The Carnivorous Plant FAQ v. 11.5
- courtesy of -
The International Carnivorous Plant Society

Q: What movies (etc.) have references to carnivorous plants?

Darlingtonia californica
Alien!
Darlingtonia californica

snakes
Eeek!
Snakes on a screen!

Pinguicula 'Aphrodite'
Creepy!
Pinguicula 'Aphrodite'

snakes
Not again!
Snakes on a screen!

Pinguicula laueana
Bloody!
Pinguicula laueana

Utricularia macrorhiza
Dangly!
Utricularia

Darlingtonia californica
It's watching you!
Darlingtonia californica

Sarracenia minor
Scary!
Sarracenia minor

psycho
Who is that!
Pyschotic stalker!

A: Here is where I list good (and especially, bad) movies and TV shows that have carnivorous plants in them. I also list films with almost-carnivorous plants in them (read about these in the disqualified sections). I will also include cameo appearances of carnivorous plants in otherwise non-monster films. I am not interested in listing documentaries about carnivorous plants. This is pretty arbitrary, I know. Life's that way, sometimes.

This FAQ entry probably gets updated more frequently than any other because of a steady stream of FAQ-reader additions. If you know of something I missed, tell me about it by e-mailing me at barry(at)sarracenia.com. To really convince me, include screen grabs showing the carnivorous plants!

I have some very picky requirements for a sighting to be listed. Read the section on disqualified films to learn what they are. Before you e-mail me with corrections, make sure I don't have your movie/show/cartoon listed on this page somewhere.

Carnivorous Plants on Film

As Sete Vampiras (movie): Jessica P. told me about this Brazilian production, distributed also under the English title "The Seven Vampires." Supposedly, a botanist returns from Africa with a carnivorous plant that bites people and turns them into vampires. Yes, this is a complicated idea. There is an excellent review of the film at Imdb.com that indicates this is part of a genre of horror-comedy called "terrir". Interesting... (I haven't seen the movie.)

Attack of the Killer Tomatoes (movie): This is a goofy, campy film about tomatoes that start killing people. For a long time I had disqualified this film on the grounds that while the tomatoes were clearly murderous, I did not think they were carnivorous. However, FAQ-reader James C. reminded me of a certain campfire-cookout scene, where it became clear the tomatoes were indeed Homo-phagous! Any news on the behavior of the tomatoes in the sequel? (I haven't seen it.)

Batman and Robin (movie): The 1997 contribution to the series. Uma Thurman plays an etiolated "Poison Ivy". Weird, active, and possibly carnivorous plants abound under glass jars and in her lair. Since she is apparently finished off by being thrown into her own Dionaea bed in a fight scene, if I recall this part correctly, I'll accept it as being carnivorous.

Contamination .7 (movie): Why ".7"? Does the decimal point make it sound more scientific? The marketers were looking for some magic formula, because they also called this film "The Crawlers", "Troll III", and "Troll 3". I guess they weren't very successful with dressing up this hunk of pooh. Yet it is pooh with radioactive carnivorous trees! Thanks to F. T. for this entry.

Coraline (movie): This animated movies has some carnivorous plants in it---I've been sent some screen captures, so I know. (Thanks to Paul T for getting me this information.)

Creepshow 2 (movie): This 1987 animated movies has three chapters. The carnivorous plant is actually a big Venus flytrap in the animated sequences between the chapters. By the way, the sequence called "The Raft" is not necessarily a carnivorous plant. It could be a weird giant amoeba or something else. So stop e-mailing me about this!

Day of the Triffids (1963 movie version): Nasty, weird carnivorous plants make a bid to take over the Earth. (Thanks forever to Peter D'Amato for giving me a copy of the book that inspired this movie!) For a long time this film languished in the FAQ, far below in the "Disqualified" category because in the movie, these plants came from outer space. However, eagle-eyed FAQ-reader Steve G. pointed out that in the opening sequence for this movie there ARE indeed some images of regular old Venus flytraps. So on that basis, this movie qualifies as inclusion in this list---but not because of the big monsters that populate the rest of the film! As a child, this film spoiled my taste for chili and beans (the lighthouse scene).

Day of the Triffids (1981 BBC version): Nasty, weird carnivorous plants make a bid to take over the Earth. I have not seen this version, but I understand it follows the original book quite well (which you absolutely must read). In this version, the plants were created by genetic experimentation. The BBC version was produced in six separate episodes, which can be obtained from the BBC on a single DVD (hence the confusion by some in thinking that there exists both a multi-episode remake and a single movie remake).

Dinner for Adela/Adéla jeste nevecerela (1978): Um, a Czech movie with a carnivorous plant eating people? I haven't seen this, and rumors about its contents are conflicting. But it sure seems to qualify!

The Double Garden (1970): This movie, which I haven't seen, was written by Ed Wood, Jr., and apparently his influence has a strong presence in the film. So...beware! The dastardly mad scientist in this flick made some horrid hybrid between a Venus flytrap and a marine carnivorous plant (no, in reality there are no marine carnivorous plants...). The result is a beast that looks like a person in a rubber suit, probably because that's exactly what it is! Also called "The Venus flytrap", but not to be confused with the film with the same name, listed in the "Unverified" section on this page. Thanks to James P for news of this movie!

Emperor's New Groove (movie): Steve G has sent me screen grabs proving that indeed this 2000 Disney film has a jungle sequence with vines bearing Dionaea traps. The point of the flytraps is to make the jungle sequences more scary. Oooh!

Fantastic Mr. Fox (movie): FAQ-reader Anne D. sent to me a screen grab from a scene in this 2009 animated feature, where there is clearly a little Dionaea on a science lab table during a school scene. Not much more than that, but it counts!

Godzilla vs. Biollante (movie): Do you know there are a lot, I mean, a LOT, of Godzilla movies out there? Comparing the few you hear about in the USA to how many have been made is like comparing baby Godzilla to King Ghidora! In the 1989 flick "Godzilla vs. Biollante," the genes from a rose, the daughter of a foolish scientist, and Godzilla, are all fused together. The result? Biollante! A huge plant monster, with definite affiliations to a Venus flytrap. It spits corrosive juices, then it mutates all over the place. At 200,000 tons, this is Godzilla's biggest opponent ever! I gotta see this flick! (I wonder, though, why the genes of the human female are needed to make this huge Dionaea? Perhaps this is related to the story of why Dionaea was called tipitiwitchet....)

Journey to the Center of the Earth (2008 movie): I like Brendan Fraser. I mean, who doesn't? He brings a goofy nerdiness to the action adventure hero that you don't always see. Kind of like Indiana Jones' slightly less successful brother-in-law. Anyway, this movie has some good geology jokes (where else can you experience "feldspar" as a punchline?). And yes, it has a giant, very moist, very active Dionaea-type of carnivorous plant. And, what is I believe a first, the plants are presented on the big screen in 3-D! Oooh! But otherwise, I much prefer the 1959 version, even though it does not have carnivorous plants in it (see its entry in the unverified section, below). Also, the 2008 version doesn't have a duck.

Jumanji (movie): I saw this movie once, a long time ago. I paid money for me and a date to see it. I was deep in love with the girl--I mean one of those really hard, painful to breathe kind of love experiences--but the date was a huge failure. It was humiliating. I don't like to talk about it. (Oh god, the Pepsi incident makes me cringe to even think about. Oh, oh, the anguish.) Anyway, I don't recall much about the film---I think I was hyperventilating---and I certainly don't remember there being any carnivorous plants in it. But I have been told that a yellow flower makes an appearance and tries to eat a little boy. What more could you want? I can't bring myself to renting the DVD and verifying this for myself---the memories are too painful.

Konga (movie): I have not seen this 1961 giant gorilla movie, but it has an evil scientist and some kind of plant-derived serum. I have been told that there are some giant carnivorous plants in it. I have seen photographs from it---giant Dionaea are shown chomping on a woman who is struggling in just the right way so that she's leaning forward and you can see down her shirt as much as the censors would apparently allow. Giant Darlingtonia plants leer in the background. In another shot, there are some giant pitchers which look rather like Cephalotus. Very nice. Thanks to Steve G for the screen shots. Directed by John Lemont.

The Land Unknown (movie): I have not seen it, but this 1957 flick apparently has the usual "lost world" premise: An antarctic expedition finds dinosaurs, carnivorous plants, and--of course--a wacked out scientist in search of female companionship. Directed by Virgil Vogel. (Thanks to Mr. X of the Fortean Society for this one.)

Little Shop of Horrors (1960 movie version): This original version of the movie was remade in 1986 (see loser's list, below), and is also a common stage production. In the 1960 version, Audrey II is described as being the product of a hybridization between a "butterwort" and a Venus flytrap. (You don't get references to butterworts in films very often, so thank you Roger Corman!) Incidentally, if you buy your version from Legend Films, it is nicely restored, viewable with options such as colorization or a comment track from Mike Nelson (think MST 3K), and there are some photographs of my own, provided as bonus materials. I recall that I am credited as "Carnivorous Plant Wrangler," which is pretty great.

The Lost Continent (movie): A Hammer film with some kind of deadly seaweed. I first heard about this movie from the sharp-sighted Russell V. More recently, I was told by Franklin N that there is a scene where people in a rowboat have problems with the seaweed. A person's hand is chewed on, and a fight results in one passenger being pushed off the boat (with expected results when body hits the carnivore-infested water). There may even be another carnivore in a big wooden ship's hold? (I haven't seen this, but the testimony of otherwise-reliable Russell and Franklin suggest this movie is well qualified.)

The Lost World (movie): In this 1960 film starring Claude Rains, there are a few interactions with plants that appear to be carnivorous. I saw the film (graciously sent to me by a FAQ-reader, and first concluded that the plants were not necessarily carnivorous (although quite interesting in behaviour). I argued to my brother that they could merely have been sensitive to touch, but he thinks I was being overly restrictive. So, upon reflection, I'll accept these critters as being carnivorous.

Man Eater of Hydra: This 1967 flick (also called Island of the Doomed, or La Isla de la Muerte) had a mad botanist working on mutating plants. He had a bloodsucking tree (all us botanists have them, we just don't get caught). Thanks to Burt and and John O for alerting me to this one!

Minority Report: This 2002 sci-fi flick has a long sequence in a greenhouse, with carnivorous plants and CGI botanical wonders. The actual carnivorous plants used in this film included various Nepenthes and Sarracenia (both pure species and hybrids) loaned from California State at Fullerton.

Mississippi Burning: This nice film is about racial intolerance in the USA's southeast. Sarracenia are mentioned in two scenes by Gene Hackman's character. Oddly, the plants called pitcher plants are actually not pitcher plants, but are the flower stalks of something in the lily family (more specifically, the amaryllis family, if you believe in separating the two families). Fortunately, the camera shows a close up of the flowers in the first of the two scenes, and there sticking out of the flowers are indeed some pitchers of (probably) Sarracenia alata. The pitchers are growing in an unlikely site, and my guess is that the film crew jabbed some cut pitchers in amongst the flowers. Cut pitchers or not, it qualifies for inclusion on this web page!

Navy versus the Night Monsters (movie): Filmed in ten days, the premise is that some tropical island is the native range of some endemic (whoops, I mean, the island is infested with...) tree sized carnivorous plants. Mamie van Doren (a large-breasted trash-film goddess) is in this film. I've been told by a reliable source (Nathan S) that the plants are omnivorous.

The Mutations (movie): Reader F.T. directed my attention to this film, also called "The Freakmaker". Evil scientist jazzes with the genetic codes of humans and plants, like we all do. Hmmm..."The Mutations/The Freakmaker" ... "Mentos/The Freshmaker"... Is there a connection?

Nosferatu, eine Symphonie des Grauens: Classic film buff Brian T alerted me to the fact that in this 1922 vampire film, Dr. Van Helsing shows a Venus flytrap to his students and describes it as the "vampire of the plant kingdom." I recently watched this and was really impressed by the quality of the flytrap sequence, growing nicely in Sphagnum.

Please Don't Eat My Mother! (movie): A 1972 rip-off of Little Shop of Horrors. The plot describes a grower (Henry Fudd) of giant Venus flytrap-like monsters (named Adam and Eve). He falls in love with one of the plants, and ends up feeding people to the plants... Nathan S tells me the plants are terrestrial, so this movie counts. Although it apparently blows.

Prometheus (movie): A nice little Nepenthes, which looks to my eyes like a hybrid involving N. ventricosa, is visible in one of the living quarters on the Prometheus. This is early on, before all hell breaks loose.

The Ruins (movie): Another one of those movies which are basically vehicles for us to watch a group of twenty-somethings get killed horribly, one by one. No, I haven't seen it, and no, I have no plans to. I'm just not a big fan of this kind of film. But reading the plot synopsis it seems pretty clear that the wound-sucking vines are carnivorous. I'm sure that there are lots of sweaty t-shirts and, we can only hope, lots of cheap shots of sexy babes. But I'm not interesting in seeing the leg amputation scenes, etc.

Suddenly Last Summer: I haven't seen this, but clearly I should. It is based upon a Tennessee Williams play of the same name, and stars Katharine Hepburn and Elizabeth Taylor. Hepburn plays a creepy "Violet Venable" who wants to give Taylor a lobotomy (really!). Cannibalism and other issues are hinted at which, if I listed them here, would probably prevent anyone with parental-content screening web software from viewing my web domain. Anyway, the wonderful FAQ-reader Kate V sent to me a movie still of Hepburn feeding bugs to her Nepenthes lowii-like plants (which Peter D'Amato---high priest of all that is weird regarding carnivorous plants---tells me were cardboard fakes). A most excellent sighting, Kate!

Venus Against the Son of Hercules (movie): You can't go wrong with a movie title like this. Maybe the best chance to track this down would be if MST-3K allies ever revived it. How does Mr. X. find these things?

Voodoo Island (movie): (also known as Silent Death) Another sighting by Mr. X., this 1957 film has Boris Karloff and Adam West. Wow!!! I must see this! Unfortunately, it is supposed to suck, even though there is a carnivorous plant in it. (Mr. X says it looks like a big cabbage.) Directed by Reginald Le Borg.

Weekend at Bernie's (movie): In this '80s flick, there is a restaurant scene that has a cut Sarracenia leucophylla pitcher in a vase during a scene early in the film. Thanks to Lindsey, who was very embarrassed to admit she watched the film. Meanwhile, Steve G---who unapologetically likes the film---sent me a few screen grabs so I could make the species identification.

Werewolf of London (movie): In this 1935 film (yes, there is such a film), a botanist is bitten and becomes a lycanthrope. In one scene, the scientist's snooty but quite fashionable aunt (who keeps, of course, a little dog in her arms, as snooty aunts always do) shows her disdain for Venus flytraps maintained in the botanist's collection. I would have shared her disdain too, for this so-called botanist spelled the genus name "Dionoea"! There's also another starfish-shaped plant (named "Carnelia") that they feed a frog! Thanks to Brian T for bringing this to my attention, and to Steve G for sending me screen grabs!

When Dinosaurs Ruled the Earth (movie): Yet another sighting by Mr. X, this 1970 Hammer flick features dinosaurs and a carnivorous plant that captures....guess...a beautiful blonde woman! The posters for this thing look like a cheap version of "One Million Years B.C." Directed by Val Guest.

The Woman Eater (movie): I have not seen this 1950s atrocity which is described as being worse than "From Hell It Came" (see below). BUT, it does have a carnivorous tree (seen, apparently, in just a few shots, and how it actually eats people is apparently obscure) so what more could you ask for? Quality? Now you're being unrealistic!

Carnivorous Plants on Television

Addams Family: Morticia was often seen feeding meaty tidbits to her plant (Cleopatra). The marvelous Kate V, who told me about "Suddenly Last Summer" (see above) tells me that Cleopatra was (a)an African strangler plant, (b)raised from seed by Morticia, (c)particularly fond of zebra burgers and yak meatballs. Kate tells me that Cleopatra was a major plot element in episode 47, when Cleopatra ate a photograph of Gomez. Episode 47 was called "Portrait of Gomez." It aired 12-10-1965. Is there anything that Kate doesn't know???

Battlestar Galactica (2003-2009): In the 18th episode ("Downloaded") of season two, there is a conversation between the oh-so-hot Sharon Valerii and the molto-smokin' Cylon #6, in Sharon's apartment on Caprica. About 14:06 into the episode, you see a Sarracenia at the left. It is not clear if the pitchers are being grown, or if they are cut pitchers. It is hard to say what plant it is, but I'm guessing it is Sarracenia psittacina × leucophylla. By the way, I'm proud to take credit for spotting this one!

Boston Legal (2010): In season 4, episode 17 ("The Court Supreme"), there are some herbarium-mounted pitcher plants on the wall as decorations. They appear to either be Sarracenia flava or S. alata, it's hard to be sure. OK--it's just a short appearance, but that's pretty close to having carnivorous plants meeting James Kirk. Thanks to Shawn H (who sent me screen caps of Shatner and pitcher plants) for this one!

Cake Boss (around 2010): Charles K. sent me a couple of screen grabs showing that a cake on this show was decorated with a big Dionaea. I don't know what Cake Boss is, but I feel fine about this oversight.

Curb Your Enthusiasm (around 2010): Wes G. sent me a screen capture from an unspecified episode, showing Larry David in his apartment, with a planted specimen of what is apparently a small Sarracenia leucophylla hybrid. No further information was provided...

The Lost World: Once, while driving across the USA, I spent the night in a dinky motel that had both a TV and cable. Since I have neither at home, I spent all night watching mind-numbing programming. One of the shows was an episode in a series that centered upon an explorer (ca. the 1890s). In this episode, our crew of explorers ran afoul of a jungle-inhabiting tribe of European children and teenagers. (If you remember the annoying tribe of kids from "Road Warrior: Beyond Thunderdome," you can get an idea of what these tykes were like.) The junior civilization spent much of its energy feeding a big carnivorous plant. The plant had roots that exuded toxic gas (so you couldn't kill it by root damage). I think our hero ultimately figured out how to kill it, and everyone was happy, except for some not-really-evil-but-just-misguided tribal high priestess girl.

(Thanks to Kit H for identifying the show for me---I missed the name. He even pointed out that this was in season 2, episode 35, called "The Guardian." Kit, you're scaring me a little.)

Star Trek milieu (TV): Astonishingly, there are almost no carnivorous plants in any of the Star Trek movies and TV shows. This is surprising, because bromeliads are certainly very popular with the Federation crew. Despite my looking very carefully for carnivorous plants in their living quarters or the hydroponics facilities, I have not seen any in either the original series (TOS), The Next Generation (TNG), or Enterprise. In the Deep Space 9 episode "Resurrection" (season 6, episode 6) I spotted a few Sarracenia leucophylla pitchers in Major Kira's room (seen when she's chatting with Bareil), about 16 minutes into the episode. Otherwise, the only sightings are from the Voyager series--in episode "Initiations" (Season 2, episode 2; 8 minutes in), a somewhat lonely potted Sarracenia leucophylla can be seen behind Neelix and Captain Janeway). This species appears again 10 minutes, 15 seconds into the episode "Prototype" (Season 2, episode 13). Thanks to sharp-sighted Shawn H for spotting the Voyager appearances!

In another Voyager episode ("Bliss"), an alien (obvious grounds for disqualification right there, as described below) is defined as being "like" a pitcher plant (again, a bonus disqualification). Even so, it is great watching carnivorous plants being talked about on Star Trek. (Even though they get some information wrong.)

Ultraman (TV): In episode five (The Treasure of Miroganda), Ultraman has to do battle with Greenmons, a monster of botanical origins (it originally came as a red flower from an indisclosed but radioactive site in southeast Asia). This spore-shooting monster eats people, and ultimately transforms into city-stomping size, but is fortunately undone by the great Ultraman and his "specium beam." (Thanks to Keith A. for this entry.)

From the Worlds of Cartoons/Commercials

I don't care to argue with folks about "cartoons" vs. "animation" vs. "CGI" vs. "special effects." Look, in this section, I'm including stuff from TV shows which are friggin' cartoons. Stuff like Speed Racer or Clutch Cargo. Read examples, and you'll see what I mean. If you have an entry for this section, you must be able to document it. So don't e-mail me with rumors that there was a carnivorous plant on some episode of The Flintstones or Scooby Do unless you can back it up with screen grabs!

Felix the Cat: There are apparently two episodes of this cartoon where Felix gets in trouble with carnivorous plants, one of which is referred to as a "Squeezum Plant." I haven't seen this myself, I am only going on the testimony of a FAQ-Reader (who didn't identify him/herself by name).

Jimmy Neutron: Ben M tells me that the boy genius has a pet carnivorous plant that he trained to eat girls to keep them at bay. I guess because he hates "cooties."

Rocky and Bullwinkle (Cartoon): Buddy Michael C has told me that a few episodes of this truly odd series includes a carnivorous vine called a Pottsylvania creeper. The plot synopsis is too strange to try to relate (it's Rocky and Bullwinkle, after all). Michael didn't have screen grabs, but I trust him.

The Simpsons: Derek G told me about episode EABF17, in which the family visits a botanical garden to see Amorphophallus. While there, Homer Simpson has some wranglings with a hungry Venus flytrap. I've seen screen grabs from the episode, and the carnivore is bona fide! Also, in episode CABF13, Jonathan D tells me that the family has a close scrape with a (probable) carnivore in Africa.

Taco Bell Commercial: Derek G reminded me of a commercial that ran on the airwaves in the USA in 2003. This showed a Venus flytrap-like plant that was omnivorous and also attitudinous. It grabbed and ate its owner's taco, and I suppose since the taco was probably not vegetarian one, the plant would probably be classified as carnivorous. (Note: I'm not sure if I will archive occurrences of carnivorous plants on commercials on this FAQ. I'm not sure if there's a point.)

Close Encounters of the Unverified Kind

These movies may, may have carnivorous plants in them (perhaps as cameo appearances), but for reasons mentioned in each review are considered suspect... (And remember, a murderous plant is not necessarily a carnivorous one.)

At the Earth's Core (movie): Russell V tells me that in this film, Peter Cushing journeys to the center of the Earth and finds a killer plant! I gotta see it to be convinced.

Blood (movie): This 1972 flick sounds interesting, almost watchable, involving a girl in a family of bloodsucking werewolves. Supposedly there are monster carnivorous plants in here too? (Thanks for the tip, F. T.)

Coraline (movie): I've been told that halfway into this movie there is a garden scene with what looks like glowing Nepenthes growing out of the ground.

Curse of the Were-Rabbit (movie): I've been told that there was a carnivorous plant in this Wallace and Gromit film. Strange, I do not remember one.

The Golden Compas (movie): FAQ-reader Andi L tells me that early in this film, there is a greenish Sarracenia hybrid in some steam-punk kind of terrarium. This occurs when Lyra is in Mrs. Coulter's house. There is another terrarium with an orchid, too. Does anyone have a screen shot, so I can put this in the "verified" category? I mean, I even have a reference to the carnivorous plant nursery that supplied the plant! This plant should be a shoe-in!

Holocausto Porno (movie): OK, apparently this terrible 1981 porn-horror film (yes, porn-horror) by Joe D'Amato supposedly has a scene in which the characters, marooned on the island and engaging in lots of sex and violence (apparently there are some zombies and crazed natives), discuss the fact that some of the seaweed around the island is....uh....carnivorous. From the reviews, I recommend you waste your time elsewhere.

The Island (movie): About 95 minutes into the movie, when Lincoln Six Echo meets Tom Lincoln in the latter's apartment, there is a glass vase containing what may be cut Sarracenia leucophylla pitchers. However, they could also be cut flowers of calla lilies (Zantedeschia aethiopica)--I can't tell. Can someone maybe send me a screen grab from an HDTV?

Journey to the Center of the Earth (1959 movie): I vaguely recall that in this movie, which I haven't seen for many, many, years, there was a portal that the intrepid followers of Arne Saknussem had to pass through, which was ringed with strangely expanding and contracting tentacles. Does anyone else remember this? I don't recall if they were supposedly carnivorous, or if they were possibly fungal? Anyone?

Mad Love a.k.a. the Hands of Orlac: Rumor has it that this 1935 Peter Lorre film cuts to views of Darlingtonia californica in order to evoke metaphorical notions of brutality. In this 1935 fun-fest, Lorre plays "Dr. Gogol", an insanely love-smitten surgeon with weak ethics. This film is stuffed with hand-transplants, knife-throwing murderers, beautiful actresses and talented piano players which all amount to probably very little time dedicated to Darlingtonia.

Mortuary (movie): I once spent a few hours stuck in a plane on a runway in St. Louis, awaiting a snowstorm to lighten up. I recall dozing while they showed this pretty bad looking 2005 horror movie. I never put on my earphones, but I did perk up near the end when a big monster living in the basement of a building showed up. This monster sure looks like it was some kind of carnivorous plant, but I don't know. Has anyone watched this?

Mothra (movie): In this 1961 film, a scientist is attacked by a vine, later called a "vampire plant." Hmm. I want to upgrade the listing of this movie, I really do (I mean, we're talking Mothra!). But it just doesn't quite cut it for me. I think his line was something like, "It appears to be a vampire plant." The scientist is a bit too casual, and I don't think his identification is made carefully enough. I mean, by his diagnosis, is he just telling the plant's common name, or is he suggesting it is an undead plant, or that it has blood-drinking attributes? Is it clearer in the original Japanese? Yeah, I'm a picky bastard.

My Dinner with Andre (movie): Supposedly Sarracenia leucophylla appear as a table centerpiece? However, there is some question about whether this is actually a mistaken reference, and the sighting is really a reference to the verified carnivorous plants that appear in "Weekend at Bernies" (listed above).

Mysterious Island (movie): OK, this is a real stretch for this page. But film aficionado Russell V tells me that while there are no carnivorous plants in the film, there were in the storyboards for it! Sure, that doesn't make this movie qualify for inclusion on the list, but Ray Harryhausen was involved, and...well...I've got a huge love of his work. If you ever meet me, ask to see my Harryhausen-cyclops impersonation.

Oh Dad, Poor Dad, Mama's Hung You in the Closet and I'm Feeling So Sad (movie): This 1967 film sounds like an amazingly terrible film, so bad (according to imdb.com) that I'm not willing to watch it. But if someone out there wants to send me a screen grab showing Rosalind Russell with her pet flytrap, I'd be happy to see it. Also, maybe send good views of the 25 year old "baby son" or the dead husband stored in the travelling casket too! (Thanks for the tip, F. T.)

Seeds of Evil (movie): A 1974 film which is supposedly really bad. All I know about this film is that the film seems to involve a landscaper who somehow becomes a part human, part plant monster, and who starts getting murderous. I don't know what the deal is, but for now it has potential as being a carnivorous plant film. Anyone seen it?

Tarzan (??) (movie): FAQ-reader Michael H says that he remembers some old Tarzan film (Johnny Weissmuller era) in which some nasty antagonist dies at the end in the leaves of a carnivorous fern. Well...with fronds like those, who needs enemies!!!! (Hah hah hah hah hah hah) By the way, Russell V told me of a film called "Tarzan's Desert Mystery" with carnivorous plants---this may be what Michael H saw.

Venus flytrap (movie): I found this movie title for an apparently TERRIBLE movie on imdb.com. From the plot summary, I can find no tie-in whatsoever to carnivorous plants, but maybe there's at least a Venus flytrap portrayed for a moment? Who wants to subject themselves to watching it?

Sightings that did not quite qualify

The following fine contributions to the cheese-genre are disqualified from the realm of "carnivorous plant" media for at least one of three Rules.

  1. Outer Space Connection: Monster plants from outer space are disqualified. Why? Because the concepts of "plants" and "animals" are defined within the context of Earth-bound life-forms. I do not envision that life on planet Eminiar VII will be divided into plants, animals, fungi, protists, etc., like they are on Earth. Even if an organism from Vendikar looks, smells, and acts like a carnivorous plant, how can you tell if it really has cellulose cell walls etc. like a plant?

    Stacey's Corollary: Rule #1 demands some clarifiation and delicacy in application. For example, should we flippantly assume that some "fantasy realm" has the same rules of distinction separating plants and animals that we have here on Earth? This is an interesting point. So I will disqualify films that are "high fantasy" (i.e. Wizard of Oz, or swords and sorcery films) because of Mayan's Corollary. But I will retain films of "low fantasy" (i.e. fantastic elements intruding on the normal realm, such as Jumanji). I know I'll get some whiners about this rule (I can imagine the e-mails: "How can you include Gozilla vs. Biollante?!"), but it's a judgement call, and when it comes to this FAQ, I am king.
  2. Murderous plants: If a monster plant just kills animal life forms but doesn't eat them, it is a murderous plant, and not a carnivorous one. I gotta seem them do some chowing!
  3. Possessed plants: If a plant is acting crazy because it is possessed by daemons or ghosts, I don't consider it a normal carnivorous plant. (Just like Linda Blair's character Regan in "The Exorcist" is not to be held accountable for her rotary head behavior.)

Andromeda: Kit H tells me that in this Kevin-Sorbo-starring-show, there's an episode called "Fear and Loathing in the Milky Way" where there are "tundra plants" that are actually some sort of Sarracenia hybrid. Sarracenia appear in other episodes as well, he says. Sorry Kit, the outer space connection plops this entry into the DISQUALIFIED bin!

The Avengers (TV): Carlos P pointed me towards an episode (Man-Eater Of Surrey Green) of this Brit show where the villain is a carnivorous, telepathic plant with urges to control the world. But uh oh, the plant is from outer space. No good for this page.

Creeping Unknown/Quartermass Xperiment (movie): A Hammer film, I have not seen this. An outer space connection demands instant disqualification!

Doctor Who (TV): I found some references to an episode called "The Seeds of Doom", which involves some extraterrestrial carnivorous plants called Krynoids. Again, no good for this page.

Evil Dead, Evil Dead II (movies): (Let me start off with a personal bit of trivia. When I was single, I would not date any woman who does not like Sam Raimi or Bruce Campbell movies. This should reveal plenty about my arrested development, eh? Also a pretting damning statement about my lovely wife!) In "Evil Dead II," the shemps stuck in a cabin in the woods are menaced by a bunch of possessed trees--not carnivorous, just murderous. Also, these are possessed so they are not necessarily acting true to their normal behaviour. In "Evil Dead", the trees (and in particular, vines) are particularly poorly-behaved, but I won't go into the details other than to say they are not carnivorous.

From Hell it Came (movie): Your basic, 1950s racist film about primitive natives, evil witch doctors, and wealthy white researchers in short-sleeved linen clothes who think nothing of driving their jeeps through tribal burial grounds in order to advance the plot. Plot? Oh, some sacrificed tribal guy returns from the dead as a revenant that looks like a cross between the apple trees from Wizard of Oz and Gumby. Disqualified because the plant-revenant is just murderous, and not carnivorous.

Green Slime (movie): The outer space setting for this film instantly disqualifies it. (I've never seen the film.)

Harry Potter (movies): To date, the various plants in these movies (whomping willow, mandrakes, etc. etc.) are perhaps a little more active than most, and may even be hostile. But none are carnivorous.

Invasion of the Body Snatchers (various versions): A seed from space lands, and soon people are being "replaced" by botanical look-alikes. Disqualified because of the the obvious outer-space disqualification.

Lexx (TV): I've never seen the show, which from a quick web search looks like sleaze-sci-fi (the show has "love slaves"!). But apparently some episodes involve things like an alien plant life form which telepathically gives people visions of their greatest desires. Plenty of excuses for cheap ratings-boosting erotica there, eh? (Incidentally, there are some definite cuties on the Lexx web sites, but none can hold a candle to Jadzia Dax!) Other episodes involve space plants that devour whole planets.

I have also been told of a recurring character on the show named Lyekka, who is called a "plant woman". (Thanks, "Boss", for this tidbit!) A denizen of the "light universe," she must be disqualified on the outer space grounds (Lyekka is connected to the planet-eating plants, by the way). A quick web search on her name reveals (1)the character is played by a cutie named Louise Wischermann, and (2)the organism Lyekka has no sex organs. Not even a receptive stigmatic surface? Drag!

Little Shop of Horrors (1986 movie version): While the 1960 version qualifies (see list above), the 1986 movie is not a carnivorous plant movie because Audrey II is described as being extraterrestrial in origin (the outer space caveat).

Lost in Space (TV): I've been told that one episode of this seriously sucko TV series had carnivorous plants. Disqualified because of the outer space connection. Lost in Space should be disqualified, permanently, from all discussions, in my humble opinion. If you disagree, I don't care---don't bother to e-mail.

Penis Flytrap (movie): This is a porn flick with, as far as I know, no carnivorous plant content. But you have to appreciate the most excellent title. If you want to send me screen grabs from this film, please contact me first so we can discuss EXACTLY what would be in the photos you'd be sending---no need to lose our jobs for a silly carnivorous plant FAQ!

Poltergeist (movie): This movie dates from the era in which every film made had lots of slime in it. Boogery boogery slime. This film was one of the most boogery of them all. In one sequence, a boogery tree half-eats a little boy, but the dad pulls the kid out of the tree just in time. From this description, you might think that the film qualifies perfectly as a carnivorous plant film, but the problem is that the tree is actually animated by evil forces and is not really a carnivorous plant. Do not trust trees planted in cemeteries.

Return of the Jedi (movie): In this film, a bunch of our heroes were at risk of being thrown into some weird pitfall trap monster thing in the desert. First off, it doesn't look like a plant, and second, it is an outer space monster. Lots of disqualifications! (These Star Wars people are so insistent sometimes! I think they are trying to make up for insecurities based upon the suppressed yet persistent awareness that Star Trek is better.)

Swamp Thing: The plot is that a half-human, half-plant avenging hero-type is created by an evil scientist. This has been made into at least one movie and a TV series. Disqualified because, while the "plant" connection is irrefutable, there is no "carnivorous" tie-in.

The Thing (movie): In the original 1951 version, this monster was more plant than animal. (I love the scene with the little plantlets in the planting bed, crying like babies.) Alas, disqualified because of the outer space connection.

Tremors (TV): In the episode, "Flora or Fauna?", an organism genetically engineered using, in part, Venus flytrap chromosomes turns mean (surprised? I mean, really?). Well, I read the episode guide and, despite Kit H's compelling arguments to the contrary, I am going to put this show in the Disqualified bin because there is no proof that that murderous things really are carnivorous, or even if they are plants.

The Two Towers (movie): In the scene where Merry and Pippin are lost in Fangorn (an ancient forest), they are accosted by some trees which try to eat them, and are saved by Ents (which are not trees). Next time I see this film I will want to verify that the plants were truly carnivorous and not just with sour attitudes. However, this would merely be an academic exercise because I am judging this film to be disqualified because of Mayan's Corollary Rule #1b.

The Unknown Terror (movie): I only vaguely recall having seen this in my youth. Disqualified because the monster is a fungus, and not a plant.

Voyage to the Prehistoric Planet (movie): Russell V told me about this film involving an astronaut being attacked by a killer plant. Outer space disqualification!

The Wizard of Oz (movie): Yeah, yeah, yeah. So there are some trees that have bad attitudes and throw apples. (Always a concept that bothered me---kind of like getting mad at someone and throwing your fingernail clippings at them. Or maybe your ears.) But this is disqualified because of Mayan's Corollary. And anyway, throwing apples is a far cry from being carnivorous! (And yes, I know about the "munchkin suicide" trivia---it's just urban legend. Go away.)

X-Files (TV): I'm not a big fan of the show, and haven't seen the relevant episode, but apparently there was a sequence where there were these crazy hallucinations and it turned out that the people were interacting with some kind of psycho-active fungus which lulled them into a sense of safety, even though they were getting digested by the fungus. Well I got news for you, folks, fungus ain't plants, so this possible carnivorous plant sighting is disqualified!

Page citations: D'Amato, P., 2002 (personal communication); Rice, B.A. 2006a; reader contributions; personal observations.

back forward

bar

Revised: June 2012
©Barry Rice, 2005