Empire of the Ants/Jaws of Satan [Blu-ray]

Empire of the Ants In the '50s, Bert I. Gordon made a career out of sci-fi movies about gigantic mutated insects (Beginning of the End, Earth vs. the Spider), lizards (King Dinosaur, Serpent Island), and even people (The Amazing Colossal Man), and in 1977, he was still up to his old tricks with this picture, loosely adapted from a story by H.G. Wells. Marilyn Fryser (Joan Collins) is a less than scrupulous businesswoman who is trying to sell shares in a worthless Florida housing development to a group of naive souls. However, both Marilyn and her potential customers have bigger things to worry about than low property values, when they discover that a large stock of nuclear waste was dumped near the development site, and the result is a pack of gigantic mutated ants with a nasty disposition and a taste for human blood. The supporting cast features Robert Lansing, John David Carson, and Albert Salmi. Jaws of Satan The slight amount of credibility required for a successful horror movie is lost in the opening scenes of this derivative story of a cobra who is really Satan in disguise, taking revenge against a Catholic priest for some crimes committed by the priest's ancestors. When the cobra invades a train full of people, the glass partition that keeps the snake safely away from the actors is quite visible and is even emphasized as the poor snake hits its head against it. After that inauspicious beginning, the film cannot really go downhill, but it continues the same standard in the acting and script. Father Farrow (Fritz Weaver) belongs to a family cursed long ago because they persecuted Druids. Now snakes are taking the lead from the "king cobra" and attacking people in the town where the demoniacally harassed Father lives, while the mayor and local town leaders try to cover up the reptilian menace so as not to scare off patrons for the soon-to-be opened dog racetrack. Even if the snakes had raced the dogs, this horror film is too trite and predictable to be salvaged.
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Overview

Special Features

  • Empire of the Ants: audio commentary with director Bert I. Gordon

Synopsis

Jaws of Satan
The slight amount of credibility required for a successful horror movie is lost in the opening scenes of this derivative story of a cobra who is really Satan in disguise, taking revenge against a Catholic priest for some crimes committed by the priest's ancestors. When the cobra invades a train full of people, the glass partition that keeps the snake safely away from the actors is quite visible and is even emphasized as the poor snake hits its head against it. After that inauspicious beginning, the film cannot really go downhill, but it continues the same standard in the acting and script. Father Farrow (Fritz Weaver) belongs to a family cursed long ago because they persecuted Druids. Now snakes are taking the lead from the "king cobra" and attacking people in the town where the demoniacally harassed Father lives, while the mayor and local town leaders try to cover up the reptilian menace so as not to scare off patrons for the soon-to-be opened dog racetrack. Even if the snakes had raced the dogs, this horror film is too trite and predictable to be salvaged. ~ Eleanor Mannikka, Rovi

Empire of the Ants
In the '50s, Bert I. Gordon made a career out of sci-fi movies about gigantic mutated insects (Beginning of the End, Earth vs. the Spider), lizards (King Dinosaur, Serpent Island), and even people (The Amazing Colossal Man), and in 1977, he was still up to his old tricks with this picture, loosely adapted from a story by H.G. Wells. Marilyn Fryser (Joan Collins) is a less than scrupulous businesswoman who is trying to sell shares in a worthless Florida housing development to a group of naive souls. However, both Marilyn and her potential customers have bigger things to worry about than low property values, when they discover that a large stock of nuclear waste was dumped near the development site, and the result is a pack of gigantic mutated ants with a nasty disposition and a taste for human blood. The supporting cast features Robert Lansing, John David Carson, and Albert Salmi. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi

Cast & Crew

  • Fritz Weaver
    Fritz Weaver - Father Farrow
  • Gretchen Corbett
    Gretchen Corbett - Dr. Maggie Sheridan
  • Image coming soon
    Jon Korkes - Paul Hendricks
  • Norman Lloyd
    Norman Lloyd - Monsignore
  • Diana Douglas
    Diana Douglas - Evelyn
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