2020 Scarecrow Psychotronic Challenge Day 21: Empire of the Ants (1977)

DAY 21: MURDER SHE ROACH: One about pesky varmints, pests or creepy crawlies.

If you love Joan Collins, you have to get used to her being abused. She gets a demonic baby that doesn’t want to be born, she’s choked out by Santa after getting that blood out of that nice white fur carpet and then, she gets gassed by a queen aunt. It’s not easy being Joan.

This American-International Picture says that it was inspired by H.G. Wells short story of the same name, but it’s really just a nature gone wild thanks to man movie, but I’m not saying that like it’s a bad thing. I mean, how many movies have giant ants that blast humans with clouds of fog that take over their minds?

We watch as polluted materials get loose in the swamp, just as land developer Marilyn Fryser (Joan Collins) brings a bunch of new clients to see her beachfront property. The land is worthless, of course, but then an army of giant ants busts in on the scene and everyone flees for their lives.

As if that wasn’t bad enough, it turns out that the ants use pheromones from the queen to take over an entire town and the sugar factory there, as they prepare to do the same to the world.

Beyond Ms. Collins, this movie also has Pamela Shoop (Nurse Karen!), Robert Pine (who was in The Day of the Locust, a movie that disappointed me as a kid because there were no giant locusts), Jacqueline Scott (William Castle’s Macabre), Albert Salmi (Superstition), Robert Lansing (who should know all about nature on the loose, thanks to being in Day of the Dolphin and Creature from Black Lake) and Robert Lansing (who was in a ton of TV, including playing Control on The Equalizer).

This was directed by Bert I. Gordon, the master of process shots to achieve giant creatures menacing actors. That said, he also used large rubber ant parts, which Joan Collins hated, as she said that they scratched her.

You can watch this on Daily Motion.

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