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Sleazy scam artist Joan Collins tries to sell phony real estate deals down in the Florida everglades. What she and her unsuspecting buyers don't know is the area has been taken over by giant ants! Written by
I received this movie for my birthday along with "Kingdom of the Spiders". Given the fact that the titles are similar and they were released in the same year (both with drive-in veteran casts), I thought for some reason they would be equally good. Wrong!
"Empire of the Ants" isn't much of a horror movie, but is more of a soap opera with giant ants added. The cast is full of actors who probably started out on the soaps (Joan Collins, Pamela Shoop, Jacqueline Scott, John David Carson, Edward Power, Robert Pine, Brooke Palance, etc.) and for the most part didn't go too far from this movie in their careers. Is this movie to blame? Who knows, but I would be embarassed to put it on my resume! Collins plays a great bitchy real estate agent and it's in my opinion one of her best performances of the 70s, but the movie doesn't match its excellence!
Most of the acting is pretty good considering the cast is acting against stock footage of ants in an obvious glass ant farm! During a scene where David Carson and Robert Lansing are fighting off ants while boating down a river, Carson is fighting with nothing! The footage is edited so badly that the "trees" in the ant farm don't even match the foliage of the film! There are a few good effects sequences (the ants boarding the tour boat and still on it while the boat burns), but it's either some guy wielding a giant fake ant head or stock footage of an ant farm. And the story of ants attacking prospective real estate customers gets even more convoluted and unbelievable when the survivors come upon a town that (within 24 hours of the ant's growth!) is controlled by the ants' telekinesis (!) and forced to feed the ants in a huge sugar silo! UNBELIEVABLE!
Definitely not for everyone, but I liked most of the cast (Joan Collins, Pamela Susan Shoop, Jacqueline Scott, Robert Lansing, and John David Carson are the best) and "Empire of the Ants" is a guilty pleasure for psychotronic film fans. Sort of hard to find, but Goodtimes Video has a gorgeous print on their video (do you really care with a movie like this?).
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