Notes: Producers Entertainment Group.
Directed: James Charleston
Produced: George Manasse
Co-Produced: Kirt Eftekhar
Screenplay: Linda Palmer and Wink Roberts
Music: Daniel Licht

Jim Conrad: Eric Lutes
Laurie Sills: Julia Campbell
Sheriff Croy: Mitch Pileggi
Greywolf: Don Shanks

A couple takes time out from their honeymoon motorbiking to photograph a gigantic dirt mound. The man returns to the bike for more film while the woman, standing at the top, is sucked under. He goes down the hole too, trying to save her.

L.A. entomologist Dr. Jim Conrad makes snarky comments about a black widow spider named Hillary (big bloody laugh). He takes a woman’s car keys and joins his good bud Bob Hazzard for a helicopter ride to Burly Pines, Alaska, for fishing. Bob is another misogynist so they have that in common for their own pseudohoneymoon weekend. The area has a volcano, but there are a lot of new jobs building the dam and 18 hours of sun daily. Bob bug-sprays himself, and off they prance, but no fish appear. An antler turns out to be part of the skeletal remains of a moose shot only two hours earlier (during which time the moose staggered around wounded) by two hunters who are far from starving. At Murdock’s Trading Post, they find the skeleton of Murdock.

Laurie (Laura? Lori?) Sills, an elementary school teacher, won’t be getting those free Murdock fish for dissection class, but she has a crush on Jim’s entomology book. The Sheriff shows Greywolf Murdock his brother’s corpse. There’s a bunch of damn ants in the cabinet, so the deputy sprays them (a cabinet where food is stored). A volcano rumbles, Jim takes a shower, and he and Laurie have dinner and talk about her marksmanship. Jimbo coyly alludes to a theory about the skeletons, but the ground’s too cold in Alaska. Not so, says Laurie, what with the geothermal increase carefully measured by her thrid-grade morons. Hmm. Jim has pinched some pincers off the skeletal face of Murdock, as Laurie’s microscope reveals.

The widowed Sheriff can barely cook for his kid, Chad, so they’ll go rockclimbing on Saturday. Jim reports his blab about ant species being 15 to 100 million years old. Soldier ants in South America are called “marabunta.” But how did they get here?

Marge is a skeleton. We see ants carrying away her finger. After a riveting class with Miss Sills, Chad and his jackass friend Scott bike to where the latter found a camera — the giant mound. Scott brags about being king of the dirtpile, but he sinks in and the ants eat him. While Sheriff Dad calls out the National Guard, Chad reports the happy death. Deputy Scott’s-brother is dismayed and shoots at the mound pointlessly.

JIm recognizes the ant’s raid patterns. The town will be next so it must be evacuated. And how did those damn ants get here? A freighter wreck ten years ago when all that lumber washed ashore? Laurie gets a flamethrower. Bob copters her and Jim to the beach where Jim finds a handful of eggs and larval goo. The ants climb the copter and attack Bob, so he crashes into the side of a mountain. The ants then amass towards the two ijjits, and flamethrowing can’t do much. They canoe away, poorly, crashing.

Maynard won’t leave his farm. He tells the deputy that he’s rigged underground pools of gasoline and shows his prize cow reduced to a skeleton. His ricketty barn collapses, so as the ants march on, Maynard and the deputy have to climb a ladder. Maynard falls off the ladder, onto his back, and the ants chew out his eyeballs. Croy comes to the aid of the deputy, but on the way to the truck, the deputy sinks into a hole and fires his gun, blowing up Maynard’s gas-field.

Jim and Laurie steal a motorbike and zip by Chad, requesting a meeting in the chemistry lab at the school where they can make the one repellent that exists for marabunta — stinkbug juice. The ants surround the school. Chad gets trapped in a schoolbus. The juice doesn’t work well enough so Jim and Laurie have to swing to parking lot safety. The Sheriff gets some ants on his in his truck, so although we expect another vehicular crash, he shakes them off and rescues Jim, Laurie, and his son Chad.

Greywolf and a National Guardsman blow up the pass early, so the truckload of dolts go to the dam, which ought to be the next ant target. Jim gets covered with ants in the explosives shed, and Laurie saves him. The truck won’t haul Jim up the cliff until the Sheriff instructs, “C’mon, you bitch.” They plant dynamite along an incline. A helicopter sent by Greywolf saves them as the explosives create a flood. So there you go. A note of irresolution remains in Jim’s assessment, but, winky winky, he’d like to stay around (with Laurie) and see. On rocks at the beach we see ants milling about and a final shot of the winged queen ant.

The misogyny of this film might be an interesting study, but it would mean watching it again, and that’s right out.

Animals and Insects Films