Day of the Animals, The

Tagged: Film

Film (1977; vt Something is Out There). Film Ventures International. Produced by Edward L Montoro. Directed by William Girdler. Written by William W Norton, Eleanor E Norton, and Edward L Montoro. Cast includes Michael Ansara (Daniel Santee), Christopher George, Lynda Day George and Leslie Nielsen. 97 minutes, cut to 95 minutes. Colour.

An increase in radiation reaching earth from the Sun due to ozone depletion makes all wildlife above five thousand feet go into a berserk killing frenzy. A hiking expedition in the Colorado Rocky Mountains is trapped, and has to struggle to survive while awaiting rescue. They split into two parties, one led by Steve Buckner (George) and the other by Paul Jenson (Nielsen), and try to descend as far as they can in the meantime. Buckner's love interest is Terri Marsh (George). By the conclusion, after attacks by a mountain lion, grizzly bear, wolves, assorted birds of prey and Jenson himself (driven mad by radiation exposure), roughly half of the hikers survive when rescue arrives in the form of the US Army. Meanwhile, the high-altitude radiation that initially maddened the animals eventually kills them. This seems to have been the first Horror in SF film to feature ozone depletion as a source of environmental catastrophe, if not of actual Climate Change. [GSt]

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