Reality is Creepier than Fiction
I’ve seen a lot of scary movies. I’ve seen genuinely creepy movies. For example, The Blair Witch Project was one of the scariest movies I’d seen. I saw it right after it was released, well before the backlash started. Seriously, that film broke new ground in suspense! I’ve seen films by David Cronenberg, Dario Argento, all sorts of slasher movies, creepy Japanese movies etc…
Nothing has disturbed me as much as the Planet Earth series. Here’s a scene:
We’re in caves in Borneo or Papua New Guinea or someplace. The caves are dark, so no vegetation can grow. The only nourishing thing there is bat poop. 100 meter high piles of bat poop. Who lives on the mountains of poo? Cockroaches! Millions of them! Millions of them swarm on the piles… and one bat falls into the pile accidentally and the roaches swarm around him and eat him alive. ::EEEEEEESSSHHHHH::: I’m getting creepy goosebumps!
Somehow it’s all the more sinister with David Attenborough narrating. You can do the Dracula voice, you can intone like the rednecks in Deliverance, there is nothing scarier than a really uptight British accent. It’s the voice of ultimate “we’re lying to you to make you think everything’s OK” Maybe I read 1984 too many times. I could probably chalk it up to watching too much Doctor Who as a child, where all the evil villains in space were trained in Shakespearean acting. I don’t know, the way he rolls the “r’s” in “cockroach” makes my skin crawl.
The Voice Of My Nightmares
Another thing that makes me shiver when I think about it is the bit on cordyceps. Cordyceps are a type of fungus that gets inside insects, controls their brains and then grows mushrooms on them from the inside out. This was all shown in exquisite detail with time-lapse photography.
I’ve always had a problem with dead bugs for some reason. When I was a kid, I really didn’t care one way or the other about living bugs, but insect corpses freaked the crap out of me. i remember seeing a bunch of dead wasps in my grandmother’s dusty back room and screaming and running away and not wanting to go into that room forever (which was painful since it was the room where she stored all her antiques and dusty boxes of random stuff that called me to explore them). The cicada shells you find on trees still freak me the fuck out. However, I haven’t had a bug corpse incident in a long time; I didn’t even remember that I had a problem with dead bugs until I saw this episode! Don’t you love it when something triggers your childhood fears and gives you nightmares? Let’s hear it for the subconscious!
Note how this segment start with ants. I HATE ANTS! Ants are the only creature great or small on god’s green earth that I unequivocally despise.
OK, I just posted that segment and I can’t watch it. I’m getting the willies just writing about it. So, if you ever want to know my weakness, like you’re trying to extract information from me about that secret government alien implant… just show me pictures of bloated insect corpses with mushrooms sprouting out of them with David Attenborough on an endless loop saying “cockroaches.” Believe me, I’ll cave.