A little girl is found wandering in the desert, in a state of complete shock. When she finally revives, she can scream out only one word: "Them" Any aficionado of 1950s horror films can readily tell you that "Them" are giant ants, a byproduct of the radiation attending the atomic bomb tests of the era. Extremely well organized, these deadly eight-to-twenty-foot mutations converge on the storm drains of Los Angeles in the finale. Forming a united front against the oncoming ant battalions are New Mexico police sergeant James Whitmore, FBI representative James Arness, and father-and-daughter entomologists Edmund Gwenn and Joan Weldon. Since the details of Them are fairly common knowledge today, the mystery-thriller structure of the film's first half tends to drag a bit. Things liven up considerably during the search-and-destroy final reels, as the audience is barraged with convincing special effects and miniature work-not to mention that eerie ant-induced sound effect, so often imitated by subsequent lesser films. Fess Parker appears in a starmaking cameo as a pilot driven to the booby hatch after witnessing the ants in action, while an uncredited Leonard Nimoy is seen pulling info out of IBM machine. Definitely the high point in the careers of director Gordon Douglas and scenarists Ted Sherdeman and George Worthing Yates, Them is also one of the handful of vintage science-fiction thrillers that holds up as well today as it did when first released. (Sidebar: Though filmed in black-and-white, Them is alleged to have been released with a Technicolor opening title, the word THEM hurtling towards the audience in a vibrant red). Hal Erickson, Rovi
A longtime "dream" project of production designer-turned-director Eugene Lourie, The Beast From 20,000 Fathoms sees the titular beast unleashed on the world via nuclear testing. Making its way from the Arctic Circle, the monster-a carnivorous "rhedosaurus"-begins advancing towards New York. It stomps its way around Wall Street, pausing to have a policeman for lunch. By the time it has reached Coney Island, the rhedosaurus is more of a danger than ever because of the deadly bacteria it carries within its system. It's up to researcher Paul Christian and sharpshooter Lee Van Cleef to try to liquidate the beast with a grenade chock full of radioactive isotopes. Beast From 20,000 Fathoms represented effects artist Ray Harryhausen's first solo effort, after assisting Willis O'Brien on Mighty Joe Young (1949). Hal Erickson, Rovi
- Sci-Fi Horror, Natural Horror, Creature Film, Prehistoric Fantasy
- When Animals Attack, Terror in the Water, Mutants, Mad Scientists, Experiments Gone Awry
- 02 hr 51 min
- English , French
- French , Japanese , Spanish , Portuguese , English
- August 22, 2006
- Paul Christian , James Whitmore , Paula Raymond , Edmund Gwenn , Cecil Kellaway
- Walden Boyle , Roydon E. Clark , Lawrence Dobkin , John Beradino , James Best , Frederick J. Foote , Douglas Spencer , Chad Mallory , Booth Colman , Cliff Ferre , Jack Perrin , Joe Forte , Joel Smith , Leonard Nimoy , Mary Ellen Hokanson , Richard Bellis , Victor Sutherland , Warren Mace , William Schallert , Alvin Greenman , Ann Doran , Charles Perry , Dick Wessel , Dorothy Green , John Maxwell , Otis Garth , Paul Hubschmid , Robert Berger , Alexander Campbell , Dean Cromer , Dub Taylor , Gayle Kellogg , James B. Cardwell , Janet Stewart , John Close , Norman Field , Russell Gaige , Joan Weldon , Kenneth Tobey , James Arness , Donald Woods , Onslow Stevens , Sean McClory , Jack Pennick , Lee Van Cleef , Chris Drake , Steve Brodie , Sandy Descher , Ross Elliott , Ray Hyke , Don Shelton , Mary Hill , Fess Parker , Olin Howland , Michael Fox , Frank Ferguson , King Donovan
- Gordon M. Douglas , Eugène Lourié
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