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Empire of the Ants (Widescreen)

Joan Collins , Robert Lansing , Bert I. Gordon    PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)   DVD
3.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 49.86
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Joan Collins stars in this hilarious giant bug epic. Producer-director Bert I. Gordon, the genius behind such stuff-grows-really-big films as The Amazing Colossal Man and Village of the Giants, brings us a cautionary tale of what can happen when pollution, real-estate scams, and social insects mix. Collins, an absolute portrait of the valiant trouper who keeps plugging away no matter how bad the script gets, stars as shady land developer Marilyn Fryer. Marilyn is by only a small margin the sleaziest of a band of characters so repellent it's hard not to root for the ants (who, by the way, grow really big). A ludicrous plot and jaw-droppingly bad dialogue make Empire of the Ants ideal for late-night viewing. Watch it with your most vicious circle of friends. DVD version includes the original trailer and French and Spanish subtitles. -Ali Davis

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Customer Reviews

3.1 out of 5 stars
3.1 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars "Oh my God! They're herding us like cattle!" June 15 2004
Run for the hills (or the Raid)! Bert I. Gordon, aka Mr. Big (due to his penchant for making films involving giant creatures, and also, it's his initials), brings on some serious cinematic pain with his rendition of author H.G. Wells story Empire of the Ants (1977). Other cinematic examples of Gordon's super-sizing include Beginning of the End (1957), The Amazing Colossal Man (1957), Earth vs the Spider (1958), Attack of the Puppet People (1958), and The Food of the Gods (1976). Gordon, certainly a man of many hats, not only wrote (adapted from an H.G. Wells story), directed and produced the film, but he also was in charge of the special effects. The film stars Joan Collins of TV's Dynasty, Robert Lansing, whose television credits are too numerous to mention but is most familiar to me from the 1959 film 4D Man, perennial 70's television stars John David Carlson and Jacqueline Scott.
In the beginning we get some painfully obvious foreshadowing involving stock footage, along with voice over, showing ants busy at work. We then cut to workers in HAZMAT suits on a boat, dumping clearly marked barrels of radioactive waste in the water. We see one of the barrels wash up on shore, as the ominous music plays on...Cut to preparations being made for an excursion by yacht to view swampy properties for sale, sponsored by some realty company called Dreamland Properties, or some such thing. It's here we meet Marilyn Fryer (Collins), the woman in charge. How do we know this? Because she's being a real pain in the rear, basically telling everyone she's the boss, especially Dan Stokely (Lansing), the captain of the boat, who, by the way, wears a lovely earring (yargh, I'm a pirate!) throughout the film (man, the 70's were weird). Soon the prospective suckers...
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Perhaps above all, Joan Collins is internationally renowned for her role of Alexis Carrington Colby in DYNASTY; the most highly rated evening TV drama of all time. For eight years, viewers were treated to a weekly dose of Alexis' elaborate schemes for power, money and love. Well, Joan's character here is really no different and was probably great practice for her eventual TV persona.
Joan plays Marilyn Fryer, a real estate agent and land developer for "Dreamland Shores". However, unbeknownst to her freeloading group of highly impossible investors, the shores have been contaminated with toxic chemicals that make ANTS grow to humongous proportions!
Add in a sugar processing plant, horrendous dialogue, bad acting, & cheesy special effects and you have a great, classic B-grade horror film. Based on an H.G. Wells story...
If you liked "Them", "Pirahna", "Frogs" or other films that follow animals or insects taking over the world, you will certainly enjoy this pic. Happy Watching!
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4.0 out of 5 stars "A slice of Orange Peel..." Feb. 16 2004
Format:VHS Tape
This film is based on a true happening. Believe it or not. A fabulous Joan Collins epic. She is glamourous and fabulous as usual as is most of the other cast, Pamela Susan Shoop(Halloween 2), Jacqueline Scott(a Twilight Zone episode, etc.). I personally love the characters in this B-film and how they introduce them to the audience. I happen to also enjoy some of the dialogue. Although this film depicts a group of people traveling to an island to view some 'shoddy' land for sale, the real occurrence was actually a bit different. How do I know this information? None of your business. Many decades ago a certain entrepreneur was looking for an island to build a grand resort. This certain someone came upon this land which happened to be owned and operated by a government organization(not U.S.). From the information I was privy to, the story goes like this: The person and their associates came upon the land unannounced, the owners were none too pleased. As this certain organization was conducting genetic experimentation on certain organisms. Apparently, they had mutated a strain of Carpenter Ants, and grown about the size of a Volkswagen Bug (no pun!). They were having to restrain the ants just at the time the unwelcomed visitors arrived. The ants were attached to ropes, like cattle. Just as it always happens in 'the movies', the experiment was a huge disaster. According to my source, the group of ants attacked and killed several of the scientists, the remaining scientists,authorities and land surveyors escaped unharmed in their helicopter and boats. No one ever returned to this island and of course, no one ever informed or spoke about it publicly. I have pressed my source for the whereabouts of this island but up until the time of their death, they would would never disclose the exact location. Read more ›
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4.0 out of 5 stars Good fodder for B movie addicts! Jan. 11 2003
I am a big fan of the underrated, marvellously talented late Robert Lancing, so I collect his stuff. And he did some wonderful B flicks that are B Movie Addicts delight. My favourite 4D man is one of the best, but this one is not too shabby.
Joan Collins is head of a group pushing an island paradise resort - yet to be built - and Lancing is the pilot of the boat that brings in the latest boatload of suckers....I mean investors...to view the imaginary golf course and club house. Only problem, refugees from THEM! are lurking in the woods making off with islanders and soon to investors of Joan's resort. The effects are typical Drive-in B movie quality (but hey, I miss the old drive-ins!! When I visited Kentucky they would have dusk to dawn creature features and that is where I first saw this movie), but Lancing as always is better than the material he is given and makes this worth the ticket.
So stack up four of five our your best Vincent Price and Chris Lee films, add Empire of the Ants (and watch the wonderful and well missed Robert Lancing), pop a bowl of popcorn , turn out the lights and imagine you are in a car with a speaker hanging from the window. Have your own dusk to dawn creature features.
Off to see if I can hunt up a copy of 4D man in DVD.....
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Most recent customer reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Can't Believe Its Back!
I actually saw this movie when it was first released in the theater. Believe me, you are not missing anything by not catching it on the big screen. Read more
Published on Feb. 15 2004 by Harrison Bergeron
3.0 out of 5 stars Good campy movie.......
If you're looking for a movie that's fun in a bad way and that you don't have to take seriously,then this is a good one. Read more
Published on Jan. 23 2004 by Bart Fargo
Let's see, we have: Joan Collins in her pre-Dynasty days; Robert Lansing from the tv series "Twelve O'Clock High," Robert Pine and Jacqueline Scott from countless B... Read more
Published on Dec 29 2003 by Michael Butts
Released about 20 years after "Them" -- the first big ant flick, and nowhere near the class act -- "EMPIRE OF THE ANTS" (MGM) is the brain-child of Bert I. Read more
Published on Sept. 11 2002 by Robin Simmons
4.0 out of 5 stars a must see movie
this movie that i bought on dvd is pretty good, the special effects i think were great, i like the way they made the ants look big, at least in this one they showed you the whole... Read more
Published on June 22 2002 by Nicholas F. Dandrea
2.0 out of 5 stars A must for your Joan Collins collection
Yes, this movie is a "B" or less. The problem comes in taste or preference. I would have given this movie a "five star" rating; however no one would ever take my reviews serious... Read more
Published on April 26 2002 by bernie
2.0 out of 5 stars DUMB-DUMB-DUMB-DUM-DEE-DOO-WAH!!
Typical Bert I. Gordon nonsense!! Joan Collins is a sleazy Real Estate developer taking a bunch of prospective suckers on a field trip when they are monstered by huge ants, who... Read more
Published on Jan. 2 2002 by SeaWasp
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