Today I’m going to take a little detour from my usual blog posts. This one’s not going to be a true story about entomology or educational in any sense of the word, so be prepared for pure entomological fluff! It’s also going to be 100% text as my attempts at drawing the necessary images failed miserably.
A reader sent me an e mail last weekend asking if I’d seen the movie
The Monster on the Campus. Sadly, I have not seen this movie, but given my love for bad insect horror movies it is definitely going on my list of things I must watch. Thinking about any sort of insect monster movie, though, makes me think about my idea for an insect horror movie. I threatened to share this idea with you in a past blog post, and today I’m finally going to do it. Today, I give you my plot for Hellgrammite! Let’s set the stage…
Act One: The Monster in the River
Two fishermen are fishing a river, ideally a reasonably deep one that runs through the mountains, perhaps something in the Pacific Northwest. The two fishermen are shooting the breeze while they catch trout, but one needs to go “take care of some business” and wanders off on his own into the bushes. A minute later, the other fisherman hears a scream and runs over to where his companion went, only to find that he’s gone without a trace. He makes a report to the sheriff saying he thinks his friend, who had been drinking after all, fell into the river and drowned.
Cut to a scene in a local diner where the old timers are telling stories, and a couple of them get into a heated debate about whether there’s something dangerous lurking in the river…
The obligatory amorous teenager scene comes next. A pair of frisky teens heads down to the river for a late night “picnic” and spread a blanket out along the shore. They’re just getting down to business when the girl says she hears something. The guy, of course, tells her it’s nothing, but she won’t be dissuaded. She’s just about to get really angry at him for not believing her when he’s pulled away by some unseen assailant. She runs screaming away from the water, but she doesn’t have the keys. A few days later, she stumbles out of the woods, bloodied and muddy, in front of a car. She tells the sheriff what happened as her wounds are treated at the town clinic.
Act Two: The Investigation
At this point, the sheriff starts to worry that something going on at the river and goes to investigate. He discovers something troubling, a large “skin” with long tendrils coming off the side and huge jaws. He brings in a biologist to consult, an aquatic entomologist (of course!) who happens to be doing her research in the area. (We need more intelligent female scientists in this type of movie, so my entomological hero is a woman.) She decides it looks like a giant hellgrammite, but can’t understand how it could possibly get so big. She starts to investigate.
Act Three: The Source of the Trouble
In her investigations, the entomologists makes a horrible discovery: the feed lot upstream is illegally dumping wastes into the river! She tests the water and sure enough – growth hormones! They must be what’s caused the oversized hellgrammite…
Act Four: Discovery of the Hellgrammite!
Up until this point, none of the entomologist’s/sheriff’s team have seen the monster, but they soon get an up-close look at it. One of the teammates (this person absolutely must wear a red t-shirt) is standing by the river when an ENORMOUS 8 foot long hellgrammite explodes out of the water and takes the hapless redshirt down with him, in spite of frenzied attempts by his companions to pull him out of the hellgrammite’s jaws. You see a stream of red moving down the river a few moments later, and the sheriff and his guys try to shoot the hellgrammite as it quickly disappears upstream.
In an attempt to find and kill the monster, the entomologist looks at maps and satellite images of the river (she should probably be a GIS expert too – these hero types need multiple skills, right?) and finds a few places where the hellgrammite might be hiding. It would have to be in the area near where the growth hormones are being released into the river, but would also have a nice, big boulder that the hellgrammite could call home. She finds a likely place and they gear up to conquer the beast.
Act Five: Death of the Hellgrammite
This is the part I haven’t worked out to my complete satisfaction yet (I will happily accept any alternative death scene ideas for the hellgrammite in the comments below!), but the entomologist, the sheriff (who’s fallen in love with the entomologist at this point), and their team head to the place where they expect to find the hellgrammite. There are signs that it is living in the area – more shed exoskeletons, bones of its human and other victims washed up on shore. The entomologist sends a little remote-controlled submersible into the cavern under the boulder she’s identified as the likely home and we see the hellgrammite inside. They’ve confirmed this is where the giant hellgrammite is living and they prepare to kill it… Somehow… I think the death needs to involve some completely ridiculous combination of electroshocking to knock it out (though it would have to be one hell of an electroshocking unit!), dragging it up on shore, and then flash freezing it with liquid nitrogen to kill it. Yeah, that sounds about right.
The monster is dead! The nearby town is safe! The entomologist and the sheriff kiss and you know everything will be alright. Or will it? What’s that on the shore, off under that fallen log near the hellgrammite’s home? Is that… Is that a hellgrammite pupa?
Coming soon! The sequel to Hellgrammite!: Dobsonfly!
If anyone wants to actually make my movie for me, please feel free to do so. I’d be happy to act as a consultant on a script or help out in any way I can, but I certainly don’t want to make it myself. I think this would make a great cheesy insect monster movie though, so who wants to make my movie for me? I’ll be the first person in line to see it! :)
25 thoughts on “Insect Horror Movie Idea”
ATTACK OF THE GIANT LEECHES comes to mind, or MONSTER FROM GREEN HELL? Keep your human characters interesting and conflicted.
See my email address? I got a vested interest in this thing! Doing a first edit on my NaNoWriMo opus,
I knew you would appreciate my movie plot! As a fellow hellgrammite lover, I was hoping you’d comment. :)
I think I’m going to need to add Attack of the Giant Leeches to my list. It sounds fabulous!
Doesn’t Voshell say that when it’s time to pupate, the whole “cohort” does synchronously? Maybe there are more mutant mega-hellgrammites out there! He also says that the vibrations of a good thunderstorm may trigger an exodus of larvae from a stream. I think maybe the hellgrammites are gonna win this one. And then there are the jaws of the mutant adults that escape the firestorm.
Oh, of course there will be more than one! But you have to set it up so that there’s only one so that you’re surprised when the female dobsonfly shows up and you get the third movie: Spawn of Dobsonfly! :)
Hmmm… I didn’t think about the fact that they leave streams before storms. That might need to get worked into the plot…
I love your female hero and the correct use of a redshirted innocent. :) Have you written a part for Betty White in your movie? She did so well helping out the giant croc in the movie Lake Placid….
No, I hadn’t considered Betty White for my movie. That sounds like a good idea though! She’s awesome.
Glad you appreciated the redshirt. Who doesn’t love a good redshirt scene? They’re the best!
I love it and there certainly need to be more insect horror movies with female entomologists as the heroines – but how do feedlot (mammalian?) hormones lead to insect growth? :)
Oh, they wouldn’t. That’s part of the joy of watching these terrible monster movies – the ability to yell at the TV when something completely implausible comes up as an explanation for something. It just seemed like one of those things that people worry about these days. Maybe I should work in some GMO crops too? :)
I know! Either the Hellgrammite got a bad dose of SW Florida golf course chemicals and grew… or Monsanto created it! (either accidentally, or not) It should be controversial too.
Golf course chemicals sounds like a good plan! Nice. :)
Loved it! A blockbuster for sure. Now, to kill the hellgrammite, I thought of something involving more gore, like having human dummies with explosives inside, so that when the hellgrammite comes to eat them, either the sheriff or the entomologist push the button and BOOM! We’ll have a rain of bloody hellgrammite pieces falling all over á la Tarantino style. Or, alternatively, we can have the entomologist developing a soft side for the hideous creature, so it’s the sheriff the one who actually has to set off the bomb. We see the entomologist crying, all covered in hellgrammite bloody pieces. Her tears mingled with blood. A masterpiece! :-D
Ooh! That’s better than my idea for sure, and would be a great homage to my favorite monster movie of all time, Tremors. Blowing up the hellgrammite would be like blowing up the graboid when everyone’s out on the rock. Excellent! See, this is why I thought I should throw this out there for you all! Every time I put something creative up, I get a string of fantastic comments that make it even better.
Cheesy is right, but I will be right behind you in that line-up.As for the final scene, I think the hellgrammite needs to get a deputy or two before it meets it’s end. Or perhaps it almost gets the entomologist heroin, but she is saved by the sheriff. Better still, why not both.
Woops, that should be heroine.
I laughed so hard when I read “gets the entomologist heroin.” It brought up a great image of a giant bug pushing drugs. Fabulous.
You’re right – a few more people need to meet their untimely demise, though I think the entomologist should save the sheriff at the end just to make her totally badass. Did you ever see Hollow Man with Kevin Bacon and Elizabeth Shue? I enjoyed that movie for the sole reason that the Ph.D. in the movie, Shue, wasn’t a total moron and actually did things that indicated her intelligence. I think the same thing should happen here. Or maybe someone completely unexpected could save both the sheriff and the entomologist! Perhaps Betty White, as @Metan recommended that she be added to the movie. :)
Needs a scene where the Sheriff wants to close the river, but the Mayor refuses because tourist season is almost there. This scene is now obligatory in water-related monster movies.
Yes! I hadn’t even thought of that, but you’re totally right! That would improve the movie.
Since the insect undergoes “complete metamorphosis”, it might be a cool thing for the humans to track the beast to its underground lair to try to catch it in situ as it transforms. Opportunity for a budding Patrick Tatopoulos it Carlo Rambaldi to create another fabulous practical prop! There is a YouTube that shows our nameless (Lovecraftian) horror; a girl finds himunder a rock ….
While getting to see the complete metamorphosis would be cool, I really feel that it needs to be revealed only at the end so that you have that great cliffhanger ending these sorts of movies just have to have. Sequel opportunities are important!
Insist that when the obligatory “Spring Breakers in swimwear” shots occur that men get equal coverage (or uncoverage, as the case may be). There is no reason we can’t have equal-opportunity fanservice.
There also needs to be a scene where the town drunk sees the monster, but nobody believes him until it is too late.
Personally, I get tired of evil corporations causing all the monsters. Too much like real life. I miss the days when all that was needed for a giant monster was a meteor or a lone mad-scientist cackling to himself in his basement lab. Or a lone mad scientist with a meteor!
Ah, but the best monster movies from the 50’s and 60’s were the ones that dealt with the issues people cared about, that is radiation (fallout from nuclear testing, nuclear waste, etc). I think they need to be created by something that people care about now, which is why I think growth hormones or GMO crops or something need to be incorporated. They’re the new radiation, right?
I am all for the town drunk seeing the monster. Perhaps he could be a part of the diner scene? (I’m envisioning something like Randy Quaid in Independence Day here.) I am also 100% on board with equal opportunity swimwear. It never quite seems fair, does it? :)
I really do not have the words to tell you how much I want–no, need–this movie to exist.
Ha ha! That’s what I like to hear!