Empire of the Ants

Overview

The 1970s were a strange time for the movies. Especially when it came to horror and science fiction movies. And one of the most bizarre of all the hybrid horror-sci-fi genres to rear its ugly head was the nature-run-amok school of movies. You know, pictures like Prophecy, Food of the Gods, Night of the Lepus, Frogs, and Squirm; movies wherein the animal kingdom gets its just revenge on all of the carcass-eating, pollution-spewing, toxic waste-worshiping humans. Of course, this particular subgenre of movies was ...
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Overview

The 1970s were a strange time for the movies. Especially when it came to horror and science fiction movies. And one of the most bizarre of all the hybrid horror-sci-fi genres to rear its ugly head was the nature-run-amok school of movies. You know, pictures like Prophecy, Food of the Gods, Night of the Lepus, Frogs, and Squirm; movies wherein the animal kingdom gets its just revenge on all of the carcass-eating, pollution-spewing, toxic waste-worshiping humans. Of course, this particular subgenre of movies was nothing new. In the 1950s, there was a whole run of horror-sci-fi movies dealing with bad science and even worse scientists bent on destroying the world. Movies, of course, reflect the times. So in a post-atom bomb age there are mad scientists, and for a post-toxic age there is Empire of the Ants. MGM Home Entertainment's disc of the film is part of their excellent Midnight Movies series. Letterboxed (1.85:1) and anamorphically enhanced for 16 x 9 TVs, the film looks surprisingly good considering what a low-budget affair it is. So when you're watching this disc and you find yourself chuckling at how cheap the special effects are (and they are), keep reminding yourself that those ant "effects" are the best they've ever looked. The disc has been given multiple language options (English, French, and Spanish mono) and has also been equipped with French- and Spanish-language subtitles. A fantastic theatrical trailer is also included.
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Special Features

Original theatrical trailer; English: mono; French: mono; Spanish: mono; French & Spanish language subtitles
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide
Bert I. Gordon followed up on the success of Food Of The Gods with this equally goofball monster movie. The script refines the formula of Food Of The Gods, pitting a gaggle of diverse soap-opera stereotype characters against a menace straight out of 1950's nuclear-fear monster mash (in this case, Empire Of The Ants borrows directly from classic Them for its giant mutant ants). The dialogue is corny, the plotting is daft and the special effects are as antiquated as they are unconvincing. That said, Empire Of The Ants is actually quite entertaining for those in the right trash-craving frame of mind. Gordon's tidy direction keeps things rolling at a fast clip and his script's silliness is informed by a sense of humor about its contrivances that gives it some camp appeal. The sense of humor continues to the cast: Joan Collins hams it up in a way that suggest she is preparing for her later role on Dynasty and Robert Lansing informs his heroic role with a sarcastic, deadpan sensibility that makes him fun to watch. The film's third act also boasts a surprise twist that is so hilarious that it makes the film worth watching for b-movie fanatics all on its own. In short, Empire Of The Ants is low-rent schlock but that's okay because it's well aware of what it is and simply sets out to entertain those who are predisposed towards this sort of fun. Trash aficionados who like their monsters big and their plots goofy are sure to enjoy it.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 11/20/2001
  • UPC: 027616868404
  • Original Release: 1977
  • Rating:

  • Source: Mgm (Video & Dvd)
  • Region Code: 1
  • Aspect Ratio: Theatre Wide-Screen (1.85.1)
  • Presentation: Wide Screen / Dolby 5.1 / Mono
  • Sound: Dolby Digital, monaural
  • Language: English, Français, Español
  • Time: 1:30:00
  • Format: DVD

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Joan Collins Marilyn Fryser
Robert Lansing Dan Stokely
John Carson Joe Morrison
Albert Salmi Sheriff Kincade
Jacqueline Scott Margaret Ellis
Pamela Shoop Coreen Bradford
Robert Pine Larry Graham
Edward Power Charlie Pearson
Brooke Palance Christine Graham
Tom Fadden Sam Russell
Irene Tedrow Velma Thompson
Harry Holcombe Harry Thompson
Jack Kosslyn Thomas Lawson
Ilse Earl Mary Lawson
Janie Gavin Ginny
Norman Franklin Anson Parker
Florence McGee Phoebe Russell
Mike Armstrong Jim
Technical Credits
Bert I. Gordon Director, Producer, Screenwriter, Special Effects
Samuel Z. Arkoff Executive Producer
Roy Downey Special Effects
Mel Efros Asst. Director
Joanne Haas Costumes/Costume Designer
Dana Kaproff Score Composer
Michael Luciano Editor
David McGiffert Art Director
Anthony C. Montenaro Set Decoration/Design
Reginald Morris Cinematographer
Charles Rosen Production Designer
Jack Turley Screenwriter
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Scene Index

Side #1 --
0. Scene Selections
1. Main Title/"Danger!" [:10]
2. Sailing to Dreamland [5:07]
3. Just Say No! [6:22]
4. Flirting With the Truth [6:12]
5. "Fascinating Wildlife" [5:23]
6. There's No Escape! [9:03]
7. Fire & Ants Don't Mix [1:55]
8. "Don't Leave Me!" [4:19]
9. No Safe Harbor [4:48]
10. Quiet Confessions [3:59]
11. Beat It, "Oar" Else! [3:39]
12. Herded Like Cattle [4:42]
13. Not a Sugar Refinery! [2:09]
14. Hotwiring Out of Town [5:01]
15. Meet the Queen! [4:17]
16. Red Hot Hero/Credits [6:05]
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Menu

Side #1 --
   Play Movie
   Theatrical Trailer
   Languages
      Spoken Languages: English
      Spoken Languages: Français
      Spoken Languages: Español
      Subtitles: Français
      Subtitles: Español
      Subtitles: None
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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Summer *Camp*

    Empire of the Ants is loosely based on a story *title* by H. G. Wells, rather than on the story itself. Right out the gate, that should tell you something about this movie. I remember hooting in the theater with my friends, especially when the frightened people, for comfort, began opening up candy bars to eat. ''Ohmigod, Lady,'' I squealed; ''Don't drop the wrapper!'' Robert Pine (Sgt. Getraer from the tv show CHiPs) is absolutely delicious as Larry the Coward, especially when his wife falls with a (what else?) sprained ankle and he has to decide whether to stay and help her or save himself. Absolutely priceless. This movie features my all-time favorite line from any flick. As the escapees are fleeing from the ants, they meet a Grant Wood-American Gothic type couple deep in the Florida Everglades, who warn them about the ants: ''Whatever you do, don't let them take you to the sugar refinery.'' Twenty-five years later, and I'm still giggling.

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