Meet the Applegates

Michael Lehmann, the writer-director of Heathers, is back with more facetious satire about the Way We Live—this time a fantasy about mutating giant insects from a Brazilian rain forest disguising themselves as a typical suburban American family (Ed Begley Jr., Stockard Channing, Cami Cooper, and Bobby Jacoby) in an effort to rid the world of humans and their ecological crimes, starting with a local nuclear power plant. The lures of bad human habits confound their plans before they can get very far, although they bump off some of their suburban neighbors to get themselves out of sticky situations. Roughly speaking, this story, coscripted by Redbeard Simmons, bears some relationship to Parents and The 'Burbs (both much better movies) as well as to Heathers, but Lehmann's sneering antihumanism, which some critics have called subversive, seems like chic glibness to me; Channing has her moments, however. With Dabney Coleman and Glenn Shadix.

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