Monday, April 18, 2011

Ants, I Knew It'd Be the Ants!

Last week's film was "Ants", the 1977 version with Suzanne Sommers, not the recent family friendly fare. "Ants", in a word, was pieceofcrap (three words, technically, but can be combined into one). Story in a nutshell--an old lady in a wheelchair who is super nice to everyone is running a resort that everyone seems to be enthralled with even though it appears to be like any third rate motel, and an evil developer (you can tell he's evil because he yells at the help!) wants to buy it and turn it into a casino. Meanwhile, ants start coming up from the ground and attacking the guests and workers, none of whom seem capable of brushing them off. Hijinks ensue, a rescue team is called in, and the Carter-era malaise is in full effect.

Here's where the film was incredibly stupid:

1) The cook who seems to work completely alone in the kitchen (for a resort that has at least a few dozen guests!) is slapping away at the ants that are attacking his foot. He manages to do this without actually looking down, where had he done so he might have seen that thousands of the damn things were coming up from the floor's drainpipe. When's the last time you felt something biting and itching at your feet and you didn't bother to look?

2) When a dying construction worker--who was also beset by ants--is brought to the hospital, the doctor has absolutely no idea why the man is suffering heart failure and nervous system damage. Er, maybe try looking at the guy's body which should be covered with ant bites? I find it hard to believe someone could be attacked by ants with no outward signs of this. Even in 1977!

3) At no point does it occur to anyone that they could defeat the ants with a broom. Seriously, these are normal sized, normal speed ants. They have to crawl to you, and just stomping them and sweeping them away could do a pretty good job of holding them back until they get tired and go looking for a leaf or something.

4) Of course, the health department guy who (correctly) surmises that this could be an ant attack decides that this is due to the humans using so many chemicals and pesticides on the ants, and the ants getting stronger and fighting back. TOO SUBTLE!

5) Have you ever complained that Brian Dennehy portrays characters who are just two understated and nuanced? Well, after watching "Ants", complain no more!

6) I think this same movie could have been told from the ant point of view. It could have been titled "The Day Our Ant Heroes Rose Up Against Hideously Clothed Giants Engaged in Tortured Dialogue".

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