Empire of the Ants (1977)

Empire of the Ants

Directed by Bert I. Gordon

Tagline: “For they shall inherit the Earth… sooner than you think!”

Run Time: 89 minutes

“Oh my God…they’re herding us like cattle!”
– Cute Blonde


Bert I. Gordon’s The Empire of the Ants is a cheesy giant ant film based loosely, and I mean very loosely, on a 1905 H.G. Wells short story, and with "Mr. BIG" well into his 80’s by now, this movie just may be his cinematic Big-Bug swan son: a final salute (or middle finger, depending on what you think of his films) to all of us who, whether we love him or hate him, have spent money and time watching his generally low-quality dreck.

If you don’t know who Bert I. Gordon is, then please send me your address so I can come visit you and slap you in the head with a trout. Until then, I’ll try and refresh your memory: Bert Gordon is best known as the man who created a slew of goofy low-budget flicks in the late 1950’s and early 60’s that revolved around ‘giant’ bugs and people. Such screen gems include a plutonium-enlarged Air Force pilot in The Amazing Colossal Man (1957) (and its very unnecessary, and unwanted follow up, War of the Colossal Beast), a gang of huge hippie teenagers in Village of the Giants (1965), a giant spider in Earth vs. the Spider (1958), and, my personal favorite, an attack of giant grasshoppers in the grandiosely entitled Beginning of the End (1957). (Bert, who along with his wife Flora, created all of his special effects, dabbled ever so slightly in the opposite side of the miniature/giant spectrum in the forgettable 1958 sci-fi film Attack of the Puppet People starring B-Movie regular, John Agar.)

As noted above, the title of our feature film was taken from a short story written in the early 1900’s by legendary sci-fi author H.G. Wells. In the original story an investigator delves deep into the South American jungles to investigate the rumor of killer ants that reportedly destroyed a colony of settlers. However, in Gordon’s rewrite, things get a little watered down; let’s compare the 2 plots:

H.G. Wells : Captain Gerilleau is sent into the jungles of Guaramadema in South America to investigate a deadly plague of ants that have been killing local settlers and destroying the countryside.

Bert I. Gordon : Ants eat radioactive silver paint, become giant, and kill a real estate agent played by Joan Collins.

So now you know what I meant when I said ‘loosely’ based on the book. By the way, Gordon created a similar film the previous year based on another H.G. Wells novel,The Food of the Gods; a story about experimental foods that cause bugs and animals to grow to gigantic size: a theme that proved too irresistible to the ever industrious Mr. Gordon who just had to make a movie of it.

So, let’s get started:

Open with a boat skimming across the ocean as crewmen, dressed in full-body protective suits, casually launch barrels into the sea just a few hundred yards of the coast of an island. (Plot Point!) Subtlety never being one of Director Gordon’s strong points, the barrels are painted silver and as the camera zooms in, multiple times, we see the words "Radio Active Waste" stenciled on the sides. So, OK. I get it, I get it.

(I had to laugh at this…even after all these years, Gordon is still using radioactivity as Ye Olde Plot Device in order to magically "explain" how insects can grow to such enormous size.)

Anyway, it was hardly a shock when the next scene reveals one of the barrels cast up on the beach and, why lookee there, it’s leaking silver paint. Oh, I mean radioactive waste.

Empire of the AntsEmpire of the Ants

Ahhh yes, well that explains it. Enough back story, now let’s move on.

Meanwhile, back on the mainland, a representative for "Dreamland Shores" Real Estate, Marilyn Fryser (played by a then still-pretty-hot Joan Collins. Yes, you know it’s true. Don’t deny it!) prepares for the day’s arrival of potential customers. (Oh, and guess where those barrels of radioactive waste have washed up? I’ll leave that as an rhetorical question for now.) Anyway, where was I? Oh yes, Marilyn greets the guests as they arrive and then ushers them aboard a chartered boat so as to take them all out to the island so they can take a look at the available properties.

Empire of the Ants

Before we proceed, let’s take a quick look at the victims as they arrive:

Empire of the Ants

Old Couple looking for retirement home: Dead meat for sure. Since when do old people survive monster movies?

Empire of the Ants

Bitter ‘Play Boy’ and Clueless Wife:

Bitter Guy, wearing a horrendous leisure suit, is hopefully going to meet a painful death in the mandibles of a giant ant puppet.

Clueless Wife? Dead. No doubt.

Empire of the Ants

Cute Blonde : Dead…maybe. She’s pretty cute so she might make it.

Empire of the Ants

Young Drunk Guy : Too young + Too ‘cute’ = Ant meat? Hard to say.

Empire of the Ants

Chintzy Couple from Jersey: Gee…what do you think? They’re from Jersey!

Cut back to the island to see a pair of disgruntled Dreamy Shores employees drinking beer and setting up signs pointing to the various available lots. In typical crappy movie fashion, the workers take slugs of beer while gushing wads of exposition telling us just how remote the island is…but there is a small town nearby…<cue scary music>. With that out of the way, another jump cut reveals ants crawling around on the goopy silver paint that masquerades as radioactive waste.

Empire of the AntsAfter arriving on the island, Marilyn and the others engage in completely unconvincing small talk as they munch on a free buffet. People introduce each other, couples splinter off from the main group, chit chat, then return to the buffet. Are you bored yet? Good. Me too. There’s a word for this type of scene: PADDING! Get used to it.

This clumsy vignette culminates in an inexplicably motivated scene showing Bitter Married Guy luring Cute Blonde out in the tree line where he tries to rape her! Why? Why? (The scene ends with her kneeing him in the nuts and stalking off to join the others.) Oh, but the action doesn’t stop there…oh no, no, no. As Bitter Guy composes himself after the vicious assault to his groinial-area, we hear an obvious rip-off of the famous Jaws theme song along with a knee-high POV shot from within the bushes. Considering that we just saw the ants eating the radioactive waste a mere 3 minutes ago, that’s some pretttttty damned fast growing there, pardner. Oh, and further keeping in the spirit of scientific accuracy, the ant "sees" like a kaleidoscope, because, you know, ants have a gazillion little eyes.

After this lovely 3 or 4 minutes of wasted run time (and my life), Marilyn herds her guests onto a tram in order to drive them around the island and see the development. I just have to say, that this putative "island paradise" is utterly forlorn and devoid of any charm or warmth whatsoever. I’m thinking that Bert was on a tight shooting schedule because the whole scene, nay, nearly the whole film, appears to have been shot on an overcast, blustery day. It just doesn’t scream Island Paradise, if you know what I mean.

Soooooo…more boring padding…more clumsy conversations…more pointless characterization. And why is it pointless? Because we all know they’ll soon be eaten by Winnebago-sized ants so who cares about their personal problems??!!

Finally, and brother, do I mean finally, the tour begins. (It looks like this was all filmed at an abandoned housing project with home-made "Dreamland Shores" signs hastily stuck into the ground by the film crew. "This building here is going to be torn down," Marilyn mentions as she guides her guests along a weedy beach. (Yeah, sure, this is suuuuuuuuuuuuuch prime property.) After strolling past yet another derelict building (would you really want potential investors to be seeing this?), they all clamber back aboard the gaudy "Dreamland" tram and begin a tour of even more rundown, abandoned lots.

Empire of the AntsEmpire of the Ants

Anyhoo, the tram putters along as Marilyn bellows through a bull-horn directly into the ears of the people sitting immediately behind her. Hilariously, and in keeping faithful to the generally low-budget feeling of the movie, the tram conveys the guests past one desolate, depressing lot after another; each dubiously labeled"Future Tennis Club", "Future Pool Area", and so on. An occasional ant POV shot is tossed in so that we can feel scared or something. (I especially like the scene where we hear Marilyn blabbing into the bullhorn on the soundtrack while we see her sitting completely still in the front seat, facing forward, with her hands in her lap. Brilliant.)

Wooo boy, the tram makes its a stop at another picnic table where the guests pile off and begin eating again..this can only mean one thing: more characterization! Aiyeeeee!

Thankfully, Chintzy Man in Green Leisure suit sneaks off to take a closer look at some unfinished water mains sticking out of the ground. "You don’t trust anybody," his wife complains to him as he pokes and pulls at the pipes. Boy, yeah Lady, you’re right: looking around before you invest in beach front property is pretty rude.

Empire of the AntsEmpire of the Ants

Chintzy man kneels to the ground and pulls out a piece of unconnected PVC water pipe. "You see! They’re dishonest!" he triumphantly exclaims just as a group of gigantic ants descends upon them. Swinging a 2-foot long plastic pipe in an effort to hold off an ant the size of a Grey Hound bus, Chintzy Man shouts for his wife to run for help. (Uh. She dies. Sorry.)

(I will give Bert Gordon credit for improving in his special effects. The post-processed ants are opaque and not transparent as nearly all his special effects "bugs" (and people!) were in his earlier films.)

Anyway, while the ants are happily devouring Chintzy Couple the others hop back onto the tram and continue the tour without realizing that the Chintzy Guy and his wife are missing. When somebody soon points this out to Marilyn, she blows it off by noting that they’ll catch up later. Wow, now that’s customer appreciation for you.

(The fact that it took several minutes before anybody even realized that they were missing is pretty amazing considering that there’s only 10 people in the group to begin with, not to mention that the wife is wearing a lime green outfit!)

After a few more minutes of driving, and you’re going to watch every second of it, Cute Blonde lets out an ear piercing scream when she spots a dead construction worker laying on the side of the road.

As everybody grimaces in disgust, some Einstein matter-of-factly suggests that they probably should go back and look for Chintzy Couple. Naturally, nobody jumps at the chance to run through the woods and be killed by some (as yet) unseen menace, so Drunk Guy and Cute Blonde grab their proverbial cajones and scurry off into the woods while glibly shouting "We’ll meet you back at the boat!"

After a few seconds of reconnoitering, Drunk Guy and Cute Blonde happen across the exact spot where Chintzy guy was gobbled up. "Oh my God!" she shouts upon seeing a pair of blood-stained green pants. (What was she screaming at? The pants or the blood? We may never know…) Out of nowhere, some giant ants appear via the magic of Bert I. Gordon split-screen work . (My suspension of disbelief was severely strained as I saw the "giant" ants pressing up against the glass walls of the aquarium in which they were filmed.)

Empire of the Ants Empire of the Ants

Back at the dock, we see giant ants merrily walking along the pier and crawling all over the chartered boat that Marilyn and the others used to reach the island. (The ants are now much larger than the ones previously shown, and are simply black-matted onto the scene without having the ants actually super-imposed onto the image…weird.)

(I had to laugh when I saw the Captain standing on the beach casually watching a stream of monster ants walk out onto the pier while taking a "Knee Up"…ala Giant Gila Monster.)

To add even more humor to the shot is when the Captain and his First Mate are fighting the ants on the boat, you can clearly see that they are standing on the beach, which doesn’t quite agree with the establishing shots showing the boat tied up at the end of the pier…but let’s not be so petty as to dwell upon these tiny inconsistencies. (But I will indulge myself in just enough pettiness to nab a quick screenshot:)

Empire of the Ants

Uh…wasn’t the boat tied to the end of the dock?

Anyway, the Captain, and I think somebody said his name is Dan, swims back to shore after chopping a hole in a gas can, setting it on fire with a flare, and blowing up the boat.

To my thinking, blowing up the boat was pretty stupid because, really, what’s the worst thing the ants could have done to the boat anyway? Crapped on the carpets? So now, thanks to Captain Dan, the boat is a burning wreck and everybody will have to hoof it through the ant-infested forest in order to reach (presumed) safety in the island’s only town.

After another long, boring scene (surprised?) in which everybody huddles around a camp fire arguing over what to do next, the gang reluctantly agrees to trudge through the forest and find the river which should take them back to civilization. (Mr. BIG includes a wonderful shot of ants climbing on a picture of a beach house in order to make them look "giant", a technique which he, er, perfected in the giant-grasshopper "classic" Beginning of the End. At least in this movie the ants are a better behaved than the grasshoppers and don’t climb off the edge of the "house" and into the sky. [NOTE FROM THE FUTURE: Actually, in a later scene several ants do in fact "take to the sky"!])

Oh, and needless to say, a good chunk of runtime is chewed up watching everybody run through the forest…every freakin’ step. Speaking of "chewed up", it’s that point in the movie where the non-essential characters must begin to be killed off. (Relatively non-essential, that is. All the characters are, of course, two-dimensional paper cut-outs, so it’s all pretty hard to tell who’s going to be killed first.)

So let’s see, who’s first. Ah yes, for no reason whatsoever, the Old Couple decide to head off on their own and take refuge in an old ramshackle shed because…wow, that was just a super smart idea. ("We lost that old couple," somebody remarks later in the film in a moment of heart-breaking sentimentality.)

Empire of the Ants

Wow. That was a really dumb idea.

In quick succession, Bitter Married Guy’s wife trips over a log (Wow…now there’s a plot contrivance that never gets old…), twists her ankle (<sigh>), and is quickly dispatched by a giant ant puppet. Right on the heels of that exciting scene, some Other Guy gets eaten (I think it’s Marilyn’s business partner.)

OK, I know I’m being vague here with the characters’ identities, but look:

1) The characters are completely unappealing.

2) Nobody has used any names yet, except Captain Dan, so I can’t really tell who is who.

3) Who cares? (See #1)

So with the character list literally halved in the last 5 minutes, the survivors find a half-rotten boat tied up to a tree. I’m going to pause the film and take a quick head count: Yes, there’s Marilyn, Captain Dan, Bitter Married Guy, Cute Blonde, Drunk Young Guy, and an Old Woman that has the sweets for Captain Dan. (Where the hell did she come from? Ack! I give up.)

Hey! A name: Drunk Young Guy is named….<drum roll>…Joe!

Empire of the Ants

BLARRGH! I’m huge!

By the way, do you want to know something even more boring than watching people run through the woods? Watching people row a boat up a stream. I tell ya, this movie has got it all. The only thing we’re missing now is a nice, long, slow-motion underwater knife fight. Yessirree.

After an eternity of watching Captain Dan rowing the boat up the stream (including a heart-stopping "Should We Turn Left Or Right?" scene), the survivors are forced to stop the boat when they spot a fallen tree blocking the way. A huge shocker here: the tree is full of ants (of the Split Screen species). After a brief tussle, Captain Dan manages to swing the boat around and start paddling up the river again. What excitement!

Well, at least it’s not too long before the ants ambushed them again. (Won’t these people ever learn?) This time the Plot Gods declare that Bitter Married Guy, er, Bitter Widowed Guy, is to be the next victim.

(I just had to chuckle when they showed Bitter Guy struggling with the and in the water: the rubber ant model must have been full of air because you can plainly see it floating on its back with its feet in the air while the guy is supposed to be ‘fighting for his life’!)

Sooooooo…the boat sank, for some reason, who knows, and now, yes, everybody is compelled to trudge through the woods…again! Good grief!!!!! (And yes, there are 5 exclamation points there.) Oh, and now everybody is magically completely dry even though they were all dumped into the river just a minute ago. Strange. (But not as strange as the fact that Cute Blonde’s shirt is still wet…thanks Mr. Gordon!)

(By the way, what is it with seeing Joan Collins attacked by giant ants that gives me a macabre sense of satisfaction?)

During a brief respite from the, uh, action, Captain Dan points out that the ants seem to be holding back, "They could kill us anytime they want…<dramatic pause>…they just don’t seem to want to."

(Oh really, Captain? That’s a pretty bold assertion when you stop and consider that your First Mate, Bitter Guy, Old Couple, Marilyn’s business partner, Bitter Guy’s wife, Chintzy Couple, and two Gardners have all been devoured in the last 30 minutes!)

Anyway, realizing that they are being herded "like…cattle", the survivors decide on the only ‘sensible’ course of action: head upstream in the direction that the ants seem to be herding them. Brilliant. Just brilliant.

After trudging through the some more forest (boring!), Marilyn and the others stumble across a rundown homestead and talk to an old couple that quickly point the way to town, but wow, there’s something mysterious about them. ("Don’t let them take you to the sugar refinery!" the old woman whispers to Cute Blonde before her scowling husband can tell her to shut up.) Anyway, the local Sheriff swings by, picks them up, and takes them into town. (On the way to town the Sheriff awkwardly points out the town’s gigantic sugar refinery…Oh brother. This is almost as ridiculous as the Flower Festival in The Swarm.)

So, shall we connect the dots?

Creepy townsfolk.

Sugar refinery.

Main highway closed.

No phone lines available.

Hmmmmm, are the local yokels under the control of the ants somehow?

Nahhhhhh, that’d be too stupid, wouldn’t it?

In summary, after a sequence of hamfisted events, it dawns upon Marilyn and the others that Something Is Up. With no easy way to escape the town, they hot wire a car and burn rubber up the main highway. Needless to say, they get about half a mile before they’re run off the road by Creepy Cops and taken into custody. Through the magic of editing and lame plot devices, Joe and Cute Blonde manage to escape the cops’ clutches and flee into a corn field. (Unfortunately for me, this escape sequence provides Gordon yet another golden opportunity for more padding, this time with people running through corn stalks instead of trees. <sigh>)

Meanwhile, the others, now in police custody, are transported to the sugar refinery and pushed inside a large building along with a truck load of zombified locals. When the refinery’s steam whistle blows, the giant ants (this time they’re nearly half as high as the refinery building) appear out of nowhere and clamber inside the sugar warehouse in order to dine on its sweet contents.

(Again, Gordon chose to film real ants climbing on a picture of the building to make them look giant sized. And, once again, several misbehaving individuals climb off the picture and up into the "sky", providing one of the films few entertaining moments.)

Empire of the Ants

Back inside, Marilyn, Captain Dan, and Old Woman That Likes Captain Dan are shoved to the front of a long line of glassy-eyed townsfolk where they discover to their horror (and my great amusement) that the townspeople are kept ‘zombified’ by being placed in a small booth where the ant Queen squirts them with a vaporous pheromone. This ‘pheromone’ (which greatly resembles dry-ice fog, if you get what I’m saying…) transforms its victim into a mindless drone that will now do the ants’ bidding, namely, keep the warehouse full of sugar.

Empire of the Ants

Yep, I’m tired and it’s Bullet Time:

  • Marilyn gets ‘smoked’ by the Queen and becomes a glassy-eyed drone, (much like myself at this point). She tries her best to convince the others to give in to the power of The Ants!
  • Captain Dan gets pushed into the booth, pulls out a road flare (from where??!!…never mind, don’t answer that!) and attacks the Queen.
  • The other ants, feasting on sugar in the neighboring building, hear their Queen’s distress call and freak out.
  • Said ants go amok and attack the refinery workers thus affording Gordon more use for his monster ant-head puppets.
  • In the confusion, Joe reaches the refinery from the corn field, and finds a convenient gasoline tanker truck.
  • Joe, being an expert in large gasoline transportation vehicles, quickly opens its valves and drives around spilling gas everywhere in preparation for the inevitable Gigantic Explosion Scene.
  • The town Sheriff, somehow free of the Queen’s spell (really, how does all this work?) whips out his service revolver and kills the Queen.
  • Equally inexplicable, Marilyn falls to the floor and dies in a puff of ant pheromone. Why she died and why the Sheriff is suddenly freed are questions the poor viewer will never have answered.
  • I must admit, seeing Joan Collins dying in a cloud of pheromones with a giant ant-head puppet in her lap is oddly satisfying.
  • Remember the Gigantic Explosion Scene I mentioned? We’ll, it has started. Enjoy.
  • Ants burn up. All 4 of them. (What about the others?)
  • Captain Dan, Old Woman That Likes Captain Dan, Cute Blonde, and Joe all make their escape via boat in an Incredibly Exciting Outboard Motor-Boat Sequence!
  • Cue credits and aspirin.

The End

Dennis Grisbeck (March 2009)

Afterthoughts

When it’s all over and done, Empire of the Ants is just a big-bug movie from the 50’s made with modern cinema equipment and actors. The thread-worn plot is the same as almost any other cheesy flick from that era and brings nothing new to the table except for the whole ‘pheromone’ weirdness in the sugar refinery which is over before it ever gets a chance to begin. Maybe the movie could have been better if it had started in the town full of ant-controlled slaves and gone from there. Alas, we will never know.

I’ll be fair and publicly state that Mr. Gordon has indeed given me many hours of viewing pleasure (and pain) through his opus of sub-par films. However, Empire of the Ants falls far short of the lofty standards he set in the past and is tedious, charmless, and ugly with far too few cheesy scenes to keep the viewer interested.

Things To Ponder:

What about all the ants still out in the forest? Are they still a threat?

Let’s look at the time line:

The barrel of radioactive waste washed ashore the day before Marilyn and the others arrived to look at the lots. So the ants ate the goo, grew to giant size, infested the forest, took control of the city, moved their Queen into the sugar refinery, and enslaved the town’s populace…in one day??!!

Would ant pheromones work on humans?

Read more about Empire of the Ants at

IMDB

15 comments to Empire of the Ants (1977)

  • guts3d

    …Soooooo…more boring padding…more clumsy conversations…more pointless characterization. And why is it pointless? Because we all know they’ll soon be eaten by Winnebago-sized ants so who cares about their personal problems??!!

    Great review! Sounds like they had some film, a few hundred dollars and some giant ant puppets and asked themselves ” Hmmm… What can we do with this…?

  • A few hundred dollars? I think you’re giving them waaaaaaaay too much credit 🙂

  • Sean

    OK, OK. I can’t keep quiet any longer. While I have a lot of affection for Mr. Big’s 1950’s giant bug epics, this movie is just God-awful. I mentioned it to Dennis earlier, but I’ll repeat it here – if you have a marquee star like Joan Collins, can’t you give her a decent role? Her character is hateful at the start of the movie, hateful in middle, and hateful at the finish. And she doesn’t even have any impact on the story line! I know I shouldn’t get upset over stuff like this but – surprise! – I can’t help myself.

  • Good point about Joan Collins. I’m not sure why she decided to “slum it” in this production, but since the whole movie looks like it was shot in a couple of days, maybe she just had a weekend to kill while vacationing down in Florida. Bert probably loved the idea of lending the movie some “star power” as well.

    Regarding her character, yeah, she was power-hungry bitch throughout the movie, and for no real reason. Not that you need a reason to be a bitch; Obviously, some people just are. But in this movie it seems like: Marilyn is a bitch, she bitches at people, and then the bitch gets killed by a giant ant. Boring.

  • David Fullam

    And now, the Democratic Response.

    I love this film, always have, always will. I went to see it the year it came out, I was all of 6, and went to a showing with my parents and a few of the other, older siblings. We sat way down front. There was this couple in the back, and I kept peeking over my shoulder to see if they were making “out” (of course at 6, I wasn’t totally aware of what that was yet). I had a great time. I was a Famous Monsters kid and a sucker for any monster movie, new or old. My folks knew it was a B Film bit of fluff, but enjoyed themselves as well.

    Through the years I too have dissected the film. I also get cracked up at the plot inconsistencies (yes, how did the ants subdue the town in so very little time from the initial mutation, what about all the other ants still out there, and so forth). But none of this ever made me love it any less. And Pamela Susan Shoop will always have a place in my heart. It was the first time I had a woman with really large breasts on the big screen. At 6, that made quite the impression.

  • guts3d

    It was the first time I had a woman with really large breasts on the big screen.

    Sitting up front like that they must have been… very large! I watched many a Gozilla movie like that. God, I miss those…

  • Sean

    Seeing movies on a really big screen really is magic. And there still are some old movie palaces left standing, complete with revival showings! I was lucky enough to see Rodan a few months back at the beautiful Lafayette Theater in the small town of Suffern, New York. The web site below gives info on upcoming screenings not only at the Lafayette, but at some other movie palaces in the New York City area. Currently something is happening at the Cedar Lane Cinema in Teaneck, New Jersey. If you’re in the area, check it out.

    http://www.bigscreenclassics.com/

  • David Fullam

    Yeah, seeing these things on the big screen really was fun. I even saw Giant Spider Invasion at the theater! Pamela Susan Shoop was really something to see to my 6 year old eyes 🙂

  • David Fullam

    And thanks for the link to Big Screen Classics!

  • oneeye

    I haven’t seen this one yet, although, strangely, I seem compelled to. It totally reminds me of Kingdom of the Spiders, which came out the same year, and had the added attraction of starring William Shatner. As soon as I track down Empire of the Ants, I’ll be back to comment fully. 🙂

  • Sean

    My pleasure! (And wow, The Giant Spider Invasion on a big screen. The mind boggles!)

  • David Fullam

    Yes, I was very little. It played at the same theatre that I saw Empire of the Ants at. My older sister took me, and they were giving away these big, black, spider rings as a promo. Wish I still had mine. Man oh man, I do miss the days where you could see just about anything on the big screen! Kids today are missing out on all the fun.

  • Tahmi

    What is that noise? First the ants reveal themselves by a high pitched jingling. At other times, during attacks, they scream. Other times a clicking noise is mixed in with all the other vocal sounds. Noisy critters.

  • guts3d

    I am probably wrong, but I thought that the clicking noises were their language to each other, being newly mutated and all they prolly just agreed to a new language overnight, seeing as how they had no vocal apparati. The jingling sound was to lure Santa in and steal his bag o’ toys, and the screaming was to terrorize the kids, is my guess!

  • David

    I actually loved this movie…up until the sheriff and other cops turned against the survivors trying to get home. But, it got better when the ants arrived at the sugar refinery for (what else?) sugar to feed on. In another note, I don’t know all the character names, but I do know some of them. I’ll try and name as many as I can.

    Old couple = Harry and Velma
    Bitter Playboy = Larry
    Clueless Wife = Christine
    Cute Blonde = ?(not sure if she was given a name in this film)
    Young Drunk Guy = Joe (in the film, he gives his name as Joseph Morrison)
    Chintzy couple from Jersey = Thomas and Mary Lossin (or Lossen, I don’t know)
    Real Estate Agent = Marilyn Fryser
    Business Partner = Charlie
    Boat Captain = Dan
    guy on boat killed by ants = Jim (or Jimmy)
    Older woman who likes Dan = ?(not sure if she was named either)

    One of the workers was briefly named when they discovered his corpse on the side of the road. I think Charlie says something like “That’s Pete…one of our workers…” when we see his bare foot in close up (I wonder what the rest of him looks like after the ants killed him. On second thought, I’d rather not know. I might upchuck.).

    All in all, this was a very good movie…maybe not awesome, but very good in my opinion. When the ants killed some of the characters, a few of them are quite gory. Charlie especially gets killed the goriest. If you look closely at the attack scene, the giant ant rips his chest open and you can see blood oozing out of there…not to mention his face gets lashed by the ant with resulting blood. Thomas Lossen (or Lossin) also gets a gory attack with much blood on his face and, I think, his arms and neck. Jimmy (guy in the boat) also gets a gory attack on him when the ant kills him. But, Charlie gets it the worst.

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