The ants are my friends, they're blowin' in the windTHEM!

With James Whitmore, Edmund Gwenn, Joan Weldon, James Arness, Onslow Stevens
Directed by Gordon M. Douglas
Black and White
Reviewed by JL and JB

      Eek!!  Eek!!!  Giant ants!!!  As sci-fi flicks from the era of  gila - monsters - on - papier - mache - mountains go, THEM! remains one of the best and most effective largely because its intelligent screenplay emphasizes suspense and keeps the appearances by the jumbo anthropoids to a minimum.  The critters themselves don't appear for about half an hour, by which time an ominous tone that sustains itself throughout the film has been well-established.  A strong cast that plays things with dead seriousness, never verging into camp, also contributes to the overall credibility.  As proven time and again in '50s b-films, there was just no end to the assorted mutations cause by those danged atomic-bomb tests. - JL

     A reminder of a time when an intelligent script and solid acting could overcome so-so special effects, the opposite of today, when the so-so special effects are the only thing some movies have to offer.  Despite many scenes of the giant ants reeking havoc, the film's most memorable image for me is that little catatonic girl wandering through the desert at the opening of the film, finally being wakened out of her stupor and shouting the film's title" "Them!  Them!".  - JB

Science Fiction      The Secret Vortex