In recognition of Halloween, I felt it would be a great opportunity to highlight the 6 creepiest bug scenes in American cinema. My criteria were fairly basic, with only two restrictions:
1. This list includes domestic, major release movies only.
2. Although the bugs could be fictional, they had to be terrestrial within the story line. (We figured alien arthropods deserved their own list).
Interestingly, three of the movies on our list were remakes of originals by the same name.
Maybe by today’s standards the giant man-eating ants look cheesy and have a squeal that sounds like a slipping fan belt on a ’49 Buick Roadmaster, but in its time “Them!” left a mark on pop culture by becoming Warner Brothers’ highest grossing film of the year.
The Scene- With two young boys (Mike and Jerry) facing certain death, our hero Ben swoops in to save them.
While ensuring the boys escape, Ben finds himself between the crushing mandibles of a 10 foot ant.
A group of scientists travel to the Amazon to search for new species of insects and arachnids.
Things go wrong when a spider high-jacks its way back to the U.S. and breeds.
The Scene- If witnessing a highly venomous spider climb into the shower and on an unsuspecting teenager wasn’t enough, the scene offered an equally disturbing visual that involved one of the arachnid’s siblings. This eight-legged assassin crawled into a downstairs toilet of the same household, right before the teen’s father took his place upon the porcelain throne.
How many viewers required therapy after watching this one?
“Temple of Doom” was a blockbuster, grossing over $333 million. Factor in the price of movie tickets back then and it’s safe to say this bug scene caused a whole lot of insomnia.
The Scene- Indiana Jones and his little buddy are trapped in chamber with huge spikes slowly bristling towards them. With his female companion out of harms way and within shouting distance, Indy pleads for her to find the lever that disengages the spikes.
Only one problem- the room and lever and are completely covered with creepy, crawly, disgusting bugs.
Could she find the courage to pull the lever?
With such tension building in the theater, it was easy to forget that “Doom” was filmed as a prequel to “Raiders of the Lost Ark”. In other words… No Indy, No “Raiders”.
When you say something’s getting under your skin, it’s doubtful you have this in mind.
The Scene- After picking up this beetle to admire its unique underside, good guy Jonathan was in for the surprise of his life when the insect flipped over and burrowed into his wrist and made a quick trip up his arm and shoulder.
Jonathan was much more fortunate than a few other Scarab Beetle victims, as he was saved by the quick action of his companion Rick O’Connell.
Scientist Seth Brundle creates an incredible teleportation device, but when he attempts to transport himself, he fails notice a fly accompanying him on his journey. The pod’s computer gets confused and merges the two species into a human/fly mutant.
The Scene- During the early stages of his mutation, Seth grabbed a doughnut and held it to his mouth.
Since flies have sponging mouthparts, they can’t eat solids, so they improvise by liquefying their food. With his girlfriend present, Seth displays his newly found eating technique by puking all over his tasty snack.
It probably took doughnut shops months to recover from an instant dip in sales.
If anything, this scene changed the way family picnics and reunions were administered. “Kids, whatever you do, keep the flies off the potato salad!”
If you’ve seen the remake of the 1933 classic, you could not possibly deny this scene’s place on our list.
The Scene- With intentions of filming a new motion picture, troubled filmmaker Carl Denham hires actress Ann Darrow to star in a movie filmed on Skull Island.
After a rather rough arrival by ship, the crew encounters vicious natives, a very popular over-sized gorilla, and some of the biggest bugs you’ve ever seen.
We’ll spare you the details, but just for laughs we’ve included a short video of the typical reaction you’d get from a busload of teenagers watching the scene in BROAD DAYLIGHT! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jDcWlmWEs20