ECO-HORROR | Offscreen
In the real world, most of us feel quite secure about humanity's place at the top of the food chain. Yet there is no shortage of films reminding us what tasty snacks we might be for other predators. Violent pushback from the animal kingdom was one of the most common motifs in the ecological horror film wave of the 1970s. It was the era of not just the Great White Shark and other copycats that made the world's beaches hazardous to health, but of other species of invertebrates, arthropods and mammalia - from the microscopic to the gigantic - launching themselves at mankind's throat as revenge for our trespassing, pollution or destruction of their habitats. The protagonists of Frogs are not only confronted by the frogs of the title, but also by an unlikely coalition of other amphibians and reptiles. And a walk through the vast forest in Prophecy proves to be anything but a picnic with an array of ecological freaks of nature lurking in the vicinity.
Ray Milland plays a bigoted southern patriarch who insists on celebrating Independence Day, even as members of his family and staff are killed off, one by one, by the deadly reptiles, amphibians and arthropods invading his Florida estate as payback for his polluting the swamp with pesticides. Nature is healing!
Lumberjacks go missing in a New England forest. Local tribes blame the vengeful spirit of the woods, while a visiting environmentalist blames pollution from a paper mill. Either way, there's a giant mutant bear-creature running amok, with the director of The Manchurian Candidate serving up plenty of B-movie carnage.