6.5/10
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Phase IV (1974)

Desert ants suddenly form a collective intelligence and begin to wage war on the inhabitants. It is up to two scientists and a stray girl they rescue from the ants to destroy them.

Director:

Saul Bass

Writer:

Mayo Simon
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Nigel Davenport ... Dr. Ernest D. Hubbs
Michael Murphy ... James R. Lesko
Lynne Frederick ... Kendra Eldridge
Alan Gifford ... Mr. Eldridge
Robert Henderson ... Clete
Helen Horton ... Mildred Eldridge
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Storyline

Desert ants suddenly form a collective intelligence and begin to wage war on the desert inhabitants. It is up to two scientists and a stray girl they rescue from the ants to destroy them. But the ants have other ideas. Written by Niz

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Ravenous Invaders Controlled by a Terror Out in Space Commanded to Annihilate the World! See more »


Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The computer console shown at 39:43 into the movie is the MCB44 Display Unit of an Elliott 903 (1963). Another computer visible is a GEC 4080 (1973). See more »

Goofs

The ant-queens seen are actually a species of wasps. This choice has been most probably made as to not seriously disturb several ant-states. However, ant-queens shed their wings when going into pregnancy and developing the huge white abdomen. It needs to be remarked that the choice for not ripping out the wasps' wings speaks in favor for the film makers. See more »

Quotes

Dr. Ernest D. Hubbs: Memorandum, to R. Flanders Smith, Secretary National Science Foundation, Committee on Biological Controls. From E. D. Hubbs, Senior Fellow, Coronado Institute. Subject: Biological Imbalance in an Upland Arizona Valley. Facts on hand: traditional antagonisms among several ant species have come to a dramatic halt. At the same time there has been an apparent disappearance of those insects which pray on ants. Specifically, mantises, beetles, millipedes and spiders. If these conditions persist, they...
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Crazy Credits

The Paramount logo is not shown at the start of the film, and there are no opening credits. See more »

Alternate Versions

The French TV release is cut, the close-up on the scientist being devoured by ants is missing. See more »

Connections

References Un Chien Andalou (1929) See more »

User Reviews

Replace your brain
5 August 2004 | by cabrelli9See all my reviews

This is one of the greatest movies ever made. Saul Bass has created, out of the blue, one of the most terrifying fictions ever conceived. Bass' genius is usually confined to the miniature. What better way to explore this than extensive ant photography. I could not believe the character injected into what, in the hands of some hack director, might be just nature shots.

The film begins media res and there is a sense that the world is off kilter somehow. The voice over that caps the movie is some of the most literate, enigmatic film monologue i have experienced. See this as a parent of PI and you'll be on the right track.

the sun bleached photography and the atmosphere of menace conspire to such a degree that the movie has the feeling of a Beach Boys nightmare.

I will not spoil the ending. It is enough to say that there may very well never be anything like it again. Bass directed a short called Quest, produced by Robert Redford (probably shot in Utah!), which has the same vibe. It is like the invasion of some other reality, into our own.

10/10. This movie made me want to explode.


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Details

Country:

UK | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

September 1974 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Phase IV See more »

Filming Locations:

Rift Valley, Kenya See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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