What better time than summer to watch a horror movie about invading ants? They're here. You're already pissed at them. You want to see them wiped off the face of the earth. We go to the movies for entertainment and catharsis, so get ready to feel good. Grab your bug spray and march to the Eureka Theater on Friday, June 23 to catch the Sci-Fi classic THEM! (1954) playing at 7:30 p.m. for a mere $5.
The theater's Fourth Friday Flix series brings the first of the 1950s "nuclear monster" films to its big screen. Get ready to shrink in terror at the gigantic, marauding ants looming large in what was the first (and considered best) of the 'big bug' subgenre, and then cheer as flame-throwing militia wipe them out. Yass, queen.
In a picked-over nutshell, a nest of irradiated ants is discovered in the New Mexico desert after state troopers encounter a catatonic girl and her torn apart trailer ... with an ominous sack of sugar that's been ripped into. Things get sticky when the responsible parties, a gargantuan queen ant and her cunning consorts, escape the desert to establish a nest in the dark, dripping storm drains under the city of Los Angeles. A nationwide hunt to kill the man-eating beasts ensues, complete with wonderful non-CGI, mechanical ant special effects. The film ends with a warning (as many of the atomic Sci-Fi films did):
"When man entered the atomic age, he opened the door to a new world. What we may eventually find in that new world, no one can predict."
Bonus, Sci-Fi fans: Catch a young Leonard Nimoy in a small (uncredited) role as an Army sergeant in the communications room poking fun at Texas and the state's propensity for exalting the "bigness" of things. Illogical.