As we enter into the month of October I am sure a lot of you Fandom readers are getting into the Halloween spirit by watching a metric ton of horror movies all month long. Good for you! October is that time of year gets me thinking about the mundane things in this world that frighten us. Horror films are unique in that if you are scared of something, you can bet someone has made a horror movie about it.
Scared of elevators? There’s a horror movie about that. Do you dread mowing the lawn? Here’s a horror movie to help convince you into putting it off. Are you scared to see what’s in the box? BAM! There’s a movie for you too! If clowns wig you out, we have so many movies to show you, and they all float down here!
Today we’re talking about horror movies about bugs. Here is a list of five must-see horror movies about the creepy crawlies:
Don’t let the simple title fool you, this movie is not about your garden variety pests. In this film, an earthquake unearths mutant cockroaches that can cause small fires by rubbing their cercus together. For those who don’t know, those are the pincer things that some insects have on the rear of their bodies. To wrap your head around it, just think of it like these are bugs that fart fire.
Sure, a cigarette lighter with legs doesn’t sound really all that scary. Just imagine an entire infestation of these things in your house, or in your car, or just about anywhere that has plenty of flammable objects around.
Still, these are just bugs milling around doing what bugs do, not exactly that “world shattering” infestation you might be looking for. In fact, this movie seems like it might just peter out when they reveal that the low pressure on Earth’s surface will eventually kill them. Don’t worry though! A scientist cross breeds these literal fire bugs with a common cockroach breed. As a result, it creates incredibly intelligent flying bugs that also fart fire. Thanks science!
Thanks to the Cold War, people in the 1950’s were scared of the threat of nuclear attack. That’s a pretty understandable thing to be afraid of. However, people back then thought radiation could create horrifying abominations of nature. You know, as opposed to something more practical, like cancer. Say what you will about the broken science behind them, science fiction films of the 1950s gave us some great monsters.
One such classic is the movie Them! about giant ants spawned from nuclear testing. These massive creatures begin terrorizing people in the deserts of New Mexico at first, but that’s just the beginning! It later turns out the queens of the hive have migrated to Los Angeles and are building a new colony under the city! They also have a habit of kidnapping children, because… reasons?
Mosquitos are the worst. If they’re not ruining the outdoors, they’re carrying viruses like West Nile and Zika. They are also the other season in Winnipeg next to winter. Now picture all that irritation, but with mosquitos that are the size of a large bird and you have this oddball movie from the 1990s.
Mosquito follows a group of people fleeing for their lives from the giant blood-suckers. Where did these huge pests come from? Well in this movie, aliens dump a bunch of garbage — including dead bodies — in an Earth swamp. When the mosquitos feast on the alien blood it caused them to grow to their gigantic size.
This movie is over the top ridiculous fun. Stop motion special effect, people being impaled by mosquitos, bad acting. Also one of the main characters looks like what would happen if George Lucas joined the Michigan Militia.
The Giant Spider Invasion (1975)
If you read my article about the death of Herschell Gordon Lewis, you might remember me mentioning filmmaker Bill Rebane. About a decade after giving up on the movie that became Monster A-Go-Go, Rebane tried his hand at a bug movie. The result was 1975’s Giant Spider Invasion. It was worth the wait.
The movie is about a black hole (!!!) that crash lands in a small Wisconsin town and unleashes spiders from another dimension. The movie is rife with dopey scientists, crude country folk, mutilated cattle, and of course spiders. Calling it a giant spider invasion is a bit of a misnomer, as there really is only one giant spider. The other spiders in the movie are normal sized tarantulas.
If you’ve made it so far through this list and thought, “I wish one of these movies would star a cast member from Gilligan’s Island!” then you are in luck my friend! Arch Hale Jr., who also played the Skipper on Gilligan’s Island, has a role as the town sheriff. As you can expect, he totally phones in his role, and even says “Hey little buddy!”
Beginning of the End (1957)
We’ve covered cockroaches, ants, spiders, mosquitos… How about grasshoppers? Beginning of the End is a movie about giant grasshoppers and it’s as bad as it sounds. Once again, scientists toy in God’s domain causing nature to turn ugly. This time, scientists are trying to create a means of making produce grow to gargantuan size. Unfortunately, when some grasshoppers consume this food they also grow to massive size. Soon an army of grasshoppers are swarming across the state of Illinois.
I don’t know what makes this movie so entertaining. It’s either the over-the-top orchestra music selected by director Bert I. Gordon, or the fact that “special effects” in this movie equated to “putting grasshoppers on postcards”.
There were so many movies that I had to choose from so here are a few bonus selections as recommendations:
Arachnophobia (1990): This movie is interesting to watch given that Jeff Daniels is the lead role in this movie. Very hard to take him seriously after that toilet scene in Dumb & Dumber.
Damnation Alley (1977): If you ever watched a Mad Max movie and thought “you know what this movie needs? Giant bugs!” Then your cinematic dream has come true.
Slugs (1988): It’s about killer slugs. Where do they come from? They come from shaddup! That’s where! If you’ve ever wanted to know what a slug job is, don’t ask your parents, watch this movie.