Monday, October 13, 2008

Them (1954)

I would like to point out that despite what is shown on the poster/DVD cover, at no point do the ants overrun a city or chase mobs of people...anywhere. They seem to prefer to hang out in the desert and pick off loners. Although if those queen ants had gotten out of the L.A. sewer system...

The ants (atomic testing of course) need to be stopped, and a somewhat cocky F.B.I. agent, along with a father and daughter entomology team, are the main players in trying to stop them.  Unfortunately the female entomologist seems to think that heels are appropriate attire for tracking giant ants through the desert, meaning that she has a hard time getting out of situations like the one with the pipe-cleaner antennaed ant below.

But oh, how I love this movie. I do not know how many times I have seen it, but the viewings started by age 5. I used to play "Them" in my neighborhood. Who knows what lived beneath the streets of Lexington, MA.  The most recent viewing came after a group trip to see the "Big Bugs" sculpture exhibit at Garden in the Woods. I know I don't look afraid, but really, it was a beautiful ant.  And I knew I had worn the right shoes.

1 comment:

Ms. Q said...

I don't know if you remember, but I watched this at your house (your father was one of the first human beings to figure out how to use a VCR to tape movies off of HBO - which stands for Home Box Office, by the way - and he had this huge library so I saw A LOT of movies at your house - but this one stands out. Particularly the beginning. A little girl, mute, lost, wandering alone in a desert. She is found and rescued but they can't figure out what's wrong with her until she smells this one particular pheromone which makes her quake with fear and scream "THEM! THEM! THEM!" Like all good horror movies, you don't actually see the villain until about a third of the way into the film. Like all good action movies, there are bazookas.
I was terrified. I remember well the blue shag carpet, the matching blue bedspread, the bookcase with Husker-Du and the barbie head - I remember these things because I was unable to look at the screen for long periods of time. I screamed quite a lot, and cheered when the ants died. It was exhilirating and exhausting.
Remains one of the few horror films I love. This and the Breed. The Breed isn't good, but it has Michelle Rodriguez.