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Empire of the Ants (1977)

Joan Collins , Robert Lansing , Bert I. Gordon  |  PG |  DVD
3.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)

Price: $38.90 & FREE Shipping. Details
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Product Details

  • Actors: Joan Collins, Robert Lansing, John David Carson, Robert Pine, Edward Power
  • Directors: Bert I. Gordon
  • Format: Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono), French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono), Spanish (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Subtitles: French, Spanish
  • Dubbed: Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: MGM Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: November 20, 2001
  • Run Time: 89 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00005O070
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #240,580 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Empire of the Ants" on IMDb

Special Features

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

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

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars "Oh my God! They're herding us like cattle!" June 15, 2004
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
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, and 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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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic B-Movie starring Joan Collins February 20, 1999
Format:VHS Tape
1977 B-Movie starring Joan Collins, who gives free cruises to people in hopes they will invest in a soon to be built tourist dreamland. The only problem is the island that "Dreamland Shores" is located on is also occupied by huge ants. Contains all the elements you want in a classic b-movie, such as huge mutated insects, fantastic dialog, low-budget special effects, and an actress (in this case Joan Collins) who went on to bigger things and probably wants this movie to be forgotten.
Based on H.G. Wells book of the same title. Also features Robert Pine of "CHiPS" fame.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good fodder for B movie addicts! January 11, 2003
Format:DVD
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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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Joan Collins is the real queen of the mound October 9, 2004
Format:DVD
Hold onto your wits and hold on for a wild ride as Joan Collins leads the way on this South Florida adventure. Joan is in the real-estate business, actually she's a con artist trying to sell worthless swampland to anyone that will listen. The would-be customers gather on the boat for a free ride and refreshments. Once at the location, the high pressure sales pitch begins. Little do they know that some ants have been swimming in radioactive waste and are now the size of Cadillacs.

Joan looks lovely running through the woods and going down the river in a rowboat. She's very sexy when she sweats profusely. Not everyone in her party is as fortunate as her though. An elderly couple who can't keep up bite the dust. Also a husband who decides it's cheaper to sacrifice a wife than pay for a divorce watches his wife get devoured. No real loss for him, he already had his eyes on another chick in the little band.

Well the ending is pretty weird. Seems the whole town is under the control of the ants thanks to some kind of Brain washing gas that the people get a whiff of when placed in a glass box with the Queen Ant. Alas poor Joan doesn't make it out of the box. The ant decides she'd rather make a good meal.

I love Joan Collins and got this movie only because of her. She once said this was the most grueling part she ever played. If you like Joan too, I highly suggest this little gem of a film.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD
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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Most Recent Customer Reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars Crude of the Clods.
Empire of the Ants (Bert I. Gordon, 1977)

In the late seventies, I was at a friend's house and I caught a few sequences of It Happened at Lakewood Manor on television. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Robert Beveridge
1.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing
This film is poorly written, poorly filmed and the acting is atrocious. I love B science fiction films but some of them are simply not enjoyable to watch. This was not enjoyable.
Published 4 months ago by Matt
4.0 out of 5 stars It's No Picnic!
Brace yourself for mutant mayhem and pestilent payback in this "scary" (Los Angeles Times) and repulsively convincing" (The Hollywood Reporter) creature feature about... Read more
Published 6 months ago by Junie N.
5.0 out of 5 stars THE BEST IN GI-ANTS.
I dont care what bad things they say about this movie..the props were cool, the background footage of the real ants to the actors..i love..so much better than cgi.. Read more
Published 6 months ago by larry
5.0 out of 5 stars Review of movie
This is a good Sy Fy movie of the old fashion verity. I really enjoy watching it and can skip the first part, although I know it is needed but seeing what is going into our... Read more
Published 7 months ago by Debra M. Duval
5.0 out of 5 stars A blast from the past!
This is one awesome movie from the past. Re-makes are everywhere but not for this movie. Excellent for its time and most enjoyable still today. A must have for a collector.
Published 7 months ago by DJ Sandoval
3.0 out of 5 stars madge
Joan Collins is the only one in this movie that can act ! (it is watchable for the story tho.)
Published 9 months ago by joseph maybrick
1.0 out of 5 stars unrealistic
Don't waste your money, it was outrageous and very boring. I ended up putting the DVD in the bin. It was shame as I was looking forward to this movie.
Published 14 months ago by Lynda C. Bateson
5.0 out of 5 stars Campy Guilty Pleasure !
Joan Collins in a pre Dynanty role starred in this 1977 B film. Very entertaining of it's kind and quite watchable. Probably mainly for Joan Collins fans. I loved it.
Published 18 months ago by K. Nolting
5.0 out of 5 stars Epire of the Ants
A well done suspenseful thriller that keeps you on the edge of your seat during the entire movie.
The surprise ending was thoughtfully executed.
Published 23 months ago by Craig
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