Empire of the Ants (1977) Poster

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Worth a look...but nothing to take seriously.
Aaron13757 March 2003
This is my favorite giant insect movie. I don't know what it is about this one, but every time I see it on AMC or where ever I have to watch. The effects are bad and the plot isn't the best in the world, but not every movie has to be great to be fun to watch. Usually, in movies of this type the monsters (in this case giant ants) are rarely seen cause they look so bad. In this one, though, they don't care what they look like and they are more than happy to show us this cheesy ants...sometimes the old regular ants projected on the background, while at others really bad puppets. The plot has these people looking at vacation plots...you know timeshare stuff. While touring the facility, some members disappear and then the ants attack. They have to get away from them and go down a river on a boat to do so. This is my favorite part of the movie, going down the river. Lots of the cast are taken out here. Unfortunately, it ends rather weak as they all get to this town that has some sort of connection to the ants, but what? I would have preferred this one to stay with the river and wood scenes rather than the town part of the plot, but overall this movie is good fun.
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How You Going to Keep Them Down on the Ant Farm...After They Have Seen This Film!
BaronBl00d3 January 2002
Mr. BIG(Bert I. Gordon) does it again! He creates a truly bad science fiction film with amazingly poor special effects and some of the schlockiest character acting performances and dialogue around. Supposedly based on a story by H. G. Well's, The Empire of the Ants is about how a group of people go to one of those shin-digs put on by real estate folks hoping you will buy some of their resort property after drinking some of their third-rate drinks and eating some of their crummy snacks. Joan Collins is running the show, hoping to sell all the people who came by boat to her real estate project a lot. Seems she is not a wholly reputable businesswoman, yet she has no knowledge of the fact that giant ants that grew from a leaking can of nuclear waste have taken over the resort and begin feeding on her guests, first in pairs. In one of the more ridiculous scenes in the film, giant ants run on the dock, jump on the boat, attack one of the crew, and then cause the skipper, hardily played by Robert Lansing, to set fire to the ship and leave the survivors no recourse but to trek back by foot. The journey back causes lots of death and destruction. The most ridiculous scene in the film has an aged couple hiding in a cabin and then coming out to see these giant ants all over the hut and on the ground standing. I almost fell over laughing at the awful special effects! Finally, the remaining few reach a town that secretly has been taken over by giant ants that spray a mist over people and make them do their bidding. The second half of the film breaks any possibility that you take the film seriously. The first half, although filled with many a ridiculous moment, at least has some suspense and gives the actors a little screen time to show that some of them actually know how to act. The second half is a hodge podge of poor script-writing, bad character acting, and some more real cheesy special effects. The film is another testament to Mr. BIG's ability to create some of the campiest, bad sci-fi around. Despite all this negativity, the film is a load of unintended laughs!
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It's not THAT bad...
tom_koopa28 September 2009
Warning: Spoilers
In my opinion the rating on IMDb for this movie is a little harsh. Okay, it's not a masterpiece and the effects are a little hokey. The acting isn't superb, but it isn't garbage either.

But you have to look at this film with an open mind. Don't take it too seriously. I think it's a nice adaptation of H.G Well's story.

There's good character development and story; and the ants could have been so much worse. Of course they look fake, but it isn't terrible to look at.

Ant-vision, cheesy ominous music prior to attacks and a strange ending don't improve the quality of the movie though.

All in all, if you like insect-attack movies with a few strange twists and character story, go check this one out.

5 out of 10 ants; ehh stars.
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Respect the ant, dammit!!
Coventry17 December 2004
An eminent intro with a neat voice-over makes us aware that ants actually are as sophisticated as humans (if not more sophisticated). This is the perfect introduction to one of the most grotesque creature-features ever unleashed upon horror cinema. Bert Gordon's Empire of the Ants, ladies and gentlemen! In this story, supposedly adapted from an H.G. Well's tale, the ravishing Joan Collins stars as a fancy estate agent who tries to sell island properties to a bunch of phonies pretending they have money. The joy is barbarically interrupted by a colony of humongous ants! The monstrous bugs have mutated into unearthly beings due to toxic waste (figures…). EofA is often categorized as one the worst 70's shlockfests, partly because it's from the hand of Gordon. But try to look at it as pure fun and cult entertainment that doesn't require brain activity. It's a troop of hairy, over-sized and – especially – cheaply created ants eating people one by one. Nothing more, nothing less. Still, the island location is eerie and the sound effects are more or less decent. Joan Collins, one of my personal favorite actresses, is great as the bitchy broad. The rest of the cast are stereotypes, like the loser turned hero, the old wise guy the egocentric coward (who nearly always dies spectacularly) and the cute babe. I hardly consider the overuse of all these clichés to be obstacles since I never expected to see a masterpiece to begin with. The only real crap elements are the weak dialogs and the complete lack of atmosphere and tension. Empire of the Ants does feature a brilliant, typical B-movie twist near the end, though. But that's just my opinion and I'm sure that most people will find it too stupid for words. Nevertheless, Empire of the Ants is a must-see if you're in to "big bug"-movies. This sub-genre of horror is going through a revival these days and it's essential to watch the influential gems that once started it all. Also recommended: "Tarantula", "The Bees", "Frogs", "Phase IV" (more ants), "Kingdom of the Spiders" and "The Deadly Mantis".
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Love, Pheromone Style
montagnais2331 August 2004
I guess I'm the only one who noticed the potential "love story" here. Don't believe me? From the beginning it seems very clear that Robert Lansing's Dan Stokely has a thing for the bitchy Marilyn Fryser (played by everyone's favorite bitch, Joan Collins). Check out that elongated "stare" they share on the boat. Then there's Jacqueline Scott's droopy, whiny, bitter, button-obsessed Margaret Ellis. She has a thing for Dan, but Dan tries to brush her off by saying he doesn't need any buttons. The clincher, however, is when Marilyn decides to go it alone through the forest, but is immediately confronted by those annoying picnic pests. Take note how she runs back right into Dan's waiting arms. Note also how he eagerly holds her tight and caresses her. And make one final note at Margaret Ellis's reaction -- you think she was bitter before?

That one scene provides more drama and suspense than anything else in the film! For example: Does Margaret really love Dan? Does Dan really love Marilyn? Does Marilyn really want to give up her life as an independent and successful woman for the macho Dan? Will Margaret kill Marilyn so she can sew buttons for Dan? Will Marilyn kill Margaret and steal her buttons so SHE can sew them for Dan? Will Dan say "to hell with the buttons," rip off his shirt and have his way with both women? Or will Dan say "to hell" with both women and offer them up as sacrifices to the ants?

Alas, the movie never answers these questions. But wouldn't it be cool if it had?
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One of my favourite turkey movies of all time!
HumanoidOfFlesh26 July 2002
"Empire of the Ants" is an astoundingly silly film in the ecokill subgenre.This adaptation of H.G.Wells' novel features a fun 70's B-movie cast menaced by cheesy-looking giant ants.It is pure trashy fun,so don't take this movie seriously.Director Bert I.Gordon went on to make such films as "The Food of the Gods","Satan's Princess","Burned at the Stake".Recommended if you like cheesy horror movies!
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Bert I. Gordon stinks...er...strikes again!
Casey-5229 April 2000
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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Dreamland Shores Development Ltd cordially invites you....
skottyrock17 August 2004
The Choice

Are you, like, totally sick of the city? Do you wanna get away from it all? Do you wanna see your dreams turned into a full-blown reality? The answer is....

DREAMLAND SHORES: A place where people can begin to live

The Answer

If you're interested, Joan Collins - yes, that's right, Joan Collins - and her real estate agent alter ego, bitchy but fashionable Marilyn Fryser, are here to help you turn those juicy dreams into a reality. Marilyn takes small tours of interested persons to Dreamland Shores every day of the week. You can expect to receive enviable one-star service on her Dreamland property tour: amiable service with a bitchy smile; a semi-relaxing cruise with other potential property investors to the beach front properties; a relaxing ride around Dreamland Shores on a mini road train, complete with megaphone for the hard of hearing, and plentiful $1.99 fish bait under a stained marquee on the beach.

The Disclaimer

There is, however, one minor problem that should be mentioned before you hop aboard. A little ant problem exists in the Dreamland Shores area. Nothing to panic about, mind you. Just a few ants along the shore, on the jetty, in the forest, in the existing buildings, along the river, and in the trees, that have gone a bit loony after accidentally consuming oodles and oodles of toxic waste that just happened to wash up on shore. Nothing to do with Dreamland Shores, mind you. They've grown considerably in size, and attack when threatened. Some visitors were silly enough to threaten these ants and now lay dead in several locations around Dreamland Shores.

Dreamland Shores Development Ltd accepts no responsibility for any of the following: the stupidity of any potential property investor who ventures off the tour route; any potential property investor who dresses in horrible 1970s fashions that have been scientifically proved to enrage the ants; any potential property investor who tries to kill the ants with flares, oars, or any other kind of tool and/or weapon; any potential property investor who smirks, guffaws, sniggers - or, a combination of all three - at the acting ability of Pamela Susan Shoop, Dreamland Shores' very own tour 'groupie'.

The Tour

So, why not join Marilyn, and today's potential property investors - superstar actors - Robert Lansing, John David Carson, Jacqueline Scott, Robert Pine, Brooke Palance, and, what a surprise! Pamela Susan Shoop, as we discover the magic of .... Dreamland Shores.

The Verdict

Get the DVD and laugh yourself into oblivion!
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Runs Too Long
gavin694221 May 2017
Based very loosely on the short story "Empire of the Ants" by H. G. Wells, the film involves a group of prospective land buyers led by a land developer, pitted against giant, mutated ants.

This was one of Bert Gordon's final films, and from a technical standpoint it is among his best. The production value looks much higher than his earlier work, and the star power of the cast is evident. The ants, while still relying on a few cheap effects, are overall pretty effective -- though why must they be screeching the entire time? But really, what makes this only a "good" film rather than a "really good" film is the length. This is clearly a 60 or 70-minute film stretched out to 90 minutes, and that allows for the ultimate sin to creep in: boredom.
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Really Big Ants
Michael_Elliott3 March 2013
Empire of the Ants (1977)

** (out of 4)

Mr. Big delivers another "big bug movie" with this one dealing with ants. Joan Collins plays a real estate con woman who takes a group of people to the future sight of a "great" beach front property. What they don't know is that a company has been pouring toxic waste in the ocean and unfortunately for them one barrel has found its way on shore and cute little ants have gotten into it. Soon these little creatures are now huge and eating humans. EMPIRE OF THE ANTS got the green light, I'm sure, because Gordon's previous film THE FOOD OF THE GODS turned out to be a decent hit. You really could have called this thing THE FOOD OF THE GODS PART II because they're quite similar but then again both are quite similar to the type of "big" movies Gordon was making in the previous two decades. There's certainly nothing new or original here but if you enjoy Gordon's films then I really see no reason why you won't enjoy this one. As you'd expect, the special effects are quite laughable with Gordon using the same technique in 1977 that he was much earlier in his career. Often times it seems as if the ants are walking in thin air and at other times you can obviously see the rear projection. Most films would be dead in the water with such bad effects but I think it adds some charm because of how serious Gordon treats them. Most directors would know these effects are bad and try to downplay them or hide them but not Gordon. He shows these bad effects with his head held high and it at least gives the viewer some entertainment. Collins and the rest of the cast do what they can with the material they're given but the humans certainly aren't the high point of the film. I think the film would have benefited from being at least ten-minutes shorter as things really start to drag during the final act.
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Priceless 70s garbage
Boyo-225 August 2004
Warning: Spoilers
*Thousands of SPOILERS*

Joan Collins, wearing gaucho pants and boots, establishes herself as a bitch/whore in the opening three minutes. She's selling fake real estate to some of the dullest people ever born. She probably spent most of her paycheck on Band-Aids for the blisters on her feet. The entire cast spends half the movie drenched, but they dry off quickly enough. You'd better like what everyone is wearing, cause no one changes.

You're treated to dialogue like:

the Old Lady: "All we wanted to do was enjoy the rest of our lives. Is that bad?" (you don't see The Old Couple get killed; I think user Troy got it right when he said dementia set it for them at the perfect moment. Plus he pointed out that crazy megaphone!!)

Someone else generic says "This turned out to be one helluva vacation", someone else says "Its not fair this should happen to me" and a character responds to the querie "What about Christine?" with the answer "She didn't make it."

The attacks mainly consist of heightened music, the camera guy bobbing the camera up and down to make the ants look as though they are moving. Throw some water dyed red on their face, and you're less one more cast member.

There was an intentionally funny moment that deserves mention. Two of the survivors are on the street and hear a sound like the ants are approaching, but its just a kid riding a Big Wheels.

The end must be seen to be believed, but it consists of a sugar factory, a queen ant with gas, zombie townies and the best line in the movie.."They are superior"

H.G. Wells is spinning in his grave. I love this movie but obviously do not have a ton of respect for it.

Regardless of anything else, I think we should all raise a glass to Warren Estes, who is listed in the end credits as 'Ant Co-Ordinator'..who else ever held that job on a set? Thanks Warren, thanks to all who make trash cause it has its place, too. 8/10.
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Giant ants rule the island.
michaelRokeefe11 May 2002
Warning: Spoilers
Boy, my boy. Laughable 'sci-fi' that is a hoot. The enticing Joan Collins plays a shady real estate agent along with a boat load of prospective property buyers attacked by giant mutant ants. The queen ant is housed inside a sugar plant/warehouse where she hypnotizes the residents of the small, remote island community. The special effects are probably up to par for the mid 70's. But this thing is so silly it hurts. Not the best effort from a talented cast that includes Albert Salmi, Jacqueline Scott, Robert Lansing, Robert Pine and John David Carson.
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Crazy Ants
Stanjaudit12 October 2012
This movie is not as bad as some reviewers have made it out to be. Professional actors are paid to act and many do that by studying roles and even going so far as to participate in the role if possible. Sometimes it may take a few days, weeks or months. To criticize that effort is just not right. If one does not like a movie because of its genre then so state it.

Empire of the ants is plausible. It takes thousands of ants to keep the hive going and feed the queen so that the drones can mate with the queen ant so she can lay her eggs producing more worker ants and drone ants. As far as growing to huge size a leap of movie faith must be made. All the rest is very plausible. Ants communicate by way of pheromones so the can recognize one another and the trail back to the nest. It's also an excepted fact that ants can carry many times their own weight. As far as spraying a mist on the other ants it is simply the pheromone which the queen ant gives off so she can control the other ants in the nest.

This movie allegorically uses the humans as ants as they provide the sugar which they need to keep the queen ant fed. The.humans return to receive the queens pheromone spray so she may keep them under control. Well our four heros discover what is going on and devise a way to destroy the ants and flee for freedom. A good movie, wheel worth the time to watch.
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Screaming ants out-act Joan Collins!
Nightman8520 May 2008
Empire of the Ants is one of the more campy and unintentionally funny nature runs amok films of the 70's.

People surveying land on an island suddenly have a run in with a colony of radio active giant ants!

Bert I. Gordon is mostly known for his hokey B movies for AIP pictures, this being one of the funniest. Naturally the special FX for these giant creatures are laughably bad and the acting is less-than impressive to say the least. The fact that melodramatic Joan Collins is the star of the film doesn't help matters either! But Empire of the Ants is one of those golden B flicks that are so bad that they have a cheesy kind of entertaining value. It really lands itself in the category of so-bad-it's-good!

While Empire of the Ants certainly isn't for the serious viewer, it's gold to us B fans and one can't deny that it leaves an impression!

** 1/2 out of ****
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MST3K Bait
yenlo14 June 1999
Has MST3K done this film yet? They should. Joan Collins in her autobiography "Past Imperfect" stated that this was her worst acting experience. Watching this one can see why. Giant ants infest an island and would be real estate investors are their fodder. There is another part of the story about the ants controlling the local towns inhabitants but it doesn't salvage the picture. The best line comes from the old couple. "We just come on these things for the free food and booze" I kept waiting for Burt Lancaster's Dr. Moreau to come out of the jungle and say to the ants "WHAT IS THE LAW"?
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so absolutely horrible it's a must-see!
MartinHafer23 March 2006
Warning: Spoilers
Apart from the even worse I DON'T WANT TO BE BORN (also starring the great Joan Collins), this is the absolute worst film she ever made (even worse than THE BITCH). It's so bad and so unremittingly awful that it's a lot of fun to watch--particularly with friends. I'm sure that when Ms. Collins made it big on the show DYNASTY, she wanted to buy up every copy of these films, but they remain as a testament to just how low her career had sunk in the 1970s.

EMPIRE OF THE ANTS is about a Realtor (Collins) trying to sell swampland to a group of tourists. Together, the entire cast looked like actors that couldn't quite make the cut to get on LOVE BOAT. Well, she takes these suckers on an outing but instead of just being a three-hour tour of the area, all hell breaks loose and they are chased by evil, enormous and incredibly fake-looking ants. Okay, so now you are probably thinking "this sounds horrible--it can't possibly get any stupider"--well, if you ARE thinking that, then are you in for a surprise!!! The ants don't kill them all once they are captured. Nope. Instead, the ants use super mind control to turn them and hundreds of others into slaves to work at their sugar factory!!! Will the ants win and Earth be doomed to be turned into a giant Domino Sugar plantation? Well, tune it to see for yourself!! It's best to see it and be forewarned!
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"Stink Bug" would have been a more honest title...
Jonny_Numb19 February 2008
There is a reason why Bert I. Gordon's American-International cheapies were paid more lip service than the works of Ed Wood on the now-defunct Satellite of Love: the man carries the dishonorable title of being one of the most inept directors of low-budget schlock. But whereas stuff like "The Amazing Colossal Man" (a man turned giant by atomic testing) and "Beginning of the End" (Peter Graves vs. giant grasshoppers) had a certain charm reflective of the 1950s' "high- concept/low-budget" brand of sci-fi, "Empire of the Ants" is a bottom-feeder from start to finish, trying desperately to capture the low-grade magic of a bygone era. The only real merit of "Ants" is its nostalgia value--yes, I would watch this as a child and be utterly terrified of those bloodthirsty, radiation-grown buggers; years later, the puppet heads being shaken off-camera are less than impressive (as is Gordon's excessively shaking camera during the attack scenes), as is the stock footage blown up to make the ants tower over our human protagonists. The exposition scenes are painfully awkward, the dialog mostly atrocious, and the performances reflect this (with dismal results). The film is padded out with nonsensical clichés (the old couple who wanders off for no reason; the girl who sprains her ankle; another who gets snagged on a branch) and incredible lapses in logic (why can't our zeroes see or hear a cluster of ants that are mere feet away?), which culminates in a third act that apparently tries to wax philosophical in the vein of H.G. Wells' original story (which I haven't read) but falls flat on its face. "Empire of the Ants" is an interesting epitaph for a genre that has long since passed, but its best possible fate will probably be drunken viewing at your next house party.
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Joan Collins gets attacked by giant ants!
Aussie Stud10 February 2002
...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.
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This ant movie should be stepped on!
jimdugger25 October 2000
Whoe! I am a man who isn't quick to point out the bad in something, but this movie is horrid! Horrible, I mean downright horrible special effects and real putrid acting plus the many things that would not possibly ever happen in real life or even imaginary make this one of, if not, the worst movie I have ever seen in my entire life! I stayed up late one night, bored out of my mind, searching the channels and found this movie. Now I like older and even corny movies to a point, but this movie was so bad, that even after the point where the ants attack and figured it would start to get interesting, it was killing me - and I was not even in the movie! I FORCED myself to watch this movie to not only see how much I could stand since I was bored anyway, but to see it entirely so I can be totally correct when I say it is the worst movie to ever see. The part that really, really irked me was when this older couple, knowing darn well that there where killer ants everywhere eating everything in sight, decided while running away from the ants (while the other characters were trying to find a boat and go down the river to escape the ants) they were going to take a different route and go DEEPER in the woods - how idiotic was that! I even said to myself "I wonder how they would escape since the old couple could barely walk much less run even though they always kept within seeing distance of the others". I figured the director would kill them off because it was slowing down an already slow pace to the movie - but not like that! They did not even show the ants eat them! The actors probably died before that scene since they were so old! The sounds of the ants sounded like children screaming and when they showed a close up of the ants grabbing some of the people, it looked more fake than the guy who wore the rubber suit for "Godzilla"! Man, this one was bad! I would only recommend showing this movie to future directors to show what NOT to do in making a movie! Ridiculous!
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"All we wanted was to enjoy what was left of our life. Is that bad?"
utgard146 December 2014
Joan Collins is running a real estate scam in the Florida Everglades. She takes some potential investors to an island to look it over and they are all attacked by giant ants. Another laughable B movie from Bert I. Gordon. This is the third in AIP's H.G. Wells trilogy, after Food of the Gods and The Island of Dr. Moreau. Just like with most of Gordon's '50s B movies, the special effects here are very poor. The giant ants are represented by photographically enlarging the footage of real ants, as if that would fool anybody. One ridiculously ineffective scene has Robert Lansing and John David Carson on a boat swinging oars at some of the ants on a nearby shore. They are clearly swinging at nothing with the ants added later. For some scenes that require the actors to physically touch the ants, they use mock-ups of large ants that are so unrealistic the camera swings about wildly to keep the audience from focusing on them too long. It's all very cheap and no-budget but there is some quaint charm to it, I suppose.

The cast takes it all seriously, as if this was going to be their Jaws. There's even some Jaws rip-off music. Joan Collins' theatrics are always worth watching. Robert Lansing does his best to rise above the material. Sexy Pamela Shoop goes braless through the whole movie. That may sound like a pretty weak contribution but one takes what one can get when watching a movie like this. The rest of the cast is made up of people you might recognize but likely won't remember their names. It's all very cheesy and tacky but also very watchable. I was never bored with it. But I am someone who can enjoy a good cheap B horror flick. Some of you might have less patience for those types of films. If nothing else, there is some nice Everglades scenery and all the footage of ants you could ever want to see. If either of those things appeals to you, this is your movie.
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When GIants Attack!!!
vampi19601 August 2006
i originally seen this on a double bill with the absurd;food of the gods. empire of the ants is an enjoyable little film about radio active giant ants on a piece of overpriced swampland for sale by none other then Joan Collins(does she put this movie on her resume?)the movie is based on a portion of a story by h.g.wells,and produced and directed by;Bert i Gordon(magic sword,food of the gods)the giant ant scenes were filmed using a macro lens,something that Gordon has done in his previous films.the cast is quite good there's Robert lansing(4d man) Pamela Susan shoop(Halloween 2)Robert pine(chips)all fighting these giant picnic invaders.filmed in Florida,near Miami i believe.on DVD its available as a double feature with tentacles from;mgm midnight movies. usually with double bills one movie is better then the other,this is no classic but its quite enjoyable despite its flaws.Joan Collins is awesome as the evil greedy real estate scam artist.8 out of 10.
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Not totally without value
oceanave3 February 2006
Bert Gordon gave this film a good shot - and the results were not altogether bad. It was pretty well cast, too. What really kills it is the cinematography and some of the staging. The ant attacks are just not convincing and the special effects are horrid (especially the boat blowing up). The leads do an OK job, but the script just had tons of dead air and there's not much good dialogue. The bit where Margaret Ellis (played well by Jacqueline Scott) reminisces in the boat about her being fired after 20 years of working for the same boss is nicely delivered, but falls painfully flat. Things perk up a bit when Albert Salmi comes in as the sheriff. I guess Joan Collins' character got what she deserved in the end, but she doesn't seem like a truly evil person. Some sense of fulfillment is reached in the end when the two couples (seemingly in love) manage to escape. Still, a good drive-in flick and the whole set-up of the "real estate sales outings" seemed to be popular in the late 70s/early 80s when the market was really starting to boom. I guess I like this flick because four of the actors (Jacqueline Scott, Albert Salmi, Robert Lansing, Irene Tedrow) starred in episodes of "The Twilight Zone" and this movie certainly has elements of that great TV series. Bert Gordon's daughter, Susan, also starred in a "Zone" episode.
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Special effects? Nah. How about just "effects"?
cLoNe6 August 1999
As a kid this movie freaked me out and I loved it, but its so cheesy and the special effects are so bad.

The movie is a pre-Star Wars movie, where bad special effects were still used. It's cheesy enough to be entertaining even now, because the special effects are so bad.

It's fun and it has it moments. Oh, and let's not forget Joan Collins!
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A fun piece of 70's drive-in horror junk
Woodyanders14 March 2019
Warning: Spoilers
Slick and conniving scam artist real estate agent Margaret Fraser (a respectable performance by the ever-classy Joan Collins) tries to sell some bogus property to a motley assortment of folks on an island that's been overrun by lethal giant ants.

Boy, does this gloriously ghastly low-budget atrocity possess all the right wrong stuff to qualify as a real four-star stinkeroonie: Ham-fisted (mis)direction by Bert I. Gordon, a laughably ludicrous premise that's played ridiculously straight, hilariously horrendous (far from) special effects, clumsily staged ant attack scenes, and even a heavy-handed pro-ecology message on the dangers of illegally dumped radioactive waste all ensure that this honey rates as a choice tasty slice of prime cinematic Velveeta. The able cast do their proverbial best with the absurd material: Robert Lansing as tough two-fisted boat captain Dan Stokely, John David Carson as dashing deadbeat Joe Morrison, Albert Salmi as the brainwashed Sheriff Art Kincade, Pamela Susan Shoop as the foxy Coreen Bradford, Jacqueline Scott as the poised Margaret Ellis, Robert Pine as sniveling coward Larry Graham, and Edward Power as the shifty Charlie Pearson. A total schlocky hoot and a half.
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My my, you ants have disappointed us.
PeterMitchell-506-56436423 January 2013
Here's another of these creature films, like Alligator, Eight Legged Freaks, Rats. Here they're an infestation of ants mutatated into sizes of monstrous proportion. Sleazy scammy real estate agent played with impressive acting status by John Collins, who I can't believed popped up in this, becomes one of a hunted group on one of her tours, by these killer ants, the photography of them, a marvel to watch. Yeah, she's fantastic, doing what she does best, as shown from her Dynasty days, etc. The movie isn't. One, there isn't enough horror, suspense, and two, it takes a while for the film to get to where it's going. As a horror fan, you'll feel short changed by this one, but it is worth a look if you like these creature features. From a story by H.G. Wells.
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