They thrive in dirty and moist places. They lurk in the darkest crevices of your walls and come out at night when you’re fast asleep. They are brown, disgusting, and hated by many— cockroaches. It’s a good thing that pest control services have been widely popular in the Philippines, and getting rid of these creepy crawlies has gotten a lot easier.
Now, who would have thought that these icky creatures have made careers for themselves? A lot of movies, TV shows, comics, songs, video games, and books have cast cockroaches as both protagonists and villains. Guess what — we’ve listed some of them for you! Get ready to squirm in your seat as we list down 5 instances when cockroaches owned the spotlight! At least, even for a little while.
Perhaps the most popular cockroach sighting in Hollywood happened in the movie Joe’s Apartment. The movie was about a guy named Joe who, after moving to his newly-bought but filthy apartment, discovers that he has talking and singing cockroaches as roommates. He soon becomes friends with them and they even help him win the heart of the girl of his dreams, Lily. This flick showed the singing and dancing prowess of cockroaches. Well, at least they were given a break from the ‘bad guys’ reputation, right?
Twilight of the Cockroaches
Twilight of the Cockroaches is a 1987 animé/live-action film which is among the first ones that had animated cockroaches for actors. Seito, a bachelor, has an apartment where a large population of cockroaches lives peacefully. It wasn’t until a woman moves in that the cockroaches began to be exterminated and eliminated for good. The film was actually a satire about Japan’s cultural and societal issues and the possible effects if the Japanese people did not wake up to action. We bet Japan must be really ‘bugged’ about the whole thing at that time.
Oggy and the Cockroaches
This French cartoon series features three tiny and mischievous cockroaches named Dee Dee, Joey, and Marky, who are the ultimate nemeses of Oggy the lazy cat. They steal his food, make big messes, and ruin his plans every single time. Though each episode doesn’t have dialogues, the series is highly comical and enjoyable to watch.
Half-Life is a science-fiction video game that was first released in 1998. The player assumes the role of Dr. Gordon, a theoretical physicist. Part of the mission is to clear out a whole floor full of cockroaches for you to be able to advance to the next level. You can use various weapons to kill the roaches and when you hear a crunching sound, you know they’re dead.
La Cucaracha is a Spanish folk song that became popular in Mexico during the Mexican Revolution. Cucaracha is the Spanish translation of the word ‘cockroach’. The song is about a cockroach that lost one of its six hind legs and struggled to live with the remaining five. It is not a direct reference to the events that took place in Mexico around that time, but it served as a parody about the contemporary social and political conditions of the country. Many versions have been written over the years, but one element remained — the poor cockroach that lived on five legs for the rest of its life.
We’ve had bad experiences with these pesky insects at some point in our lives. However, pop culture has since been creative in making us look at cockroaches in a different light. They may look gross, but they also have, um, great potential!