Serving Memphis, Cordova, Germantown & Collierville TN
Fear or disgust? This is a question that pertains heavily to bugs right now. Do you have a phobia of bugs? This is known as entomophobia, and while many people fear bugs, science thinks we might be getting our wires twisted. In Chapman University’s 2016 Survey on American Fears, 25 percent of respondents said they were afraid of insects and/or spiders. That’s more than the number of people fearful of becoming the victim of a violent crime, germs, or even dying. However, a closer look indicates that most people were afraid of bugs because they consider them disgusting. Why do we find bugs so loathsome and revolting? Maybe it’s because insects are both creepy and terrifying. It could be genetically ingrained in us to help our species survive. No matter what the reason is, we are sure that bugs are villainous creatures that society scorns. This can be found throughout pop culture. From comic books to children’s movies to science fiction and fantasy, bugs often are portrayed as the villains. Now for your viewing pleasure, AAA Termite & Pest Control introduces you to a host of bugs and their on-screen counterparts.
Let’s start at the beginning when bugs first hit their stride on screen as the villain we all now know and fear. In 1954, a classic horror film preyed on the fears of post-WWII moviegoers living in the age of the atomic bomb. The movie, entitled Them!, was the first movie to feature giant insects. In this case, it was ants exposed to atomic radiation. A series of mysterious disappearances lead some protagonist detectives, and an entomologist to an unnatural discovery—that these giant monsters ants are now threatening humankind. This genre-changing film was based solely around the principle that big ants are horrifying. Them! set a tone for bugs to become the villains in movies for decades to follow. It even earned an Oscar nomination for best special effects.
Maybe we don’t live in a world scarred by recent atomic warfare, but we know how scary a bomb like that can be. For years you heard that Cockroaches could survive a nuclear bomb, and while this isn’t true, it’s part of the reason why cockroaches are so loathed in pop culture today—because they’re hard to kill. In the 1982 cult classic Creepshow, directed by George A. Romero and written by Stephen King, there’s a story entitled “They’re Creeping Up On You.” The word “creepy” barely describes the torture we see E.G. Marshall endure as he portrays a neat-freak homeowner whose stark-white home becomes engulfed in a seemingly infinite swarm of cockroaches. This is a prime example of why these pests scare so many people. An infestation starts with one disgusting bug, and then they’re swarming him within minutes. It can make your skin crawl to think about it. Not only is the concept of cockroaches swarming for small earth bugs, but also for the large alien variety. In a family-friendly yet very creepy portrayal, Vincent D’Onofrio plays a giant alien bug in Men in Black. This 1997 family favorite shows Edgar the Bug (D’Onofrio) as the main villain. He is a giant alien cockroach that is wearing a human as skin in an attempt to take over the planet. Between his uncomfortable facial expressions, jittery movements, and his reaction to the death of small bugs, Edgar the Bug is a creepy character that has induced skin-crawling sensations in generations of filmgoers.
To be continued…
We’ll explore more ways that bugs have terrorized on the big screen in our next article.
Pest prevention in your Memphis home
Pop culture preys on our fear of bugs because it’s so prevalent among our entire species. We can all relate to fearing and hating insects. Movies don’t teach us to hate bugs; they use that innate fear and disgust to connect with their audience. Don’t star in your own personal horror film with these dastardly creatures as your antagonist. Instead, let the pros at AAA Termite & Pest Control protect your home with one of our customized treatment plans for pest control. If you live in the areas of Cordova or Memphis, TN, contact AAA Termite and Pest Control today by calling (901) 737-7378 to keep your home from becoming infested by these real-world villains.