Are Ari! (There Be Ants!)

When I was in high school, I gave some thought to becoming an entomologist. I probably may have done so, if the subject didn't require so much studying & memorizing. One of my inspirations for this vocation, was the movie, THEM! It starred a magnificent Edmund Gwenn (Kris Kringle) who stole the show as the scientist and erstwhile prophet of doom, James Whitmore, James Arness & the lovely Joan Weldon, who only needed rescuing once and actually showed a lot of spunk in their battle against our freaky Formicidae friends.

It also had a terrific score by Bronislau Kaper, terrific special effects and cameos from future stars such as Leonard Nimoy (blink and you'll miss him, I did on this viewing, gotta watch it again), Richard Deacon (Mel Cooley) and Fess Parker as a kook before he donned a Coonskin cap as Daniel Boone.

As you may have guessed, I just finished watching the movie for the umpteenth time. I love this cover. "This city is under martial law until we annihilate THEM!" "Kill one and two take its place!"

Check out this cool model-ant that came with my double-feature DVD. (Tomorrow's movie, The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms.)

In Japan, it was released as 放射能X which means "Radiation-X", which is a pretty cool title considering it tells you nothing about the movie itself. By the way, the Japanese for ant is アリ or ari.

That particular link has a charming little haiku about our little friend:
Yuku e naki:
Ari no sumai ya!
Go-getsu ame
[Now the poor creature has nowhere to go!... Alas for the dwellings of the ants in this rain of the fifth month!]

Best use of giant ants: in 1984, the Cameron House, a respectable dive at the corner of Queen Street West & Cameron put 10 giant ants on the side of its building with a notice, "We are now accepting TENants"! I loved drinking in that place!

Also kudos to Van Morrison for taking this movie's title for his 60's band.

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