Brad’s Top 19 Insectoid (and 1 Gastropod) Horror Films!

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One of my first memories as a child was my mother going to the basement to grab something out of our freezer that was located in the corner of the room. I followed my mom down the stairs and when she turned on the light I saw this black mass on the front of the freezer. I saw it before my mother and I asked her what it was and all I remember is her screaming at the top of her lungs and rushing towards me. It freaked me the fuck out, not the black mass but how my mother reacted. She charged towards me and slung me over her shoulder and jetted upstairs and locked the door.

I asked my mother: “What was wrong and what was on the freezer?”

She responded with: “That was the biggest spider I’ve ever seen!”

From then on my mother freaked out over bugs but it didn’t stop there. All through my life living in Florida there are a ton of bugs that you’ll see and come across on a daily basis. This also is a form of entertainment to watch people react when a Palmetto Bug (looks like a cockroach) gets in the house and starts flying around. Bugs never did bother me at all. Of course I’ll jump back when I see one but I can never kill it. I’ve always been the kid that would rescue spiders, flies, beetles, and everything else…aside from wasps…fuck those things. Now that I think of it I really don’t care for anything that flies but I’m kind of scared of bees and wasps for sure. I was stung on the top of my head when I was little and that did me in.

I’ve always found it funny to see people react when a bug is around. From ants, cockroaches, and spiders, people react in the most ridiculous way when seeing a little ole’ insect. Even if the insect can’t hurt you at all, people act like they will die if they even get close to it. I would like to think the movies are responsible for this like how adults and kids blame “It” for their fear of clowns.

Here is a list of the Top 19 Insectoid Horror films with 1 Gastropod thrown in there for good measure. Enjoy!

*some synopsis are pulled from IMDb*

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20. The Thaw (2009)

A research expedition to the Arctic discovers that a melting polar ice cap has released a deadly prehistoric parasite.

Definitely more geared towards Eco-Horror but fun nonetheless. Also it has Val which you can never argue with.
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19. The Swarm (1978)

A huge swarm of deadly African bees spreads terror over American cities by killing thousands of people.

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18. Phenomena (1985)

A young girl, with an amazing ability to communicate with insects, is transferred to an exclusive Swiss boarding school, where her unusual capability might help solve a string of murders.

One of the more interesting films on the list as well as the craziest. Dario Argento brought us this masterpiece and stars Jennifer Connelly and Donald Pleasence.

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17. They Nest (2000)

A Maine island becomes infested with lethal insects that root inside their victims, while a local doctor battles the bugs and incorrigible locals that don’t believe him.

I dig this flick quite a bit. Ellory Elkayem directed this and has another film on this list as well. It kind of blows that he was only in the industry for a little bit and then disappeared because he made some interesting and fun films. Yes, he is the dude that resurrected Return Of The Living Dead with those bat-shit crazy sequels.

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16. Blue Monkey (1987)

While working in a greenhouse, a man receives an insect bite after touching an exotic plant. Immediately, he falls ill and is taken to an emergency room where the doctors diagnosed him as suffering from an unknown bacteria, and a strange parasite which emerges from his mouth as a large slimy worm like creature. Soon, there are more cases of bacterial infection, but the more immediate problem for the hospital is the wormlike creature which after accidental exposure to a genetic growth stimulant grows to monstrous proportions and starts a reign of terror and bloodshed in the hospitals abandoned wing.

A very fun insect/monster flick that is lost in the depths at the moment. Hopefully someone can bring this awesome flick back from the dead.

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15. The Cave (2005)

Bloodthirsty creatures await a pack of divers who become trapped in an underwater cave network.

Yes, I included this one and I fucking love this movie. I do think the rating hurt this movie in the long run but all in all it’s a fun little horror film that definitely tried something new for a change with insects and monsters.

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14. Phase IV (1974)

Desert ants suddenly form a collective intelligence and begin to wage war on the desert inhabitants. It is up to two scientists and a stray girl they rescue from the ants to destroy them, but the ants have other ideas.

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13. Infestation (2009)

A slacker awakes to find himself weak and wrapped in a webbing; after realizing that the world has been taken over by giant alien insects, he wakes a ragtag group of strangers and together they fight for survival.

After watching this film I was stoked. Sadly, no one else was talking about it until a few years later. At some point I hope this film achieves a little bit more of a cult following because I think this is one of these films that deserves to get noticed.

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12. Bug (1975)

An earthquake releases a strain of mutant cockroaches with the ability to start fires, which proceed to cause destructive chaos in a small town. The studies carried out by scientist James Parmiter, however, reveal an intent with much more far-reaching consequences.

Batshit insanity.

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11. The Nest (1988)

Horrifying shocker as a biological experiment goes haywire when meat-eating mutant roaches invade an island community, terrorizing a peaceful New England fishing village and hideously butchering its citizens.

More roaches. More death.

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10. Slugs: The Movie (1988)- GASTROPOD HORROR!!!!!

Killer slugs on the rampage in a rural community.

Yep. Killer slugs. I mean how serious did they think people were going to take slugs? They will tear you apart but for some reason get close to slugs and they die. You seriously could take ONE step away and live, but these assholes want to play wit dem.

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9. Mimic: Sentinel (2003)

A man enclosed in a plastic bubble, his sister, and their best friend must defend an apartment complex from the mutant Judas Breed insects.

Yes, there were 3 Mimic sequels made and I think they are incredible. J.T. Petty (The Burrowers, S&Man) did this one and it’s a great entry into the series.

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8. Mimic 2 (2001)

When a cockroach-spread plague threatened to decimate the child population of New York City in the original Mimic, biologist Susan Tyler and her research associates developed a crossbreed species of insect, the “Judas Breed” and introduced them into the environment, where they were to spread a toxin, lethal to the cockroaches. The plan worked until the bugs evolved to mimic their next prey…..humans! Just when they were all thought to be dead, the giant Judas bugs are back, and this time they’ve mutated to take on human form!

A great and fun follow up from the original.

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7. Mimic (1997)

Three years ago, entomologist Dr. Susan Tyler genetically created an insect to kill cockroaches carrying a virulent disease. Now, the insects are out to destroy their only predator, mankind.

Fucking roaches.

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6. Ticks (1993)

A group of troubled teenagers are led by social workers on a California wilderness retreat, not knowing that the woods they are camping in have become infested by mutated, blood-sucking ticks.

A favorite of mine growing up and one of the films that got me into renting more obscure titles at the video store.

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5. Eight Legged Freaks (2002)

A variety of horrible poisonous spiders get exposed to a noxious chemical that causes them to grow to monumental proportions.

Eight Legged Freaks made me lose friends when I was high-school. Not really. I went on and one about this one when it was coming out and dragged friends to the theater to go see it opening night. Everyone hated it and everyone hated me. However, it was a memorable night because it felt like this movie shouldn’t be at theaters but it was. Great night.

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4. Mosquito (1995)

An alien star-ship dumps a space-trash in a swamp in a U.S. National Park. Some mosquitoes begin to feed from the alien’s corpses, causing them to grow to the size of a vulture. These mutant insects became very aggressive, killing every human being they find.

This is one movie that I watched constantly as a kid on USA. In recent months I’m glad people get the enjoyment as much as I do with this silly flick.

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3. Skeeter(1993)

As the result of a corrupt businessman’s illegal toxic waste dumping, a small desert town is beset by a deadly swarm of huge bloodthirsty mutant mosquitoes!

As much as I love Mosquito I won’t forget that Skeeter came first! Yes, technically if you want the Oscar version of Skeeter you would watch Mosquito, but if you want the Asylum version of Mosquito you better run (to) Skeeter.

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2. Tarantulas: The Deadly Cargo (1977)

An airplane carrying coffee beans from South America has some unpleasant stowaways: a hoard of tarantulas which overcome the pilots as the airplane is flying over an orange-producing town in California. The airplane crashes, and the unlucky inhabitants of the town release the poisonous spiders into their midst. Once the town’s officials discover that the tarantulas are responsible for several deaths, the tarantulas have already descended upon the town’s only orange-processing factory. The town’s citizens risk their lives to remove the tarantulas from the factory while the poisonous pests are rendered motionless by the transmitted sound of buzzing bees.

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1. Kingdom Of The Spiders (1977)

Investigating the mysterious deaths of a number of farm animals, vet Rack Hansen discovers that his town lies in the path of hoards of migrating tarantulas. Before he can take action, the streets are overrun by killer spiders, trapping a small group of townsfolk in a remote hotel.

By far one of my favorites and one of the first horror films I remember watching on TV. For years after I could only remember the final scene and nothing else about the film. One day I was with my great grandfather and he took me to the video store and he told me about this movie and I thought I would give it a shot. While watching it I was hoping this was the film I saw on TV when I was younger and was stoked when I saw that final shot. That shot still gives me goosebumps today.

Brad Henderson

Brad Henderson is the co-host of The ScreamCast. Brad spends his time writing screenplays. producing, acting, and making short films.

One thought on “Brad’s Top 19 Insectoid (and 1 Gastropod) Horror Films!

  • October 8, 2016 at 9:07 pm
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    You forgot, “Them”!!!!

    Reply

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