Let’s get the bug spray.
Them! Is a classic science fiction film that is also profoundly cheesy. We follow a police sergeant as he investigates mysterious crime scenes where people have been killed, but there is no evidence of robbery (other than sugar). FBI agent Graham arrives (after we kill of sergeant Peterson’s partner for reasons) and they quickly become best buds. We also get the love interest in Dr. Patricia Medford, which seems to be brought in early to prevent any ideas of male on male romance.
So, what is causing all the chaos? Giant ants, obviously.
The movie is great because it at once plays everything straight while also having some of the most perplexing dialogue and plot decisions imaginable. “Here’s the joke—his kids are missing” is an actual line in the movie! The actors do okay, and the story chugs along like a standard monster film, but the monsters are ridiculous. Mostly they just stand around—mostly.
Giant ants are apparently the least threatening villain as they move at a snail’s pace and seem quite stupid. However, the set-up is so funny that it is hard to not enjoy the investigation. We get mystery, thrills, stupidity, thrills, odd dialogue, action, romance, and more stupidity!
I know I am making fun of this, but the movie is a blast to watch.
Where the film is its most interesting is examining the time in which it was released. The fear of a strong, unhuman, and rapidly moving army echoes Cold War fears, and seeing the ants as stand ins for communists makes a lot of scenes make more sense here. For an extra good time, shout communist sayings whenever you hear the ant’s chirping.
Seeing this movie won’t change your life but you won’t regret watching it.