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Meet the Applegates (released in the Philippines as The Applegates) is a 1990 American-French-Japanese science fiction horror black comedy film directed by Michael Lehmann. It was filmed in 1989, but not released until 1991 due to the financial difficulties surrounding New World Pictures, the film's production company. It takes a dark, satirical look at the end of the world, nuclear holocausts, alienism and terrorism. It was filmed in Oshkosh, Appleton and Neenah, Wisconsin. It has gained a cult following.

Meet the Applegates
Directed byMichael Lehmann
Produced byDenise Di Novi
Written by
  • Michael Lehmann
  • Redbeard Simmons
Music byDavid Newman
CinematographyMitch Dubin
Edited byNorman Hollyn
Distributed by
Release date
  • June 6, 1990 (1990-06-06) (Philippines)[1]
  • October 28, 1990 (1990-10-28) (France)
  • February 1, 1991 (1991-02-01) (United States)
  • August 1, 1992 (1992-08-01) (Japan)
Running time
90 minutes
  • United States
  • France
  • Japan
  • English
  • Portuguese
BudgetUS$5 million
Box officeUS$485,772[2]


The film starts off in a forest with a family being attacked by a family of huge shapeshifting bug creatures called, "Brazilian Cocorada". It then moves to a typical-looking family moving into a well-off suburban Ohio neighborhood. They are the bugs that were seen earlier, after they took on human form and met every "normality" standard from the magazine Family Bazaar. They moved to the suburbs after the husband, Dick, got a job at a nuclear power plant; he works there in order to cause an explosion one day that will rid the world of humans and leave bugs in peace. But after a while they drift from all-American family normalities — the son, Johnny, a strait-laced A student, begins listening to heavy metal and becomes a junkie; Richard and his wife, Jane, drift away from each other, he having an affair at work and she becoming attached to her credit card; lastly the daughter, Sally, becomes a pregnant lesbian after being raped by a jock from the high school; and also a pet giant shapeshifting fly, Spot, who disguises as a dog.

They each show their true bug form at least once in the film: Johnny while smoking marijuana with his metalhead buddies, Sally while being raped by the jock, Dick when infiltrating the nuclear plant, and Jane when two Family Bazaar agents come to their house. As they drift away from normality (and nearly being found out by the neighbors) their aunt, Bea, is sent to help. She becomes a nuisance and they decide she should be taken care of. Dick decides to not blow up the plant, and kills Bea instead. At the end of the movie they return to their lives in Brazil, and are visited by the townspeople that grew to love them. Although the plant did not blow up, enough radiation was released to remove the hair from much of the town's population.

An ending scene reveals that Aunt Bea survived and still intends to destroy the world.



Meet the Applegates was released in the Philippines by First Films as The Applegates on June 6, 1990, with "[f]ree casette tapes to lucky patrons."[1] Meet the Applegates was released in the United States by Triton Pictures on February 1, 1991.

Critical responseEdit

The film was met with mixed reception.[4][5][6]


  1. ^ a b "Opens Today!". Manila Standard. Kagitingan Publications, Inc. 6 June 1990. p. 17. Retrieved 3 May 2019.
  2. ^ Meet the Applegates at Box Office Mojo
  3. ^ "Begley Crusade: Don't Pollute". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 3 June 2012.
  4. ^ "MOVIE REVIEW : 'Applegates': All-American Alien Invasion". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 3 June 2012.
  5. ^ "Meet the Applegates - Review/Film - Movies". The New York Times. Retrieved 3 June 2012.
  6. ^ "Meet the Applegates". Chicago Sun Times. Retrieved 3 June 2012.

External linksEdit