Sunday Night Movie: Empire of the Ants

The trailer for the 1977 film "Empire of the Ants":

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I love that movie! It's so very bad and so alarmist, but it's absolutely hilarious too. I loved it so much that I showed it to my insect behavior class as a treat a few years back, charging them with identifying the things that were wrong entomologically in the movie. It was a ton of fun! And doesn't the older guy with the beard remind you of Carl?

Something funny about that movie is that while the ant "actors" are Paraponera clavata, the ant puppet that sometimes appears looks more like the head of a Camponotus. And some versions of the movie poster portrait Odontomachus trap-jaw ants!

I particularly like the way the narrator goes to great pains to try and identify this movie with H. G. Wells, and then they go on to show a trailer that has pretty much nothing in common with the Wells story other than the title (and the presence of ants).

So campy, but fun! I was living in Florida when this movie came out, and particularly enjoyed that the ants used phermones to control (human) workers in a South Florida sugar factory, and that the ants were subverting the rampant coastal and island real estate business.

By James C. Trager (not verified) on 17 May 2010 #permalink

Ah, but what of "Empire of the Ants," the Watership Down-ish novel by Bernard Werber, hmmm?

Supposedly there's a film on the way in Korea based on that one too...

Looks like a good one. I have to say, though, those special effects don't seem very special.