Starring: James Whitmore, Edmund Gwenn, Joan Weldon, James Arness, Onslow Stevens, Sean McClory, Chris Drake, Sandy Descher, Mary Alan Hokanson, Don Shelton, Fess Parker, Olin Howland
More info: IMDb
Tagline: An Endless Terror! A Nameless Horror!
Plot: After several people in the New Mexico desert wind up missing or dead, including an F.B.I. agent and most of his family, police Sgt. Ben Peterson teams up with F.B.I. agent Bob Graham to find out what's causing the strange occurrences. They find send a strange print found at one of the crime scenes and it is sent to the Department of Agriculture. Doctor Harold Medford and his daughter Doctor Patricia Medford arrive and ask to be taken to the scene of some of the disappearances. When they get there they are shocked to find gigantic ants, whose mutations were caused by the first atomic bomb explosion nine years earlier. They manage to destroy the nest of ants, but not before two winged queen ants and a couple of drones have hatched and escaped the nest. Now it is a race against time to find the two queen ants before they can establish more nests and hatch more queens.
My rating: 8/10
Will I watch it again? Yes.
Nice! I was expecting some silly, cheesy sci-fi/horror flick but it turned out to be really well made. The acting serves exactly what it needed to, Bronislau Kaper's score is better than most for films of this type, there was a lot of thought that went into the story and dialogue, the special effects are surprisingly good (yeah, the giant ants are fake as shit but considering their monumental task, I think the special effects team did a fantastic job). The nature ant film Dr. Medford shows everyone is really concise and it tells them (and us) everything we need to know about ants. It's creepy as shit. The girl in the beginning who witnesses the attack is fantastic. She does 'shock' really well.
Ooh, and Fess Parker has a small scene as a witness to the giant ants who is now in a mental hospital. I love that guy. It would be only a few months later that he would gain fame in the first of four episodes of WALT DISNEY'S WONDERFUL WORLD OF COLOR TV program, DAVY CROCKET: INDIAN FIGHTER (1954). One thing that really works is the detective work of the principles trying to trace the giant ants' whereabouts, how it happened and how they're going to destroy them. And then there's the other half which brings the sci-fi/horror goods. Nice ending, too. Fun movie and the DVD has a lot of fun extras.