Plot: What’s it about?
Marilyn Fryer (Joan Collins) is a warm, genuine person and if you believe that, I have some real estate in the Everglades I’d like to sell you. Marilyn is no nice woman, as she does whatever it takes to turn a buck, including lies and deception. She has plans to market some real estate down in the Everglades in fact, which is more scam than anything, to be sure. Although the area does have some lush plots and beautiful landscapes, Marilyn wants to milk the buyers and rake them over the coals, to ensure the largest profit she can. But she has no idea what lurks down on the estates, as she and the buyers are in for a real surprise indeed. It seems some toxic waste has leaked onto the properties and of course, some local wildlife has been exposed to the chemicals. This time around, some ants have stumbled across the toxic matter and now have been transformed, with gigantic, dangerous consequences. Now the band of horrific large ants have taken aim on the humans, which means unless drastic action is taken, it could be the end of the world as we know it.
This one has some real B movie potential, with Joan Collins going head to head with a band of massive ants, complete with a plot for world domination. The presence of Collins (Tv’s Dynasty) is quite humorous here, as she has to take a nosedive into a swamp and other fun stuff, all with a look that screams “get me off this set.” Her performance is not too impressive, but she keeps a straight face and in a case like this, that’s often enough. The rest of the cast is on the same level, so if you want classical acting, don’t look here. The special effects are the real draw in this one, with some hilarious sequences, most of which include normal ants on miniature set pieces. But then again, if the effects were seamless & flawless, it wouldn’t be as fun and as such, I am pleased the ant effects look as they do here. Empire of the Ants is a bad movie to be sure, but it is also a lot of fun to watch, if you’re a fan of B cinema. This disc from MGM has little extras, but sports a cheap asking price and as such, is more than recommended to those interested.
Video: How does it look?
Empire of the Ants is presented in a 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer. The image is more than acceptable I think, with a clean source print and no serious errors to report. Of course, it lacks the refinement of more modern pictures in terms of the transfers, but for what it is, the movie looks terrific here. There is some wear evident, but the amount of debris & marks is never extreme and most of the time, the image looks quite clean. The colors have faded a little, but still look more than solid, while contrast is stable and provides accurate detail levels. I commend MGM’s work here, as the image looks clean and sharp, which is all we can want from this one.
Audio: How does it sound?
A basic mono option, which never sparks the ears, but handles the material well enough. The materials haven’t aged much here, as there’s minimal age related flaws present, such as hiss or harshness. The dialogue is sharp and at a proper volume balance, while sound effects & music are stable, as far as older mono tracks go. This won’t dazzle the viewers by any means, but it gets the job done and that’s enough. This disc also includes language options and subtitles in Spanish & French, should you need those.
Supplements: What are the extras?
This disc includes the film’s theatrical trailer.