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! :)