Empire of the Ants (1977)


Produced & Directed by: Bert I. Gordon

Written by: Bert I. Gordon & Jack Turley
H.G. Wells (Novel)


Joan Collins .... Marilyn Fraser
Robert Lansing .... Dan Stokely
Brooke Palance .... Christine Graham
John David Carson .... Joe Morrison
Jacqueline Scott .... Margaret Ellis
Robert Pine .... Larry Graham
Pamela Susan Shoop .... Coreen Bradford
Edward Power .... Charlie Pearson
Tom Fadden .... Sam Russell
Irene Tedrow .... Velma Thompson
Harry Holcombe .... Harry Thompson
Albert Salmi .... Sheriff Art Kincade

Release Date: Theatrical: June 29, 1977

*Images courtesy at: www.jabootu.com






A group of tourists visit the Florida everglades as they are considering buying lands there to build their own houses while a sleazy scam artist named Marilyn Fraser (Joan Collins) shows them around with fake setups.
However, the area is invaded by giant ants that kills anyone there caused by radioactive waste that people at sea dumped into the water and one of the barrels landed on shore for the ants to get to.
They also find out that the local county sherrif department lead by Art Kinkade (Albert Salmi) is supporting these giant ants.
These tourists must try to escape this madness and battle these creatures as well since one by one they are being killed and eaten.


We spot an interesting close up shots on some ants as well as a narration on it all as well as people throw in barrels of toxic waste into the ocean which is a nice kick off to the film. There's also campy discussion with each tourist before going onto the boat which didn't do much for me at all.
However there's some effective discussions later on when everyone arrives on the island and getting to know one another as well as a perfect powerful moment with Larry Graham forcing himself onto his wife Christine as you want to watch carefully to see if there's going to be a violent reaction going on between the two of them.
Also good shots on ants going near the barrel of toxic waste that wa washed up as well as neat old fashioned looks on an ants eye watching one of the people for it's next prey which is a good start for a horror story to unravel.
Nice cheesy looking gigantic ants attacking their first prey which can be a pleaser to those who enjoy low budget monster horror flicks as this reminds me of those old fashioned types. Also interesting cheesy effects with the giant ants running alongside near the pier towards the cruise boat as well as some trying to struggle and save the boat by landing in the water as the adrenaline really rises when we watch all of this.
There's also stupid choices by people like Marilyn Fraser the head tourist guide trying to hide away as wel spot the ants inside a cottage which looked creepy as well as a swarm of them trying to come after her and the lot. This looked mildly entertaining.
There's a moment with someone whom is injured and Larry whom is escaping with her feels pressured while the ants are ganging up on her as her injury seemed phony to watch and not as suspenseful as it should have been. Makes you think low of this scumbag for trying to save his own skin.
A perfect moment with the survivors on a boat in a river trying to find a way on getting to another end as well as some frusterations and intensity with Larry towards others which brought to your attention greatly while watching this. Also a nice near surprising attack scene when you least expect it as well which adds some interesting terror.
A perfect moment with the gang approaching an elderly couple near a farm type area as these two seem somewhat strange to apporach as the timing looked perfect and creepy for all of this to happen and making you wonder if they are someone to trust or not.
Great adventureous moment with the gang trying to get away in a vehicle and trying to dodge away from sheriff cars blocking the road which is a great touch and having a feeling that they are somewhat not the people you'd expect giving it a Twilight Zone type of fashion and great camera shots on all of this.
Perfect moments with people in a lineup trapped by the sheriff's as well as spotting an ant spraying some sort of a venom on them as well as spotting one of the people suddenly seeing a change in them too as this looked perfectly twisted and demented too. Plus interesting cheesy special effects on giant ants climbing on the roof of the warehouse where the people are being sent to.
Bottom line: Ahh yes a 70's movie that dedicates to those old fashioned giant insect horror films and they use the same chemistry for it too. A perfect movie to watch at a drive in without a doubt. Cheesily well done with some interesting horror and sci-fi value by War of the Worlds creator H.G. Wells but there needed to be more stuff happening to keep your eyes to the set as the story goes around in circles a bit.
However an interesting drive-in type of grindhouse flick,

The acting is in fair taste and have a well known cast to participate in this film. Joan Collins (Marilyn Fraser) is wonderful in her role trying to be a deceiving host at the party convincing people to buy the land showing off that she is too good to be true in which she brings to life adding alot of spunk throughout all of this. She also showed off a good bitchy behavior later on and also shows great energy at being scared when she has to escape from the giant ants. Plus shows a good hypnotic attitude near the end of her performance and getting into this greatly.
Co-starring character actor Robert Lansing (Dan Stokely) is great as a courageous type in the film and stands out very well in this film. Does well with his bluntness and gruff behacvior during the near beginning of his performance as he was convincing by being stand offish. Also shows a good seriousness within everything as well as b eing good as someone whom is forceful in suspenseful situations. He shows off a ton of great energy and seemed great as a heroic type in which he stole the film within his performance.
Brooke Palance
(Christine Graham) was quite sharp in her performance as the mature and level headed one in the flick and comes across with those personalities pretty well. She also does a good job with her aggressions while someone is forcing themselves on her as well as acting by deceiving on almost giving in but has something up her sleeve as she portrays this nicely. Shows alot of energy in the suspenseful moments too as well as doing well with her nice girl type of conversation towards someone else in another scene too.
John David Carson (Joe Morrison) came across nicely as the guy next door and had somewhat the okay clean cut looks for this. Shows alot of enthusiasm into everything he pulled off and shows off a nice intelligent and mature attitude. Knows on how to get into action every scene that he does and makes you hope that he will survive in the end.
Jacqueline Scott (Margaret Ellis) was also powerful in her performance as someone who really gets to the point in what she talks about as she shows off a nicely strong personality throughout everything that she did. Had the right middle aged looks too which is reconisable. I just found that she came off perfectly onto the camera and had an effective part in it.
Supporting actor Robert Pine (Larry Graham) is a believeable scumbag in the film with his actions towards others. Does well acting forceful towards someone else as one those aggressive in charge types. Also does a good job acting selfish when someone is in danger showing alot of hyped up scared energy here which shines off nicely. Plus does well with his harsh attitude in another scene too really going at it.
Albert Salmi (Sheriff Art Kincade) also does great as an evil county lawman as you'd really want to fear from him for what he is doing to his town.
Does well acting like he's under a spell as well as being a good powerful force within all that he did here plus had the good mean looks for his part which was a total plus.

There is some bloodshed when the ants claw and bite their victims but nothing that anyone can't handle.

Dana Kaproff does fine with his music in the film but there are some violin sequences that sounds similar to the Jaws theme song. Also we hear the pitter pattering sounds of the piano which sounds mediocre. Also alot of orchestral trombone playing and screeching sounds especially for the suspenseful moments. The music for most of the scene's sounded quite powerful it made each scene highly entertaining.