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!
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!
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!