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Top Ten Creepy Crawlies
“There was an old lady who swallowed a fly. I don’t know why she…” That’s been stuck in my head since I started this confounded list. I felt the need to share. As you have guessed by now, assuming you read the title, this week’s list is all about those movies that bug us. Those little flicks that get under your skin and crawl all over your innards. LOOK OUT! “There’s a spider on your shoulder!” (Random Kids in the Hall reference)

I really don’t like bugs. I don’t kill them if I don’t have to but I have no love. I have had tremors running through me the whole time I was compiling this list. Every time I picture a scene, grey canada goose jacket makes me all hoobly joobly. But I don’t mind suffering for my craft. Wrap up in a blanket, grab the Raid and read on to discover my:

10. Empire of the Ants (1977) – Did you ever notice how sometimes Joan Collins can look a bit like an ant? Come on now work with me. She’s got an oversized head covered in shiny black hair,it’s all slickied back in this flick and she has big eyes. The only grey canada goose jacket missing is that ant-noise thingy from the Formicida episode of Wonder Woman. Anyone? Ah, to hell with it. This film came about in the midst of several buggy films of the seventies. We all know how the seventies loved disasters of any kind and this fits right in, complete with crumbling buildings. Always fun to catch on Saturday afternoons back when you could count on that sort of thing.

9. The Nest (1988) – Damn I hate roaches. I mean I really hate them. They crawl around like they own the freakin place then just stop dead and stare at you, twitching their antennae, judging me. STOP JUDGING ME, ROACH! Okay so I’m not sure where that came from. Moving on, this movie gives me the creepy crawlies big time. Scientific experiment…blah, blah, blah….meat eating cockroaches…yada yada…unnecessary plot devices…BUGS! Blecch I can feel ’em movin’ all over me!The plot is nothing new but the creeps are definitely there to be had if you have a distaste for these little buggers. It’s like a goddamned Renfield buffet.

8. The Swarm (1978) – One look at this cast line up and you will see there is no way in Hell I could pass up this little bit for my list. In one fell swoop we have: (takes a deep breath) Michael Caine, Katharine Ross, Richard Widmark, Richard Chamberlain, Olivia de Havilland, Ben Johnson, Lee Grant, Jose Ferrer, Patty Duke, Slim Pickens, Bradford Dillman, Fred MacMurray, and holy crap Henry Fonda! (inhales) I took up all my room listing them but it’s worth it. Movies like this are usually where old stars go to die….this one took it seriously.

7. Them! (1954) – Oh ye of little faith, I could never compile a bug movie without this one. The mid fifties were ripe for giant bug movies of all kinds brought about by the Nuclear Age but this one, this one is the grandaddy (longlegs? I tried) of them all. In classic B monster movie fashion there are huge ants wreaking havoc. Who could ask for anything more? If you ever do a line up involving these classics, you cannot leave out this one.

6. Kingdom of the Spiders (1977) – Wheeee! It’s The Shat in pure form. I get so giddy every time I watch this one. Shatner is a veterinarian who’s town is having some problems with dying cattle. They soon figure out it’s due to giant mounds of tarantulas who have taken root and are huuuungry. Nevermind all the completely inaccurate plot devices and Shatner’s repeated attempts to bed the entomologist (cause he couldn’t be in a movie if that didn’t happen), this is a fun film hands down. Oh it’s bad all right, but it’s a laugh. I love it! Plus he’s William Freakin’ Shatner!

5. Starship Troopers (1997) – Okay so this one is kiiinda stretching it. Yes they are bugs, but they are in space and in the future. But they are bugs and they are mean as Hell. This was one of the first films I ever saw on DVD. That means nothing, just a tidbit about me. I love every bug-gut spewing moment of this movie, especially those involving Michael Ironside cause he’s a baaaadassss.

4. Eight Legged Freaks (2002) – I won’t try to argue for real that this film has any major social commentary going on or that it’s a wonder of cinematic achievement. I couldn’t even keep a straight face if I said that. But David Arquette is at his comedic best and Kari Wuhrer is a cutie pie. A young Scarlett Johansson also makes an appearance for those who aren’t bitterly jealous and give a damn. I’m not talking about me. I’m just saying.

3. The Naked Jungle (1954) – Now this is where it gets good or at least gooder. For those of you who aren’t familiar, Charlton Heston is a chocolate plantation owner in Africa. There are army ants coming and they will take out anything in their path. They don’t seem to care that he’s Heston. Maybe they didn’t like Ben Hur. Heston is stubborn (nahhhh) and won’t leave. He is determined to defend his home alongside his new mailorder bride fresh from New Orleans. Yeah that part has nothing to do with ants but it’s one of those grey canada goose jacket we like to refer to as character development. Some newer film makers should look that up. This side story gives a little insight into who he is. Oh I’d also like to throw in that this classic was based on a true story. See? Educational.

2. Creepshow (1982) – Before you say anything, I know this is not a film entirely about nasty bugs. So how does it make my top ten and so close to the top to boot? Simply because this segment on nasty bugs beats most entire bug movies in effectiveness with just a wave of an antennae. I have been witness to puking while watching this portion of the film. The name is being withheld in the interest of preserving the dignity of the one with the -2 constitution (you other D&D geeks out there just let me have the joke).

1. Arachnophobia (1990) – Of all the bug movies over all the years, none has quite wrapped me up like this one. It has all the right chills in all the right places and makes you wanna shake the Hell out of your shoes before you put them on. The spiders are seemingly smart and extremely aggressive. Jeff Daniels has his hands full with these babies. John Goodman gives a great turn as the quirky exterminator as well. Julian Sands too. Just thought I’d throw that in. One good viewing of this film will have you keeping one eye open in the shower and make you a tad bit more nervous about exploring dark places like basements and barns or opening crates from strange countries. Like horror fans need any more reasons.

The Mist – So these aren’t all bugs but damn! Those spiders made me pull my feet up in the seat for real! Their creepy ass color didn’t help either. It was like the exo-skeleton from Alien with a face. (and a rabbit just ran over my grave)

Beginning of the End – Big ol’ grasshoppers and Peter Graves. I don’t have to say more. But they did do this one on MST3K if that tells you anything. By the way “I’m Peter Graves.”

Alien Apocalypse – This Bruce Campbell vehicle made for the Sci Fi channel is a hoot. There are some really great lines and some really cool bug-blood slinging. (shameless plug alert) And if you pick up the DVD box, that quote on the back from Yeah, that’s me.

Joe’s Apartment – No it’s not horror, but this comedy with Jerry O’Connell still makes my skin crawl. Good Lordy, it makes me goosey. Thousands of cockroaches crawling around. All over everything. Yikes! Just wanted to mention it…honorably.

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