Top 5 Flea Movies

I’m ruling out movies about cats and dogs. Listing movies about cats and dogs and their fleas would be like making a Top-5 list of movies about, say, breathing. And yes, I’m two days late applying the Advantage this month. I swear I’ll do it tonight.

I’m also ruling out The Seventh Seal and all other plague movies.

And poverty movies. I hate depressing old Top 5 lists about the poor and the flea-bitten.

And please, no cartoon fleas.

1. The D. I. (1957) – In 1957, I was living in Beaufort, S.C., next to Parris Island, where The D.I. (Drill Instructor) transpires. It was #1 in town for weeks, of course. Jack Webb at his best. The central scene: maneuvers on a beach; don’t slap the sand fleas even as they bite. A recruit does slap, the men are made to hold a funeral for the flea and spend the night out on the sand, with the surviving fleas.

2. The Autobiography of a Flea – If no one ever made a movie of this classic of erotica, they ought to have. A friend brought back a copy from Europe in 1960. This was before the word “porn” had been invented, because there wasn’t any, as far as most of us knew. “Hardcore,” if it was used, did not relate to the arts. The book chronicles the non-clerical activities of a collection of monks and nuns. Flea’s-eye view. I wonder if my friend was worried at Customs, as I’m sure that they loved to confiscate this sort of item. I should google him now after 50 years and ask him.

3. The movies wherein a group is hiding from the Nazis and one of them gets bit, but to react would be to expose the group. Nazis and fleas, of course, just naturally go together.

4. No more military or sex movies. This space is reserved for the movies where, at a crucial moment, a flea bites somebody in the ass and they jump forward and knock over the, the, the sacred idol, or cry out before the bride can say I do, or like that.

5. MEMORIAL – This space honors all the drive-ins that have turned into flea markets.

Honorable mention: Movies that combine fleas and ghosts or fleas and vampires, but not fleas and werewolves.