In celebration of Alligator (1980) finally getting a 4K/Blu-ray release this week courtesy of Shout! Factory, I thought I’d pay tribute to my favorite killer crocodilians on the Silver Screen. Of the twenty-three living species of this ancient Order of reptiles, it’s no surprise that its largest members – alligators and crocodiles – are popular choices for “Man vs Wild” films. This is likely due to their reputation of occasionally killing folks off-camera as well but is their notoriety justified? Well, it depends on where you live. Last year there was one alleged human fatality by an alligator and an estimated one thousand by crocodiles. Even if you don’t share an environment with these apex predators, and have zero chance of encountering one outside a zoo, the movie industry’s got you covered. And here are ten of my favorites in no particular ranking…
Last month, Prophecy (1979) finally made its way to Blu-ray thanks to the good people at SHOUT/Scream Factory in honor of the film’s 40th Anniversary. Despite my already owning a copy on DVD, I anxiously ordered a copy – mostly for the “extras.” I’ve talked about my love for this film before and, despite it being chided by critics (it currently sits at 27% on Rotten Tomatoes) I think it’s a solid monster movie with a great cast and an old school effects. During one of my vintage horror paperback hunts, I managed to find a copy of the film’s novelization. Since both the book and the screenplay were written by David Seltzer (author of “The Omen”) I didn’t expect there to be much deviation between the two stories. Considering how many times I’ve seen the movie, however, I was eager to learn any further insights the book may bring. But before I get things rolling, I do have to warn anyone who hasn’t seen the movie or book (or read my previous “Book vs Movie” post on The FOG) this blog is loaded with SPOILERS.
Imagine the world without animals. So far as we Daves are concerned, it’d be a pretty dismal place. Animals bring beauty and diversity to the planet while many enrich our lives individually as members of our own family (I hesitate to use the word “pets” as I’m pretty sure my cat, Felix, actually owns me). That’s not to say all of Earth’s creatures are loved equally, of course. Some, such as bats, bugs, and snakes, often inspire anxiety versus appreciation but, regardless of whether these are rational or irrational phobias, Hollywood is always there to tap into our innate fear of nature and we filmgoers can’t seem to get enough. The “Man vs Animal” horror subgenre has always been one of my personal favorites and I discussed them back in 2010 before doing a follow up the year after that. In both of those posts, I highlighted some of my favorite animal attack films (at the time) but now, thanks to a fantastic new book by Vanessa Morgan, you can read more about many of those along with a great deal more!
The 2013 film BIG ASS SPIDER! has everything going against it. When I first saw that this film was available for sale on DVD and Blu-ray all I could think was, “Great, another SyFy Channel crapfest movie of the week!” Sure there are favorable reviews on the back of the box but anyone can write anything they want on these boxes and to be honest, I haven’t heard of one of the listed reviewers. Granted, it was also an “official selection” at the 2013 SXSW Film Festival but what exactly does “official selection” mean and what the hell is the SXSW Film Festival? When I found a Blu-ray copy for $10 I thought to myself, “OK, I will give it a try” and boy am I glad I did. This movie is hilarious and a lot of fun to watch.
Just recently I was checking out a favorite website of mine, DREAD CENTRAL, and they made mention of a book that really interested me. I have always been a huge fan of movie guides, especially those that concentrate on one type of movie, as opposed to an all-encompassing volume covering all types of movies. This particular book also struck a nerve because it specifically covered one of my all time favorite types of movies, the man vs. nature film. This type of film is no stranger to Terror From Beyond The Daves; in fact to date we have done two When Animals Attack blogs covering man vs. nature films. The first can be seen HERE and the second one HERE. Finally there is also a very well book covering these very same films!
The legendary JAWS, is one film that many of us horror (and non-horror) fans can watch over and over again. It’s the original Hollywood “blockbuster” as well as the very root of our fear of the ocean and its most infamous predator, the great white shark. JAWS not only dredged up our anxieties of the man-eating fish but inadvertently created a legion of conservationists (whose fear turned to fascination) in its turbulent wake. Even in today’s CGI world, with new killer shark films being released almost monthly, JAWS not only stands the test of time but remains the undisputed champion. The film has seen many successful releases & upgrades on home video over the years, along with some fantastic documentaries detailing the arduous journey a young Steven Spielberg made while creating this film. But if you’ve only seen Hollywood’s version of what was taking place beyond the cameras, then you’ve only heard half the story…
Terror from Beyond the Daves is pleased to announce the re-release (and expansion) of the ULTIMATE behind the scenes book, “Jaws: Memories from Martha’s Vineyard” (Titan Books).