What's Happened to Giant Bug Movies?

Genre movies are like folk tales: hundreds of people tell the same basic story again and again, with little variations and tweaks. Thus part of the pleasure of watching horror or scifi movies, at least for me, is figuring out which things have been tweaked — and which stories are getting retold. I like to make little genre/subgenre charts in my head. If you have the same strange urge, you'll love the article about giant bug movies over at PopPolitics, charting the strange ways the "giant bug" movies of the 1950s mutated into the 1990s/2000s Mimic series about giant transgenic cockroaches in New York.

While some of the essay is a bit of a stretch, author Tim Mitchell does raise a number of interesting points for genre hounds. He explains why it's significant that the Mimic movies are located in an urban environment (vs. the deserts of Tarantula and Them!), and he has a lot of terrific observations about how the Mimic movies express fears about transgenic animals and crops. And, of course, how they express fears about other things too:

In "Mimic 2," Remi cannot find a boyfriend who understands her but nevertheless cannot shake the sexual designs of a male Judas Breed insect - a suitor that Remi understands better than her human suitors because of her background in entomology.

Check it out.

Pictures of Insect Men [via PopPolitics]