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Top 10 Jungle-Set Horror Flicks!

Welcome to the jungle...we got tons of maims! Okay, that's a pretty weak rhyme scheme, but the destination remains. Why? Well, how many of you are on the fence about going out and seeing Alex Garland's ANNIHILATION this weekend? You shouldn't be, but if you are, we're given y'all a motivated remembrance of how inherently perilous the jungle setting is. And no, we're not just talking about Amazonian cannibalism here, all though there is always bound to be a fair share of that kind of uncivilized primalism. We've got everything else from prehistoric behemoths, monstrous extraterrestrials, killer vines, giant snakes, real life accounts of near death, and even a goddamn documentary up in the mix.

Check out our Top 10 Jungle-Set Horror Flicks below!

#1. PREDATOR (1987)

"Get to the Choppaaaaaa!" 30 years old PREDATOR will turned last June, and you know what, it still inarguably ranks right up there with ALIEN and THE THING for all time best sci-fi/horror flicks. It's a damn near perfect film! So many quotable lines ("ain't got time to bleed!"), so many badass characters, such a cool and wildly original villain, so many action-packed set-pieces and kick-ass shootouts, and of course, the innate exoticism of the jungle setting put the pictorial qualities of the flick over the top. It will be interesting to see how the great Shane Black, who starred in the original, will translate his directorial sensibilities to the 2018 release of THE PREDATOR. My guess? No more Mr. NICE GUYS!

#2. CANNIBAL HOLOCAUST (1980)

More like ANIMAL HOLOCAUST, right? Yeah well, PETA may not be a fan, but it when it comes to human-flesh eating horrors set in the jungle, CANNIBAL HOLOCAUST is the preeminent picture by which all the rest are measured. We saw Umberto Lenzi's attempt earlier via CANNIBAL FEROX, but remember, so much veracity was attached to HOLOCAUST at the time of its release that its director, Ruggero Deodato, was actually arrested and held until he was able to prove the people in the film were actors who were still alive and well. He did, and was let go. But aside from the stark cinema-verite realism, the single greatest achievement in the film is the collision of the gorgeous Riz Ortolani score with the sensory-assaulting blitz of abject carnage in the final 10 minutes!

#3. JURASSIC PARK (1993)

Diminishing franchise returns be damned, the OG JURASSIC PARK and its subverted theme-park jungle setting is one of the greatest pop-cultural exemplars of the natural habitat turning horrifically haywire. Can't front! Props need be cast to Michael Crichton for conceiving of such a high-concept idea, then passed on to Spielberg for recruiting the top FX and CG crewmen and women in the biz in order to realize, with great believability, dinosaurs returning from extinction. The tropical locale isn't as inherently inimical as say JUNGLE or BURDEN OF DREAMS, but there's still a dangerous "out in the wild" aspect of JURASSIC PARK that makes it feel ferally terrifying!

#4. THE ISLAND OF DR. MOREAU (1977)

With its 1932 predecessor ISLAND OF LOST SOULS a bit better, its 1996 successor far worse (Brando), in the end we opted for the 1977 version of H.G. Wells' THE ISLAND OF DR. MOREAU as the winningest tale of madcap jungle-set scientific malfeasance. I mean, look at those f*cking faces! Now, while it's true the jungle doesn't play the largest antagonist in the film as some others on this list demonstrate, the inescapable island backdrop still plays a pretty vital character in the film. On a budget of $6 million, director Don Taylor shot the film in St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands in order to lend an intense tropical authenticity. As for the odious anthropomorphism? We now have talking owls, geckos and raccoons in daily TV ads. Thanks, Don!

#5. JUNGLE (2017)

One of the more harrowing and horrifying flicks from 2017 also happened to be a true story. Indeed, Greg Mclean may have turned in his finest film to date with JUNGLE, starring Daniel Radcliffe as Yosi Ginsberg, a backpacker who got lost in the Amazon jungle for days on end. This poor dude goes through the absolute ringer in the heart of the Bolivian heart of darkness when he gets lost after separating from his friends. He starves, falls, hallucinates, injures himself, finds a goddamn worm crawling around in his forehead, eats a dead blood-covered bird fetus, the works! I know a lot people dissed this flick quite a bit, but anyone who's really been lost inclement nature by themselves will appreciate what a f*cked up story this is!

#6. ANACONDA (1997)

My ANACONDA don't want none unless you got buns, hun! I really believe good ole Sir Mix-A-Lot ought to have been story credit for the unfathomable lunacy that is the 1997 creature feature ANACONDA. After all, without that pure poetry of a pop-rap hit, how else would J.Lo and her bodacious booty get a casting call? Okay okay...these are jokes, don't flip out. If you'd like, we can go right down the line and poke fun at every single character in the film, from Cube's "Day snakes out her dis bigggg?" line to Jon Voight's hilariously over-the-top, over-indulgent method acting performance replete with a Spanish accent Inigo Montoya would be jealous of. Sheesh!

#7. CANNIBAL FEROX (1981)

WTF is a FEROX? Oh, apparently it translates from Italian as Fierce, thereby effectively titling Umberto Lenzi's CANNIBAL FEROX as FIERCE CANNIBAL. Learn something new everyday, ay? Etymology lesson aside, if one had to bestow a silver medal to the rash of late 70s and early 80s cannibal flicks, you'd be hard-pressed to find a worthier contender than this here bastion of flesh-ingesting sleaze. Just as JUNGLE HOLOCAUST served as preamble to CANNIBAL HOLOCAUST for director Ruggero Deodato, FEROX comes on the heels of Lenzi's EATEN ALIVE! made a year prior (he even used the same music in both), all of which take place in a South American jungle.

#8. THE RUINS (2008)

Hey, wasn't there a movie called JOHN TUCKER MUST DIE released like 10 years ago? Well, in THE RUINS, that very thing happens when the real life actor Jonathan Tucker and his friends succumb to a violently vitiating jungle-vine in the 2008 Mexican Jungle set horror flick THE RUINS. Go f*cking figure! I recall clocking this flick with a friend of mine, both of us being slightly caught off guard the botanically bizarre curvature the story took in the second half. It wasn't until I saw the flick again that I fully appreciated its ancient archeological horror story about a sacred sacrificial temple that can harness nature to harm human interference.

#10. BURDEN OF DREAMS (1982)

A couple of things to start. First, it's always a wise idea to have the great Werner Herzog kick off your Friday night bash. Second, while it's technically a documentary, anyone who's seen the 1982 film BURDEN OF DREAMS - a behind the scenes account of the making of FITZCARRALDO - knows full well how palpably dangerous and inescapably terrifying the jungle truly is. I love this movie, urge all who've not seen it to do so ASAP, even if you've never seen FITZCARRALDO. The way Herzog films his wholehearted immersion into the jungle and his articulated wisdom on the setting, aside from the sheer beauty of the real locations, make this one of the most frightening docs ever produced!

#9. THE GREEN INFERNO (2013)

Even as an unabashed and openhearted CANNIBAL HOLOCAUST knockoff, Eli Roth always finds a way to brandish his baleful brand of bat-shite insanity, and he does so in no short order with THE GREEN INFERNO. I mean, I'm not sure his now wife Lorena Izzo has yet to forgive him for the unthinkably mortifying tribalism he put her through in the film, but hey, never know. She did stick with him through KNOCK KNOCK. Oh we jape, only to say this f*cked up gut-churning, flesh-munching jamboree of ultra-violence is among some of Roth's finest work as a director. Let's hope he brings the same vicious vim and vigor when grants Bruce Willis a DEATH WISH next weekend!

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