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Creatures in Features

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Two tree-size Amazonian river snakes try to eat their way through a fairly respectable list of stars in Anaconda. Of course, they’re part of a long slimy line of filmdom’s underwater carnivores, monsters with meal plans who are always the real stars of any decent splasher-thrasher flick. And as this chart shows, despite one hungry serpent’s wolfing, then spewing, Jon Voight, anacondas aren’t even the most ticked off of aqua predators.

Jake Tapper with additional reporting by Erin Richter

STAR, MOVIE, BODY OF WATER
Bruce, the great white shark in JAWS (1975), stakes out surf by Martha’s Vineyard stand-in Amity Island.
BODY OF CREATURE
Richard Dreyfuss: ”That’s a 20-footer.” Robert Shaw: ”Twenty-five — three tons of him.”
WHAT IT EATS
Skinny-dipping teenybopper, the obligatory dog, boy with hysterical mother, boater, Robert Shaw
WHAT’S EATING IT
Primal instinct. ”What we are dealing with here is a perfect engine — an eating machine,” says Dreyfuss.

STAR, MOVIE, BODY OF WATER
Deeper in the Pacific than you thought possible lurks the giant squid in 20,000 LEAGUES UNDER THE SEA (1954).
BODY OF CREATURE
Maybe 40 feet high, eight tons, with 40-foot-long tentacles covered in suction cups
WHAT IT EATS
Whales, bit players. Tries but fails to chow on James Mason.
WHAT’S EATING IT
Doesn’t seem too psyched about all the humans suddenly moving into the neighborhood.

STAR, MOVIE, BODY OF WATER
Ramon the alligator in ALLIGATOR (1980) calls the Chicago sewer system home until …
BODY OF CREATURE
… he grows from flushable size to Cadillac class to something bigger than the usual stretch limo.
WHAT IT EATS
Growth-hormone-addled lab pups as hors d’oeuvres, followed by a steady diet of cops
WHAT’S EATING IT
Those hormones from the evil pharmaceutical lab just make him insatiable.

STAR, MOVIE, BODY OF WATER
Invading a riverside summer resort come many, many piranhas in the remake of PIRANHA (1995).
BODY OF CREATURE
Individually only a foot long, they display considerable strength in numbers.
WHAT IT EATS
Skinny-dippers, the obligatory dog, an African-American family man, water-sports enthusiasts, a grown-up Punky Brewster
WHAT’S EATING IT
Government breeding program’s radioactive treatments designed to make them weapons of war.

STAR, MOVIE, BODY OF WATER
The anacondas in ANACONDA (1997) have the run of Brazil’s Rio Negro.
BODY OF CREATURE
The warrior snake is 25 feet long; his queen uncoils at 40 feet.
WHAT IT EATS
The prim Brit who’s in need of comeuppance, the obligatory frisky couple, a tasty bad guy, a nasty-tasting bad guy
WHAT’S EATING IT
Primal instinct. ”Anacondas are a perfec’ keelin’ machine,” says sinister snake Jon Voight.

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