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Empire of the Ants (1977)

A con artist tries to sell bogus real estate deals in an area overrun by giant ants.



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Marilyn Fryser
Dan Stokely
Joe Morrison
Sheriff Art Kincade
Margaret Ellis
Pamela Susan Shoop ...
Coreen Bradford (as Pamela Shoop)
Larry Graham
Charlie Pearson
Brooke Palance ...
Christine Graham
Tom Fadden ...
Sam Russell
Irene Tedrow ...
Velma Thompson
Harry Thompson
Jack Kosslyn ...
Thomas Lawson
Ilse Earl ...
Mary Lawson
Janie Gavin ...


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 Humberto Amador

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


For they shall inherit the earth... sooner than you think! See more »


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Official Sites:



Release Date:

July 1977 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

H.G. Wells' Empire of the Ants  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Ryder Sound Services)


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


As a promotional gimmick for the film theaters would display ant farms in their lobbies - though they weren't allowed near the concession counters. See more »


Near the end of the movie during the ant attack in the sugar refinery, Joan Collins' character is seen outside with the others fleeing, and then she's suddenly back in the refinery being attacked by one of the giant ants. See more »


Voice: [Opening voiceover, as an image of ants tearing apart an orchid flower on the ground is shown on screen] This is the ant. Treat it with respect, for it may very well be the next dominant life form of our planet. Sound incredible? Impossible? Have you ever taken a good, close look at what the ant is all about? Like these atta cephalotes - one of the 15,000 different species inhabiting our planet. This one cultivates crops of fungus for food. Others herd aphids, just as man herds cattle. And what ...
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References Jaws (1975) See more »

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User Reviews

Joan Collins gets attacked by giant ants!
10 February 2002 | by (Providence, Rhode Island) – See all my reviews

...is just one of the many silly scenes featured in this laughable 'sci-fi' entry in the notorious late 1970's where Joan Collins squares off against a gigantic queen ant positioned inside a master control station inside a sugar warehouse.

Robert Lansing and John David Carson also star in "EMPIRE OF THE ANTS", a remarkable production financed by the now-defunct Orion Pictures (responsible for releasing many blaxploitation films in the 1970's) that features giant mutated ants attacking a boatload of prospective real estate buyers and a township of residents who become hypnotized by none other than the queen ant herself.

The high-light of "EMPIRE OF THE ANTS" are not the ants themselves, but Joan Collins and the notorious performance given by her in this hilarious movie where she successfully gives true meaning to the words, 'camp classic'. She portrays a sleazy real estate saleswoman who leads a group of misfits on a sale junket to a remote island that is unknowingly to her controlled by mutated ants that have been exposed to a drum of toxic waste.

Once the group reach the island, it doesn't take long before the cliche's kick in, such as the strange rustling in the bushes where a curious victim will investigate the noise, or the mysterious aspect of the missing 'helping hands' who have disappeared from the job. Furthermore, none of the film's characters have been developed so that you will sympathize or care for their outcome.

When the ants make their appearance, hilarity and laughter will ensue as you witness some unique special effects that will most certainly take their place in cinematic history. Of the ants that you get to see from far away, it is basically stock footage of ants within an 'ant farm' that has been spliced onto the film of the movie. Of the ants that you get to see close up, they are basically huge papier mache puppets that could be mistaken as extras from an episode of "DOCTOR WHO" that ensure nothing less than unintentional laughter.

Seeing victims meeting their demise, such as the old couple who take shelter inside a remote out-house, only to venture back outside to discover lots of giant ants swarming the place is nothing short of hysterical. Especially the looks on their faces as they witness the horror, I got the impression that the old man just wanted to say to his wife, "Oh... well hmmm... looks like this is it my dear!" My favorite 'death scene' was the woman in the green pants suit who just stood there as the ant with a hundred eyes inches towards her and she repeatedly screams, "MA-MA!" like some sort of big baby.

Seeing Joan Collins doing her best 'bitch' impression as she snaps catty one-liners and runs around screaming with her hands in the air as she sees footage of an ant standing completely still and doing nothing will make you laugh hysterically. The ending of the film that shows her demise is misunderstood. She doesn't actually get 'eaten' by the ants. From what I saw, she was dealt a few blows by the queen ant that thrashed at her a few times as it died, but it appeared to me that she died from nothing more than inhaling the 'smoke' or pheromes released by the queen ant and she suffered asphyxiation.

Furthermore, why would these ants actually eat people when they've gone to the trouble of hypnotizing a whole town just so they can get them to process a sugar refinery for them? The answer is really no big deal. No one watching this movie is actually looking for facts and truth. It's an hour and a half of non-stop hilarity and that is exactly what I got. Besides, "EMPIRE OF THE ANTS" is so notoriously bad, MGM (responsible for releasing the movie on DVD) even marketed this movie as being Joan Collins' career foible!

My Rating - 6 out of 10.

4 of 11 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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