Every 13 years the Nashville area falls victim to an invasion of big, ugly bugs, called Cicadas. They live underground for 13 years and then for about 5 to 6 weeks around May through June they emerge from the ground beneath us and commence to making lots of noise and making lots of love. They’ve been known to cover every inch of yard and sidewalk and collide kamikaze style into the sides of people’s heads. But so far this year, with the fair amount of rain we’ve had, the cicadas have for the most part been subdued, though you can still find them covering trees, telephone poles and singing like bug banshees in the night. Our sidewalks and driveways haven’t been completely covered in these bugs and their translucent shells like past invasions. However, that is not to say that it’s not coming. There are still several weeks left in this invasion period and I wouldn’t dare think the cicadas are going to let up. In fact, if you’ve been following them on twitter (TNCicada & CicadasXIX), then you know that they’ve been pumped about this invasion for weeks now. Their excited, humorous and taunting tweets have been some of the more entertaining things on Twitter this past month. So, when the time comes where your yards, driveways, patios and car tires are so immersed in cicadas that you don’t want to leave the house, you’re going to need something to do inside.
I have suggested here a list of bug-related films that is both relevant to what is keeping you inside and will also give you something to do while you take cover as they take over.
Starship Troopers 1997
In the future, the Earth is attacked by an alien army of bugs and the battle takes place in space. It’s an action-packed film with lots of special effects, violence, gore and militaristic and political undertones. Starship Troopers is over the top and a pretty fun movie. More importantly, you’ll learn what to do when the cicadas grow up and become rebellious.
A Bug’s Life 1998
A Bug’s Life was Pixar’s follow up to Toy Story and is a combination of an interpretation of Kurosawa’s Seven Samurai and the Aesop fable, The Ant and the Grasshopper. A bug hires other fighting bugs to fight off grasshoppers who have taken over their colony. In Nashville, it’s the grasshopper that should be worried.
Car-sized ants have been mutated by radiation and start annihilating everything in sight in this old black and white film from the 50’s. Whatever you do, do not microwave a cicada. It will mutate and destroy you.
Michael Shannon plays a war vet that believes he and everything around him is infected with microscope bugs. Ashley Judd plays a woman who doesn’t think so at first. This is a great film about one’s influence over another and how the human mind can make completely convince itself of something. Bug is a film in three parts and is incredibly entertaining and eerie. There’s no need to worry because cicadas are too big to get into your brain or under your skin…except in X-Files, The Twilight Zone or in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan.
Antz is the first animated film from Dreamworks and was released almost a full 2 months before A Bug’s Life. As usual, Dreamworks attempts to trump Pixar by pulling together a big name cast. Woody Allen plays the main ant and spends the duration of the film locating this other female ant that he likes, played by Sharon Stone. It’s appropriate because there are millions of cicadas out there searching for true love….many times a day.
The Ladybugs 1992
Rodney Dangerfield plays the coach of a not very good girls’ soccer team. He gets his girlfriend’s son to dress up like a girl and play on the team so that they will win because he’s really good at soccer and also because boys are better at soccer than girls.
Empire of the Ants 1977
This is another science fiction film about giant ants that kill people in case you can’t get enough.
Slither is a comedic horror film where a parasite gets lose in a town, infects the inhabitants of this town and controls their minds. This is a good choice if you’re looking for something entertaining, but not necessarily heart-warming. Don’t take a bath with a cicada.
The Lovebug 1968
A Volkswagen Beetle named Herbie comes to life and does many silly things.
This is a humorous, but incredibly freaky movie where deadly spiders roam free and kill people with a single bite. These spiders are not oversized, but they hide in places that make you think twice before going near those spots in real life. The dramatic irony really makes this film entertaining as does the cameo from John Goodman.
The Fly 1986
Cronenberg was one of the best at these kinds of movies and many films have been inspired by his work. In The Fly, Cronenberg remakes the 1958 film about a scientist that accidentally combines himself with a fly when trying to teleport. It won the Oscar for Best Makeup and stars Jeff Goldblum with a score by Howard Shore.
I’m sure everyone will be fine as long as you don’t experiment with or expose any of these cicadas to radiation. I can’t help you at that point. Enjoy!