Insect Politics: “A Bug’s Life” and “The Human Centipede”

words by Kevin Munley
| Wednesday, March 14th, 2012

I think Brundle-Fly (Jeff Goldblum in The Fly) said it best when he wondered aloud, “Have you ever heard of insect politics?” Unfortunately, I think he vomited some of his acidic fly-mucus over Geena Davis before he could get to the bottom of it.

Over the years, movies about bugs and insects have provided a sharp contrast of the biological and cultural differences between us and them, whether Arachnophobia or Starship Troopers. In Pixar’s A Bug’s Life, the dynamics and ideology of an ant colony are explored, whereas in The Human Centipede: First Sequence, some sick human being decides to stop taking his meds and express himself through art. Oh, if you haven’t heard of The Human Centipede and like tight rap flows, then this is for you…

If you didn’t gather from the song, The Human Centipede is about a mad German scientist (possibly a Nazi) who doesn’t like people very much, but loves centipedes. So he fashions a human centipede out of three very, very unfortunate human beings by sewing areas together that weren’t meant to go to together. It’s disgusting, and I wish I could have the writer and producer sewed to me so I could eat lots of Chipolte and show them what I thought of their “opus.”

The Human Centipede stresses the dehumanization of people as they are transformed into insects. No longer able to walk on their own, the victims must learn to walk together to fight back against their captor. It is this lack of individuality and oppression which leads me to believe there are World War II themes in this puke-fest of a movie.

The dehumanization seen in the The Human Centipede can also be seen in A Bug’s Life’s representation of ants.

Ants live as a colony and work together collectively, and most movies about ants — as demonstrated in the above clip — show their inability to separate themselves creatively from one another. It is only the protagonist Flik who sees things differently, and for a time, his individuality causes him problems with the queen and the colony, despite that he has invented tools to speed up his work and devised a plan to stop those contemptuous grasshoppers.

Although there are no centipedes in A Bug’s Life, there is a bloated caterpillar that pretty much consumes and defecates throughout the whole move. Go figure. Anyway, I leave you with the best moments of Heimlich…

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