While idly watching TV this week you may seen some horrific and garish imagery juxtaposing bizarrely protruding boobs with the gaping, vacant fizzogs of some large and angry fish. This could possibly be because you’re into some seriously niche smut, but it’s more likely that you have, through no fault of your own, been exposed to the sensory assault that is the trailer for Piranha 3DD, which hits cinemas last week.
Piranha 3DD is a film which, as well as remaining dribblingly oblivious to the counter-intuitiveness of swelling a certain male appendage while showing you hordes of wild beasties which would love nothing more than to chew it off, also serves as an apposite reminder that, as far as cinema is concerned, animals are wankers.
In honour of this we’ve put together a list of ten of the best examples of cinematic animals with chips the sizes of blimps on whatever horrific protrusion passes for their vile, murdering shoulders. For each beast we’ve focused solely on the single film which best demonstrates its own particular brand of arseholery, and, in the cases of those films which swelled into tiresome franchises, we’ve stuck to the first entry. Remeber, as always, there may be spoilers. You have been warned.
Now, to task: dicks of the animal kingdom, we salute you:
Spielberg’s seminal masterclass in suspense became infamous for turning swimming pools of the mid-seventies quite brown – a fact which, one can only imagine, helped give the tagline ‘Don’t go in the water’ onion-like layers of subtext. The man-eating Great White attacked indiscriminately (unlike in the sequels, in which sharks had suddenly developed the requisite higher-cognitive functions to bear fairly complex grudges) and the knock-on effects of the maniacal terror the film perpetuated can still be felt today: yellow-bellied swim-pansies STILL won’t go in the water.
Death Toll: 5 (plus one dog)
Twat factor: Three Dappys out of five – Jaws enjoyed its killing, certainly, but it did nevertheless kill for food.
Frank Marshall’s hugely enjoyable horror/comedy takes those primal individual fears that arachnophobes have – spider in the shoe, spider in the cereal, spider in the shower, what if John Goodman was in my house – and ecstatically runs to the horizon with them. The General, the eight-legged leviathan brought back from the Amazon in the coffin of his first human victim, is a hissing, randy little shit, copping off with an American house spider to breed an army of soldiers, seemingly with the sole intention of perpetuating a scuttling form of world domination. At the film’s climax, when spider and Jeff Daniels reach stalemate, The General is happy to perish as long as he takes his human foe with him. What a dick.
Death Toll: 5, and one stupid bird.
Twat factor: Five Borrells out of five – no redeeming features whatsoever for this pubic little pillock.
In a one-on-one fight, human beats bird – this is simply a fact. Yes in Hitchcock’s eerie 1963 chiller the birds band together, creating an endless super-army of winged omni-knob, whose pecky japes quickly escalate into death, destruction, and, quite possibly, the end of the entire world. The special effects Hitchcock used to convey the scale of the threat still stand up remarkably well today (the epic final shot of the film coolly surveys millions of birds sitting. Watching), and the discovery of one poor wretch whose eyes have been plucked mercilessly from their skull remains truly shocking almost fifty years later. Watch The Birds and never again will you go to the seaside or Nelson’s Column without your trusty, beak-flattening knuckleduster.
Death toll: 3 certain deaths, but the ambiguous ending hints at a total birdy apocalypse.
Twat factor: 5 pairs of lenseless specs out of five – like all cowardly pricks the birds band together and, worse, go straight for the eyes.
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The giant croc in this zinging horror/comedy from Ally McBeal scribe David E. Kelley prowls the eerie depths of Michael Kane Lake (in a nice nod to the cockney daddy’s involvement in the execrable Jaws 4: The Revenge), feeding on cows, bears and, eventually and unforgivably, humans. One of the lake’s ancient, doddery residents took to feeding the beast only to react with surprise when he was eaten himself, and when the authorities begin to take an interest, said 30-foot toss-lizard discovers a disturbing penchant for biting people’s entire bodies off.
Death Toll: 3
Twat factor: Six Jedwards out of ten (3/5) – Again, this one killed for sustenance, but in chowing down on the one person who was trying to help him he showed his true colours as one ungrateful little shit.
Some might say that trekking into the deepest, darkest Amazon in search of the most giant of snakes is foolish. Not Paul Sarone, Jon Voight’s wild-eyed and preposterously unhinged snake hunter; a man whose gurning eventually becomes so wildly acrobatic that, if he ever eventually found the vast wriggler, you fear he’d be so overcome with joy he’d blast-jizz his kidneys right through its skull. That he and the team of documentary filmmakers he’s hijacked go seeking out the anaconda does go in the snake’s favour, yet the fact that it claimed ownership in the first place of a patch of jungle that, as with every patch of anything anywhere, clearly belongs to us humans, does not. Know your place, beast.
Death toll: 7
Twat factor: Two Range Rover Sports out of five – Labouring under delusions of grandeur, the two giant snakes here were, more than anything, idiots.
Granted, wolves are quite hard, and having a dust-up with an entire pack of them is generally not advised. Unless, that is, you’re Liam Neeson: a man whose first instinct is to punch the snuffling, overblown Chihuahuas right in the face. Hell yeah. This is because Neeson plays John Ottway, a man who punches wolves in the face for a living, who survives a plane crash alongside a group of individuals who aren’t quite as wolf-punch-savvy and are, as such, gradually picked off. It’s the eerie malice with which these wolves stalk and taunt their prey that suggests it’s not simply about food for them – it’s sport.
Death Toll: 5 direct kills, 2 indirect.
Twat factor: Four cinema-talkers out of five – the wolves had ample opportunity to walk away but decided against it. Wankers.
‘Get the flock out of here’ is the beautiful tagline to this joyous Kiwi horror/comedy which answers a question no one thought to ask: what if genetically modified sheep developed a taste for human blood? The answer is, rather predictably, human innards quickly become human outards. Like so many animals of inferior intellect the strength of the sheep lies in numbers, yet it mush be conceded that it was man’s scientific meddling that created the threat in the first place. As far as the twatometer is concerned, this is their saving grace.
Death Toll: 30 (approx.)
Twat factor: One Louise Mensch out of five – yep, our fault, this one. Mea culpa.
In Britain actual bears are fairly thin on the ground – the term ‘bear’ generally denotes either a delightful stuffed childhood toy or one of those large friendly chaps you find in Old Compton Street bars. In The Edge, Anthony Hopkins and Arrec Baahdwiin (Alec Baldwin) are ruthlessly hunted by an eight-foot Kodiak actual-bear, and the results are almost exactly as bleak as you’d imagine. Granted, the big brown lummox only manages to kill one man, but it clearly singles our protagonists out despite the presence of much easier, much less human prey.
Death Toll: 1
Twat factor: Three Bluetooth earpieces out of five – there’s a deer right there! Piss off and eat that!
The bloodthirsty grey mountain gorillas in Frank Marshall’s second entry on this list seem to kill solely to protect a giant diamond that they happen to have taken a shine to which, whichever way you look at it, is stupid. Besides causing alarming injury to their guff-flutes by using it as an impromptu butt-scratcher, what exactly are they going to do with a giant diamond? This renders the zeal with which they protect it a childish act of petty recalcitrance, and each successive murder the simple result of a refusal to share with others.
Death Toll: 9
Twat factor: Four Nick Griffins out of five – their precious diamond was eventually used to power a giant laser (no, really) which was used to slaughter the lot of them. Serves the greedy little grey sods right.
The building of a Kenyan railway in 1898 attracts the attention of a pair of man-eating lions who use cover of darkness to infiltrate the workers’ camp, dragging snoozing workers right out of their beds and devouring them. Colonel Patterson (scrotum-faced grump Val Kilmer) and expert lion hunter Charles Remington (dusty philanderer Michael Douglas) are called in to take care of the moggy threat and get the railroad project back on track, but upon discovering countless remains in the lions’ lair they realise the killing has been going on for quite some time.
Death Toll: unknown, at least 12 confirmed kills.
Twat factor: Zero. The lions saw an opportunity to take out both Val Kilmer and Michael Douglas in one fell swoop, and took the only logical course of action. Any other kills were merely collateral damage.