Thursday, January 9, 2014

Elvira's Movie Macabre, Episode 138: Empire of the Ants

Elvira's Movie Macabre went out with a bang, so to speak. Episodes 137-140 were some of the best, with episode 138, Empire of the Ants, managing to team up Elvira with Joan Collins. That's a whole lot of shakin' goin' on. Empire of the Ants is pretty good. I always stop to watch it for a while when it's on television. 

A heavenly paradise becomes a hellish nightmare when a toxic spill turns harmless ants into gigantic rampaging monster insects.
The opening narration briefly introduces the viewer to the ant and its behavior. It takes note how ants use pheromones to communicate, and how they cause an obligatory response that must be obeyed. "But humans don't have to worry about that...." As the opening credits roll, barrels of radioactive waste are being dumped off a boat into the ocean. Eventually one of the barrels washes up on the shore and begins to leak a silvery goo attractive to local ants.


Meanwhile, shady land developer Marilyn Fryser (Joan Collins) takes a bunch of new clients to view some 'beach-front property' on a nearby island. In reality the land is worthless, but the trip is cut short by the group stumbling upon the lair of gigantic ants. The ants destroy their boat and chase the group through the woods. Fleeing for their lives through the wilderness and losing many of their party along the way, the remaining survivors eventually discover the local island town. But their safety is short-lived when they realize that not only are the giant ants feeding on the local sugar factory, but at the behest of the humans. The queen ant, using pheromones has the entire town completely under control, and the giant ants are determined to exterminate humankind and build an evil empire. However, the survivors manage to escape and burn the sugar factory, killing the giant ants, and leave the island by a speedboat.

Joan Collins is rumored to have carried on an affair with one of the ants during filming of Empire of the Ants.

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