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Empire Of The Ants (1977)
Movie Review by The Gravedigger

Empire Of The Ants (1977) A group of potential buyers are invited by a real estate couple to invest in a new home community on an isolated piece of Florida. It's in the middle of nowhere, along the coast. In the opening scene we're shown a company dumping toxic waste barrels into the ocean-and at least one of these barrels washes upon this property. Ants swarm over the silver goo. Among the characters are the captain of the yacht (Robert Lansing), Real Estate agent Marilyn Fryser (Joan Collins), potential good-guy Joe Morrison (John David Carson) and love interest Coreen (Pamela Shoop). One of the first people to get killed by the giant ants is sleazy Larry Graham (Robert Pine), who seems to deserve it. Once the ants attack as a group and the captain sets fire to his yacht to kill several of them, the survivors make their way through the swamp/woods to the nearest town, which is ten miles away. It's there they encounter the local sheriff and are put up in a motel. Unfortunately the majority of this town is now being controlled by the ants, who have their nest at the local sugar processing plant.

I hadn't seen this film in over thirty-years and it holds up quite well. The majority of the giant ant shots are real ants superimposed to make them look giant but I prefer the close-up ant puppets, which are far more menacing looking. This is a great follow-up to Bert I. Gordon's FOOD OF THE GODS (1976).

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