb. 
  52. ^ planktonrules (2 March 2015). ""Star Trek: Voyager" Tsunkatse (TV Episode 2000)". IMDb. 
  53. ^ planktonrules (7 March 2015). ""Star Trek: Voyager" Flesh and Blood (TV Episode 2000)". IMDb. 
  54. ^ ""Star Wars: The Clone Wars" Padawan Lost (TV Episode 2011)". IMDb. 
  55. ^ Chris (26 March 2011). ""Star Wars: The Clone Wars" Wookiee Hunt (TV Episode 2011)". IMDb. 
  56. ^ Claudio Carvalho (22 December 2006). ""Supernatural" The Benders (TV Episode 2006)". IMDb. 
  57. ^ sinceverona (29 August 2009). ""Torchwood" Countrycide (TV Episode 2006)". IMDb. 
  58. ^ ""Xena: Warrior Princess" Dangerous Prey (TV Episode 2001)". IMDb.