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Phase IV (1974)

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. ... See full summary »

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 Robert Henderson ... Clete
Helen Horton 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:

When you can't scream anymore! See more »


Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

September 1974 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Du tror inte dina ögon 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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Did You Know?

Trivia

Director Saul Bass has said in interviews that the studio tampered with the film during post production against his wishes. 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

[last lines]
James R. Lesko: [voiceover] We knew then, that we were being changed... and made part of their world. We didn't know for what purpose... but we knew, we would be told.
See more »

Crazy Credits

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

Alternate Versions

In the book "Future Tense" by John Brosnan, an alternate ending to the film was described: "Bass originally filmed a spectacular, surreal montage lasting four minutes, showing what life would be like in the 'new' Earth, but this was cut by the distributor." A preview version with this ending intact was shown to some audiences in 1973-4, and clips of it showed up in film's the theatrical trailer, and in Saul Bass' title sequence to Martin Scorcese's Cape Fear (1991). The alternate ending and preview version did not resurface until 2012. The 35mm original footage of the ending was scanned and color corrected (it had faded to magenta) by the Academy Film Archive. Beginning in 2013, repertory showings of the film (for instance at Cinefamily and Anthology Film Archives) have shown a DCP of this alternate ending after the main feature. Because Paramount would not license the footage, the 2015 Blu-Ray release by Olive Films doesn't include either the alternate ending or the theatrical trailer. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Pop Culture Beast's Halloween Horror Picks: Dogs (2015) See more »

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User Reviews

The best of the nature strikes back genre
7 October 2002 | by Jeff SoftleySee all my reviews

A classic 70's eco-film. Along with Andromeda Strain, Silent Running, Soylent Green, Planet of the Apes, Omega Man, A Boy and His Dog, Demon Seed and others, Phase IV is a 70's film standout for its message of human hubris, greed and excess causing harm to nature. And in Phase IV the ants strike back. Thought-provoking, and beautifully shot for a low budget film, Phase IV generates real suspense and heightened drama through good performances, a well-crafted story, and excellent editing of the extreme close-up shots of the ants. I'm sure some Gen-Xers will remake this film and totally f**k it up through the use of CGI. See the original and take to heart its message.


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