THEM! – B-Movie Blastworks
***“B Movie Blastworks” is a regular column published on Primary Ignition, written by Mark Leja, staff writer and Connoisseur of Crap, in which he scours the bowels of the internet for unsung B-Movie gems.***
(Editors Note: A Prelude to THEM!) Ok hold the review, I don’t know what kind of DVD release I got, but this DVD menu is freakin’ amazing! I have never liked a DVD menu so much in my entire life. I got this off Netflix, maybe that makes a difference but I can’t believe how good this menu is…
(And now, back to your scheduled program…) Oh. My. God. A red title flies at the screen. THEM! I can tear up that suicide note now, my life has meaning once again. This is THEM!
A random dudette is walking through the desert when a search party comes in to rescue her. The cops try to shake her out of this weird trance she’s in. They drive her to some town they think she’s from when she passes out. They enter some roadside house that’s been not caved in but caved out, lol’d. Cop 1 takes Cop 2 outside and they’re like, we better call for some help. So they do, then the help arrives and everything STOPS.
A plot device starts kicking up a sandstorm which causes the police to enter a store that’s also been caved out. They search about, while someone on the radio gives some information about diseases. Ok??? Cop 1 determines that this place has not been pulled in but pulled out. That’s what she said, Mr. Officer man. Then the villains arrive, eating fallen sugar, the cops only briefly notice THEM, in small form.
They meet up with other officers and it turns out that a lot people have been dying. They should launch an investigation or something! They meet up with a 50′s Sci-fi doctor and then they try to get the girl to talk and when some psychological doctor comes in, she starts screaming. “THEM! THEM!” Ok, now that we’ve made it to the title screaming, let’s skip to the point. This is a movie about gigantic radioactive atomic nuclear ANTS. These ants are a result of the big bomb testing taking place next door in the neighbor’s house.
So, let’s get to their introduction. This old doctor thinks’ he’s figured it out and whatever this thing is it will unleash hysteria and having learned their lessons from the Pods, they won’t make these mistakes again. This chick joins their group. She is lying on a sand dune and is just chillaxing during a sandstorm when suddenly, my eyes turned super happy awesome face. A ten foot ant crawls up from the dune and attacks her. The Cop’s first instinct is to shoot it with his freakin’ revolver. Like that’ll work against a ten foot ant. The old doctor says to shoot out his antennas; the ant is useless without THEM. They shoot the antennas off and the day is saved.
Later on, the doctor is corrected that the ant is not a male but a female, So they come to the realization that there are a ton of these suckers and they may soon be living in a world of darkness. They’re now on their way to spread the word about gigantic radioactive atomic nuclear mutant zombie Jesus ants. The chick they got, Dr. Patricia, is worried. She doesn’t know how to take the news, they’re giant ants. How many ways can you possibly take this?
They meet up with a military man, General Cliche’, and he says they need to keep this shit under wraps yo. Well, he didn’t say it like that but he should’ve. They talk about ants and ant things and why they do the things they do. They have a mission: destroy the ant nest, no matter what the cost — unless the costs go over the film’s budget. Bazookas are ok though, so they use THEM. The point is to heat up the place enough for the ants to go underground and then they can use cyanide gas to kill ‘em off. Things don’t go as planned though; it turns out that THEM (lol) are still alive and well after the attack, which makes the soldiers deep fry the bungalow to kingdom come.
They go deeper; they have to go deeper to another level. The ants are reproducing, and they’re out of the shell. The humans burn the larva to hell and everyone lives happily ever after. For two seconds. There are no pupa in the eggs, they hatch immediately. And worse news, there are two queens that have taken flight, humankind is goanna get screwed, by ants. We haven’t seen the end of….THEM. The old doc scares the military into fighting THEM with his science logic. I’m surprised they didn’t say “nuke em’.”
This ridiculous moment occurs on the high seas when a soldier on a US Destroyer is on a telegraph and suddenly an Ant and appears and kills him. Oh god, sea ants. They keep finding more and more nests and I think they’re coming to the conclusion. They won’t be able to destroy THEM without a miracle. They find the nest of, er…THEM, in the sewers of LA. A press conference is held and the military informs all of America: “We are under attack by gigantic radioactive atomic nuclear pirate ants!” The protagonists can’t get into the sewers to destroy the ants ‘cause some kids are stuck down there. They rescue they kids, burn up the ants and everyone lives happily ever after. Until another one of THEM appears. A soldier tries to gat the thing to no effect and the colony soon reveals just how deep it is. Eh, no worries. They burn them. While the story ends the doctor gives us one last apocalyptic line: “Man is in the atomic nuclear age, what will he find? Nobody can predict.”
THEM starts off kind of like a murder mystery but mutates into a science fiction story. Is THEM a post-modern masterpiece? I won’t stake such a claim. THEM was and awesome and incredibly fast fun-filled ride that makes you laugh as much as it draws you into the story. It is highly recommended, a masterpiece of 1950′s sci-fi cinema. It’ll force you to run out of your basement screaming “THEM! THEM! THEM!”
Front page image from terrordaves.files.wordpress.com, first screencap from the-geekologist.com, second and third screencaps from dvdbeaver.com.