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Empire of the Ants

3.3 out of 5 stars 53 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

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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

Special Features

None.

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: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (53 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00005O070
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #63,151 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Empire of the Ants" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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For those who love suspenseful 'creature feature', this setting is Joan Collins as a 'flim flam' sales woman on an investment scam: buy property that will soon be developed and retire in tropical setting. The mixed group who comes to hear the sales talk really wants the food and drink, a free boat ride, and only a few are actually serious retirees looking for an investment. A few of the characters are interested in sex but meet with unexpected island population of mutated ants. Interesting insect intelligence explored as basis for plot. Good suspense, filled with those characters you love to hate and can't wait for them to get picked off, and surprise twists. Not for children.
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Format: VHS Tape Verified Purchase
Brace yourself for mutant mayhem and pestilent payback in this "scary" (Los Angeles Times) and repulsively convincing" (The Hollywood Reporter) creature feature about good bugs gone BAD! Starring queen of mean Joan Collins, this incredible insect extravaganza is swarming with flesh-crawling chills, hair-raising thrills and spine-tingling terror...with a venge-ANTS!

A heavenly paradise becomes a hellish nightmare when a toxic spill turns harmless ants into rampaging, radioactive reprobates! Stumbling into their creepy lair, a sleazy land developer (Collins) and her clients are horrified to realize that the ants are having a picnic...and humans are on the menu! Fleeing for their lives - only to be squashed underfoot - they soon discover that these bad-boy bugs are hell-bent on exterminating mankind, and building an evil empire where humans check in...but they can't check out!
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Format: DVD
During the 1970s, when "Earth Day" and recycling really began to come to the public mindset, there were some directors that took advantage of it and sent a message through the movie industry. What they came up with was perhaps one of the most "mad themed" movies to ever be produced. EMPIRE OF THE ANTS was another Bert Gordon production who also gave us FOOD OF THE GODS,
It all starts when some illegal toxic waste barrels were dumped into the waters off "Dreamland Shores", a future "sporting club" of sorts. Heading the "pleasure cruise" of the doomed is Joan Collins (Tales From the Crypt), a shrewd businesswoman that takes orders from no one. Once on the property, things start to go wrong after a couple goes missing snooping around looking for "faults".
The "tour" finds one of the people alongside the road, dead, and the panic begins. They head back for the boat only to find the boat being overrun by Giant Ants.
Robert Lansing, the Captain of the Boat, sees it from shore and heads out swimming to it only to find that it's probably a lost cause to get them off. His partner is killed by one of the Ants and he decides to blow the boat up by dumping gasoline and lighting it, narrowly escaping.
Once on shore, they realize it's going to be difficult to get back to civilization. The weather moves in and makes it even more difficult for the survivors of "Dreamland Shores" to get out alive....

This is one of those campy, 1970s movies you either hate or love. There was no CGI at hand. They had to use their imagination and prop effects available to them at the time. It worked, but you can't expect "Interstellar" effects back then in a movie like this.
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