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Meet the Applegates (1990)

Modeling themselves after an idyllic cookie-cutter suburban 1950's family, a colony of insects move from South America into the United States with the intent of getting access to the nation's nuclear resources.




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Cast overview, first billed only:
Richard P. Applegate
Jane Applegate
Aunt Bea
Robert Jayne ...
Johnny Applegate (as Bobby Jacoby)
Camille Cooper ...
Sally Applegate (as Cami Cooper)
Greg Samson
Susan Barnes ...
Opal Withers
Adam Biesk ...
Vince Sampson
Dottie (as Savannah Smith Bouchér)
Sheriff Heidegger
Nita Samson
Philip Arthur Ross ...
Steven Robert Ross ...
Rich Block, Family Bazaar Magazine
Chuck Lafont ...
Clem Shepherd


Giant preying mantis living in a south American jungle decide to move into suburban USA. Disguised as humans, the mantis are planning something.. Could it be connected to dad's job in the power station perhaps ?. One day the daughter mantis forgets WHAT she really is when she's with her boyfriend.. oops. Written by s jones

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A new species of comedy. See more »


Comedy | Sci-Fi


R | See all certifications »




Release Date:

1 February 1991 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Applegates  »

Box Office


$5,000,000 (estimated)


$485,772 (USA)

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The film never explains much of the Applegates, Aunt Bea, or the other insect troops background story. Other then the fact that they are six-foot, super intelligent bug people, who can disguise themselves as human, it was never shown or explained about how the became this way. no mention of them being mutated by radiation or consuming toxic waste, or if their aliens from another planet, or anything that will help narrate the origin of how the Applegates came to be. See more »


Richard P. Applegate: It's imperative that we maintain a believable cover while I infiltrate and sabotage the nucular power plant.
Johnny Applegate: It's "nuclear," Dad.
Richard P. Applegate: Lesson number one: Most people say "nucular." Next time, get it right.
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User Reviews

suburban satire
22 May 2017 | by See all my reviews

The Applegates (Ed Begley Jr, Stockard Channing) are a peculiar suburban family. They live under assumed identities to infiltrate and sabotage the nuclear power plant. They are actually giant preying mantis from the Brazilian rainforest which is being stripped by development. Their queen, Aunt Bea (Dabney Coleman), is invading Ohio in three months. The daughter Sally falls for Vince Sampson from next door. When Vince forces himself on her, she goes mantis on him. The suburbs are harder than it seems. Sally gets pregnant. Johnny turns into a weed head. Jane goes crazy with her Discovery card. Richard gets fired. Then Aunt Bea arrives.

I wouldn't say that there are any big laughs. It does have a weird dark satirical take on the suburbs. There is also an environmental message. This all adds up to an unseen cult movie. It has some fun takes. Michael Lehmann directed one of the great teen satires of all times, Heathers. This is way weirder.

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