The 10 Worst B-Horror Movie Monsters of All Time

Night of the Lepus
Night of the Lepus | A.C. Lyles Productions

From giant apes to poisonous snakes, one of the most regularly recycled villains in B-horror movies is the killer animal. This well-worn movie cliché has effectively scared audiences with creatures like the man-eating shark in Jaws and the eponymous rabid dog in Cujo. However, since there is a limited number of intimidating creatures that can be used as horror movie villains, some creative filmmakers have resorted to making movies about animals that normally wouldn’t be considered very scary.

In an effort to enhance the scariness of these creatures, some filmmakers have tried increasing their size, or giving them special abilities. However, this trend usually results in the creation of some pretty terrible, if not downright laughable, killer animals.

From flying sharks to carnivorous rabbits, here are 10 of the most ridiculous B-horror movie monsters of all time. While the movies featured in this list were chosen based on our personal opinion of what constitutes a terrible killer creature flick, the films are listed in the order of their critical rankings on Rotten Tomatoes, from lowest to highest.

10. The Uncanny (1978)

Cats are the featured killer creatures in this anthology horror film from director Denis Héroux. Not lions, tigers, pumas, or lynxes, mind you, just ordinary housecats. This inexplicable killer creature flick includes three different stories that revolve around domesticated felines that exact some sort of vengeance on the people that wrong them. Warning: If you find this film scary, then you may want to avoid the Internet where you are likely to encounter similarly terrifying creatures such as “Grumpy Cat.”

Although The Uncanny lacks an intimidating killer animal, it does feature an impressive human cast that includes veteran horror movie actors Peter Cushing and Donald Pleasence. However, even their presence couldn’t stop the critics at Rotten Tomatoes from giving this film a rock-bottom 0% approval rating.

9. Night of the Lepus (1972)

When it comes to creating an effective horror movie animal, one tried and true way for making a scary creature even scarier is to supersize it. The makers of Night of the Lepus obviously forgot that the key part of this formula is that you start with a scary animal, which for most people would not include cuddly bunny rabbits (excluding, of course, the Rabbit of Caerbannog).

In the film, a scientist experiments on rabbits with hormone injections in a bid to control their population growth. Naturally, this results in the rabbits growing to gigantic proportions and developing a taste for human flesh. Not even the inclusion of Psycho star Janet Leigh and original Star Trek series cast member DeForest Kelley could redeem the ridiculous premise of this horror movie flop. Night of the Lepus currently has an 11% approval rating from the critics at Rotten Tomatoes.

8. The Swarm (1978)

In the right film, a swarm of killer bees may have been a truly horrifying villain. After all, stings from bees are painful and can even be deadly. However, The Swarm, made during the 1970s heyday of disaster movies, takes the killer bee threat to ludicrous levels. “Its size is immeasurable,” intones the film trailer’s narrator. “Its power is limitless.” How powerful, you ask? The bees in The Swarm take down helicopters, derail a train, blow up a nuclear power plant, and massacre an entire town.

Despite boasting an impressive ensemble cast that includes Michael Caine, Henry Fonda, Katharine Ross, Richard Widmark, Richard Chamberlain, Olivia de Havilland, and many other notable performers, The Swarm was a critical and commercial failure. The Swarm currently has a 14% approval rating from the critics at Rotten Tomatoes.

7. Slugs (1987)

Can you guess what killer creatures are featured in this movie? In this film directed by Juan Piquer Simón, toxic waste turns normally harmless slugs into rampaging carnivorous killers. Note to filmmakers: You may want to reconsider your choice of animal villain if it can be defeated by common table salt. Slugs earned a 17% approval rating from the critics at Rotten Tomatoes.

6. Frogs (1972)

Does the sound of croaking bullfrogs send a chill up your spine? Then you may want to avoid Frogs, a horror flick about…you guessed it: frogs. Actually, you probably want to avoid Frogs whether or not you have an amphibian phobia.

In the film, frogs, snakes, turtles, lizards, and various other types of swamp critters try their best to kill some humans (including well known character actor Sam Elliott) due to the overuse of pesticides. The critics at Rotten Tomatoes obviously failed to grasp the importance of this ecological morality tale and gave Frogs a low 20% approval rating.

5. Birdemic: Shock and Terror (2008)

If you’ve ever seen Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds (1963) and wondered why the birds didn’t spit acid or explode into fireballs, then Birdemic might be the film for you. While Hitchcock’s film proved that birds can make terrifying horror movie villains, Birdemic’s poorly rendered computer-generated birds are too unrealistic to evoke anything but laughter.

This ultra-low budget “romantic thriller” film has garnered a cult following thanks to its unbelievably bad acting, editing, and special effects. The plot of the movie revolves around a Silicon Valley computer engineer who becomes romantically involved with a girl…wait, does it really matter? Birdemic: Shock and Terror currently has a generous 20% approval rating from the critics at Rotten Tomatoes.

4. The Food of the Gods (1976)

Loosely based on a science fiction novel by H.G. Wells, The Food of the Gods embraces the idea that all giant creatures are scary and runs with it. In the film, a wide variety of animals grow to gigantic sizes after consuming a mysterious substance that emerges from the ground. Although the supersized spiders, rats and wasps may have been genuinely intimidating in another film, any fear those giant creatures could have inspired in viewers was completely offset by the early appearance of several ludicrously large chickens.

The critics at Rotten Tomatoes gave this silly giant killer creature flick a low 27% approval rating. However, if The Food of the Gods left you hungry for more giant animal mayhem, there is a sequel called Food of the Gods II that wisely leaves out the giant chickens.

3. Squirm (1976)

While worms are admittedly more appropriate for the horror movie genre than bunnies, these easily squashed, slow-moving creatures don’t usually make people fear for their lives either. In the film, downed power lines inexplicably turn ordinary earthworms into bloodthirsty, flesh-burrowing creatures that terrorize a town in Georgia.

Besides its ridiculous plot, this film may be most notable for featuring makeup work by seven-time Academy Award-winning makeup artist Rick Baker, who is best known for his work on films like Star Wars and Ed Wood. Still, the critics at Rotten Tomatoes found this film to be as weak as its villains and gave Squirm a low 36% approval rating.

2. The Killer Shrews (1959)

Like the filmmakers behind Night of the Lepus, the creators of The Killer Shrews failed to grasp one of the basic rules for making an effective killer creature flick: don’t expect a non-threatening animal to make an audience scared, no matter how big you make it. In this case, the poorly chosen villain is a shrew, a small mole-like creature that looks like a mouse with an elongated snout. In the film, these normally tiny, harmless creatures are transformed into gigantic, ill-tempered beasts with poisonous bites due to a scientific experiment gone awry.

However, the creatures in the film bear little resemblance to real shrews since, as noted by Rotten Tomatoes, “the ‘shrews’ are actually costumed dogs with glued on fangs.” Despite its nonsensical plot and ludicrous villains, The Killer Shrews garnered a surprisingly high 50% approval rating from the critics at Rotten Tomatoes.

1. Sharknado (2013)

Although this tongue-in-cheek tribute to ridiculous killer creature flicks originally aired on the SyFy channel, the social media buzz that the film generated eventually led to a limited theatrical release, reports Deadline. In the film, a massive storm unleashes a plague of airborne killer sharks on the residents of Los Angeles. Naturally, it’s up to Fin (Ian Ziering) and April (Tara Reid) to save the day.

Sharknado earned a surprisingly high 82% approval rating from the critics at Rotten Tomatoes who apparently appreciated its deliberate ridiculousness. Fans who didn’t get their fill of flying sharks from the first film can also check out the appropriately titled sequels, Sharknado 2: The Second One and  Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No!

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