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Them!

Directed by Gordon Douglas

Written by Ted Sherdeman

1954, USA

In that filled-to-bursting canon of 1950s science fiction cinema, movies range from true film classics – like the Hawksian The Thing from Another World (1951), and that alarm bell about human desensitization, Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956) – to cheapie craptasmagoriums like Beginning of the End (1957 – giant grasshoppers crawling over photographs of downtown Chicago), and It Conquered the World (1956 – “It” being an alien that looks like a devil-faced carrot with lobster claws). I’d go as far as to say the consensus is probably there’s just a few of the former, and a whole stinking pile of the latter. But scattered (thinly, I’d have to say) between those poles are movies neither classic nor crap, but made with enough craftsmanship to be eminently and repeatably watchable. You know: just good, damned fun! One of my faves from that group: Them! (1954).

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- Bill Mesce

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