I can’t think of many aspects of the horror genre that I don’t love (well, except Zombies), and creepy crawlies are a perfect way to celebrate the 7th day of 30 Days of Terror. Empire of the Ants is one of my favorites, featuring out of control insects, and why I chose it for today.
Oh my god, they’re herding us like cattle. Coreen
It’s been decades since I’ve seen Empire of the Ants (1977), and oddly my mom brought it up during one our Sunday talks. She thought it was a strange film for one of her sisters to watch since ants seemed to like the taste of her when they were kids. For me, it’s one of AIP’s greatest films, which, interesting fact, ended their H.G. Well’s cycle; the cycle was a whole three films, unlike The Corman-Poe cycle that had eight films.
The film opens with a lesson in ants, like the old science films that aired in the 1970s. I think they showed some in school, too, but I can’t remember for sure. With a hard cut, we are shown men tossing barrels from a ship, and then ants walking through some toxic goo that looks like Mercury.
Empire of the Ants stars the delectable Joan Collins, who plays Marilyn Fryser a shady realtor/land developer. The only other actor I recognize is Robert Pine, who was in the TV Series CHiPs, as wells a ton of other stuff throughout the years. Pamela Shoop as Coreen Bradford is a great screamer, and the rest of her acting is terrible either.
Weak character interaction
For whatever reason, it takes a minute to meet the primary cast, and watch them interact in the land tour. The interaction segment with the guests is very…yeah, I can’t describe it, it wasn’t strange it was uncomfortable like they were trying to do some weird study in interpersonal communications and failed.
Then when we get to the fun with the giant ants, it is incredible. Yeah, I say that a lot. Not only did they use real ants that they zoomed in on, but they also had huge ant puppets. The sound they make is horrendous. The strange turn of events is fantastic and unbelievable.
I like Empire of the Ants so much I made up my own tag line for it. It’s a race for survival, who will escape the empire of the ants? I give Empire of the Ants 4 out of 5 Stars.