Saturday, April 13, 2013

Things I Learned or Thought About While Watching THEM!


Getting back to my SciFi/B-Movie roots (as an atomically-enhanced brain in a jar is wont to do) with this post.

For 1950s giant atomic monster movie fun, you can scarcely go wrong with THEM!  12-foot ants, people! Some of the best mechanical effects seen in the era.  Creepy atmosphere.  And plot turns:

"We killed 'em all!"
"Nope, some were hiding!"

"Now we have them all!"
"Nope, some migrated and started a new colony elsewhere--but where?"

"NOW we have destroyed all of them!"
"Yes, but what about the OTHER nuclear test sites?"

Not to mention, the BEST creepy monster sound EVER!
Like most of these films, there's the requisite cautionary lesson about nuclear power, but it's not particularly heavy-handed.

SO ANYWAY. . .

Here are some Things I Learned or Thought About While Watching THEM!

"Aw, wouldn't ya know it! Just get sat down for a picnic, and here come the ants!"

- Entomologists can recognize insects by their tracks.

- Giant mutant ants sound like frogs.


Special effects secret: Those are regular-sized ants
with a REALLY tiny helicopter flying past!
 - Famous and brilliant myrmecologists sometimes make up Bible quotations.
We may be witnesses to a Biblical prophecy come true. "And there shall be destruction and darkness come upon creation, and the beasts shall reign over the earth."

- Ants are just plain evil!

- Giant ants like granulated sugar, but not sugar cubes.


"Merv, I thought you said no one was gonna find out about us!
What am I gonna tell Sidney?"
 - Apparently, “Killed him a b’ar when he was only three,” does not qualify you to hunt gigantic ants. Keep Davy Crockett locked away in the booby hatch!
(Yup, this movie has everything! Davy Crockett, Matt Dillon, and Santa Claus [Fess Parker, James Arness, and Edmund Gwynne] -- AND giant ants!)

- The U.S. Army has a position known as “Sergeant In Charge of the Booze.” If more people knew this, there’d be no more need for recruiting.

- Gigantic Mutant ants can take multiple machine gun bullets to the head at close range and survive quite a lot of fire before they succumb, but they're virtually powerless with damaged antennae.


AND, THEM! is educational! You get to learn words like "Myrmecologist" and "stridulation." Who needs an ant farm when there's some lovely footage from what looks like a classroom film about ants, as well as dialogue from the scientists in the movie explaining all sorts of things about typical ant behavior?


Go watch THEM! Allen's Brain commands it!

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