Monday, January 19, 2009

Today, for part 2 of our remake feature we're talking about giant ants. Yes... THEM!

Gordon Douglas'1954 flick is considered to be seminal sci-fi on celluloid and one of the best of the cautionary creature features. The first atomic bomb goes off in the desert of New Mexico and slowly but surely causes the mutation of teensy weensy normal ants into... yes that is right... GIANT ANTS!
Your basic parade of police, military and scientist types have to deal with this insect annoyance, tracking down some newly escaped queen ants. And queen ants can fly! The film gets bogged down by some police procedural work and the general talky-ness of the era before getting back to some good ol' fashion ant blasting in the Los Angeles sewers.

The film has been a definite influence on Sci-fi/horror cautionary tales over the years, most recently/notably with Joon-ho-Bong's The Host. So why in the world has this not been turned into a big, noisy American remake? Truth be told the title (without question mark) has been used many times over the years, for all sorts of films and TV shows, but alas, no straight up giant ant action in any of them.

Mr. Transformers himself, Michael Bay has been circling around a remake of Alfred Hitchcock's The Birds for years now. Not to diss ol' Hitch, but The Birds, while having a few good set pieces, is one of his films that has not held up all too well over the last decades. I could go into details but I won't because the bottom line is this: Mr. Bay stop thinking about those pesky seagulls and canaries and start thinking about giant killer ants in the desert of New Mexico. You've already done giant killer robots (in the desert), so why not go ahead and blow some shit up while angering a whole new slew of geeks. Your general lack of substance and character fits right in with the insect life style.

The original's giant ants were vicious to be sure; gnawing chumps with their pincers, shooting acid, general tunneling, burrowing and even Navy ship attacking, but the puppets used ( as amazing as they were at the time) were slow as molasses. Of course we'd CGI these suckers now, and just like the updated zombie, make them super fast, thus twice, thrice, as deadly!

This one is such a no brainer, it hurts.

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