30 August 2018

Hollywood Pests: Pest control film reviews

Media | PPC92 September 2018

The release of Ant-Man and the Wasp from Marvel Studios got us thinking about high profile pests on the silver screen. Over the last few years there’s been an awful lot of pests coming out of Hollywood – and we’re not just talking about Harvey Weinstein.

Hollywood pest reviews

We’re all for seeing pests in the media, but it’s frustrating how wrong those Hollywood researchers get it sometimes. Basing a superhero on a wasp is as irresponsible as it is ridiculous. After all, what’s her superpower – ruining evil picnics?

We’re calling out the most problematic movie pests to educate the general public about the dangers of misrepresenting pests on screen.

You might call it nitpicking, but we call it public relations...

Ant-man and The Wasp - "Glorifying dangerous pests"

Ant-man and the wasp review by BPCA

Unbelievably, out of the circa 20 Marvel films, The Wasp is the first female superhero to feature in the title of a Marvel film. While we respect the studio’s decision to address rampant sexism in the Marvel Universe, we fundamentally disagree with glorifying the ‘coolness’ of wasps.

Evangeline Lilly’s portrayal of The Wasp is pretty cool. She can fly, shrink, has super-strength, and shoots all sorts of things out of her wrists. Her super-suit is just missing a stinger protruding from her metasoma. But how does she use these powers? In one particularly troubling scene, she flies into the bad guy’s car window, distracts the driver, and cause the car to crash and flip 360° in a raging inferno – much like the real Vespula vulgaris.

Our problem with the film is that if we make wasps cool and glorify their irritating habits, sooner or later ‘Pest Control Man’ will end up a Marvel supervillain - when we all know he should be joining the cast of heroes in Guardians of the Galaxy 3.

Stuart Little - "A flagrant disregard for animal rights"

Stuart Little review by BPCA

Okay, we know Stuart Little is technically a pet mouse and not a pest, but we want to talk about it anyway. Our biggest problem with the portrayal of Stuart is not that he can speak, or even that he’s a proficient driver. It’s that he’s always dressed in tiny little clothes.

We believe that forcing a mouse into tiny trousers counts as unnecessary suffering under the Animal Welfare Act 2006. If the stupid outfits aren’t enough to convince you, Stuart ends up in a washing machine, attacked by the family cat, and gets trapped in Nathan Lane’s mouth. That’s some serious animal welfare issues right there!

Ratatouille - "A feast of filth"

Ratatouille review by BPCA

Straight out of the Pixar propaganda machine, Ratatouille tells the story of how Remy the rat makes his way through the Parisian restaurant scene, honing his skills as an artisan chef while enslaving a young boy to do his bidding.

No matter how many times we see Remy wash his little paws, who wants foie gras prepared by a rodent? Our sector has spent years talking about the dangers of rodents around food areas, all to be undone by Pixar’s insipid ‘anyone can do anything’ story.

The pest control shop Julien Aurouze and Co. is featured briefly in a scene where Remy is warned to stay out of the way of humans. It’s a real shop that features a wall display of dead rats. If that’s not enough to put a generation of children on ‘team rat’, then nothing is.

Just don’t come crying to us when your bolognese comes with an extra helping of salmonellosis.

The problem with giant ant films according to BPCA

Before Mega-shark, there was a proud tradition of Hollywood B-movies increasing the size of all sorts of pests to make sci-fi antagonists. Empire of the Ants, The Deadly Mantis, The Monster that Challenged the World (which I think was a giant snail) were all variations on the idea of giant invertebrates attacking humanity.

But are giant insects possible in practice? No. This Hollywood trope is impossible. If ants were giant, they’d have elephant-like legs. You can’t just scale up stuff and expect it to work. Ants, and many arthropods, have closed respiratory systems. This is fine if you’re super tiny, but if you scale-up, your giant ant would suffocate and then implode under its weight.

PEST PR

BPCA actively engages with the press and researchers to help spread our pest awareness messages and champion the role of professional pest controllers. Last year we had the equivalent media coverage of nearly £798k! Want help with the press?
media@bpca.org.uk

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Scott-Johnstone-Staff-bubbleScott Johnstone
Content and Communications Officer
September 2018  |  PPC92

Source: PPC92

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