Plot: The depletion of the ozone layer has become quite a concern, especially for those in higher altitudes. Nature guide Steve Buckner (Christopher George) is taking a troupe of campers on a two week excursion, most of whom aren’t experienced in the ways of the great outdoors. The group reaches the first campsite with minimal trouble, but once night comes, so does danger. As the campers sleep, a wolf runs into the site and attacks a woman, leaving her covered in blood. The next day, she and her husband head for a ranger station, while Buckner and the others push on. All the while, the group notices that the animals are acting strangely. When it becomes clear that the animals have gone on the offensive, the campers are forced into a life and death struggle. When the group splinters and heads in two different directions, both camps are under constant assault. With all of nature on the attack, can anyone survive this horrific scenario?
Entertainment Value: This is just a wildly entertaining movie, one that holds up well and is filled with memorable moments. The story is simple, as all of the animals (and some people) have turned aggressive because of ozone depletion. The movie might not have the scientific data right, but its heart is in the right place and regardless, it makes for a wild, always fun ride. The cast is rock solid across the board, but Leslie Nielsen stands out in a great performance. He just comes unhinged in Day of the Animals, rattling off nicknames, being a racist, murdering a man, trying to rape a woman, and yes, Leslie Nielsen goes toe to toe with a bear. His performance alone is reason enough to pick up this movie, but the rest of the cast is up to the task as well. The pace is perfect, the tension is there, and the animal attacks are so much fun. Day of the Animals is just an awesome movie, anyone into the horror genre or memorable films should check it out.
No naked chicks in this one. The violence is ever present however, with all of nature’s beasts on the offensive. Not satisfied with one or two kinds of animals, this movie rallies countless animals to hunt down the humans. You will see mountain lions, dogs, rats, snakes, bears, and assorted birds, including a real asshole of a hawk. I think the scene with Leslie Nielsen and the bear tops the rest, but the scene with the local lawman being mauled by rats was pretty awesome too. The blood level is moderate, with no hyper graphic gore on showcase. Even so, the animal attacks are so much fun, you won’t miss the gore much. Leslie Nielsen is a walking quote machine in this one, hotshot. He has a plethora of great lines and Ruth Roman has a fair amount as well, but Neilsen steals the show. A wild narrative, an unhinged performance from Nielsen, and non stop animal mayhem? Yeah, Day of the Animals is pretty insane.
Overall Insanity: 8/10
The Disc: Severin Films has revisited this wild ass movie with a new 2k scan of the original interpositive, which looks terrific. The print looks clean and allows the visuals to be sharp and detailed, while colors are warm and contrast is accurate here. This is a welcome improvement over previous versions, some of which looked more than solid, so that is a credit to Severin’s work here. Two audio commentaries are included, one with Susan Day George and Joe Cedar, the second with author Lee Gambin, so we have both first hand accounts and critical reaction tracks. You can also listen to Lynda Day George, stars Bobby Porter and Andrew Stevens, and animal wrangler Monty Cox in interviews, while author Stephen Thrower discusses the distributor’s career. The disc also includes an archival behind the scenes piece, alternate opening sequence, radio & tv spots, and the film’s trailer.