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Day of the Animales
Riffed by RiffTrax
Riffers Mike Nelson, Kevin Murphy, Bill Corbett
Series None
Date Released March 24, 2017

Day of the Animals is a 1977 American natural horror film directed by William Girdler and based on a story written by Edward L. Montoro. Premiering on May 13, 1977, the movie reunited stars Christopher George and Richard Jaeckel, director Girdler, and producer Montoro from the previous year's film Grizzly. Leslie Nielsen stars as the main human antagonist.

Day of the Animals tells the story of a psychosis brought on by depletion of the Earth's ozone layer. This madness affects all animals at high altitudes. A group of hapless hikers must survive the animal onslaught and make their way to safety, even as the psychosis turns them against each other.

RiffTrax released their riff in March 2017.

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Day of the Animals Official Trailer (1977) Feature Horror Christopher George Leslie Nielsen

The depletion of the Earth's ozone layer by aerosols has been causing increased exposure to UV radiation at high altitudes. Scientists observe that animals over 5,000 feet in altitude become highly aggressive. One small-town sheriff barely escapes getting mauled to death by rats. The government orders the evacuation and quarantine of all settlements above that altitude.

In the midst of this, a group of tourists in Northern California set off on a hike through the wilderness, led by Native American guide Santee (Michael Ansara). With no way of communicating with the outside world, they are ignorant of the strange animal activity and are baffled when a mountain lion attacks their camp. They shrug off the incident and continue the hike, as the woodland creatures eye them menacingly. Later, they are beset by hawks, and a woman falls to her death as a result. They abandon the hike upon finding that their helicopter-dropped food cache has been raided by animals.

Hiker Paul Jenson (Nielsen), a smug and confrontational executive, abandons Santee and takes four of the hikers with him: a mother and her boy and two young lovers. He hopes to find help at a Ranger station. The guide takes a less risky route down the mountain. The hikers are not immune to the high-altitude aggression anomaly, and tensions begin to run high. The especially aggressive Jenson finally boils over; he kills one of his charges and attempts to rape his girlfriend. A grizzly bear approaches, however, and he dies trying to wrestle it. The boy, his mother, and an older hiker manage to find refuge inside an abandoned helicopter.

One hiker strays, and picks up a little girl who was abandoned when the government quarantined her town. He tries to drive her to safety, but is slaughtered by vicious dogs and venomous snakes, leaving the girl alone in the relative safety of a junk car. The others manage to get to a town below 5,000 feet, but find it deserted. A pack of German shepherds kills two of them and Santee leads his surviving charges onto a raft in a nearby river. They are rescued the next day as they float downriver to a Ranger station.

The next day, U.S. Army soldiers in hazmat gear arrive to secure the towns. By then, almost all the animals that went mad have been killed by the same solar radiation that drove them mad in the first place. The little girl and the survivors in the chopper are rescued by the army. At the end of the film, a surviving hawk lunges at the screen just before the credits roll.

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