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    Unique ID Code: 0000038957
    Added by: DVD Reviewer
    Added on: 25/8/2002 14:35
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    Them! (US)

    9 / 10
    1 vote cast
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    Inline Image

    A horror horde of crawl-and-crush giants clawing out of the earth from mile-deep catacombs!
    Certificate: none
    Running Time: 92 mins
    Retail Price: $19.98
    Release Date:

    Man has split the atom and ushered in a new era. But how could he know he would also create Them?

    Them! is a landmark movie about giant radiation-mutated ants that gets better with age and boasts remarkable, Academy Award®-nominated special effects. Starring James Whitmore, James Arness and Edmund Gwenn, Them! begins in New Mexico with a child wandering in shock, a ransacked general store - and a battered corpse full of enough formic acid to kill 20 men. It ends with an epic struggle in the 700 miles of storm drains under Los Angeles, where the insect hordes are beaten. But they`re not conquered, because they spawned a generation of films about radioactive creatures. Some approximate the terror but few have equaled the artistry of Them!.

    Special Features:
    Behind-the-Scenes Archive Footage
    Montage on the Design and Operation of Giant Ants
    Cast Film Highlights
    Theatrical Trailer

    Video Tracks:
    Standard 1.33:1

    Audio Tracks:
    Dolby Digital Mono English

    Subtitle Tracks:

    Directed By:
    Gordon Douglas

    Written By:

    Onslow Stevens
    Joan Weldon
    James Whitmore
    James Arness
    Edmund Gwenn

    Soundtrack By:
    Bronislau Kaper

    Director of Photography:
    Sidney Hickox

    Thomas Reilly

    David Weisbart

    Warner Bros

    Your Opinions and Comments

    9 / 10
    "Them!" Was the grandfather of the Creature Feature films where mutant beasties wander around and attack buxom young ladies and are finally defeated by a square jawed hero. The problem here is that the ants behave like ants and the human cast have to use science, logic and bravery to defeat Them!

    In the New Mexico desert a police spotter plane directs his patrol car colleagues (James Whitmore & Chris Drake) to a little girl (Sandy Descher) wandering alone. She is in shock. A few miles away the plane has found what looks like a deserted trailer and car. When the ground police arrive to examine the scene they find the trailer wrecked and empty, but with no evidence of a robbery and signs that the little girl had come from the trailer - and one very strange - very large footprint.

    So starts a story written with plausible logic that plays on the fear of mutations as well as the unease felt by many in the 1950`s about the A-bomb. The decision to use giant models instead of Harryhausen-type special effects may seem rather strange - if not quaint - today, but with the excellent camerawork and actors seeing what they are running from. (Joan Weldon only screams once - and wouldn`t you when you look up and see a 20ft ant within arms reach). The sense of reality in the desert, in the nest, and then in the storm drains makes you wish that the F/x filled films of today could be as `real`. With all the TV programs, and even channels, devoted to the natural world most people today would know what ants are and what they do, but in 1954 the general filmgoer needed the 2½ min exposition where Dr. Harold Medford (Edmund Gwenn ) tells the assembled military and politicos what they are up against.

    "Them!" is an imaginative giant monster film that spawned a whole slew of imitators, very few of which were as good; most of which turned out to be much, much worse. One of few exceptions was the original "Thing" which also starred James Arness - then as the monster - here he plays a `good guy` - Robert Graham, FBI Agent.

    Warner Home Video has produced "Them!" in its original theatrical ratio with a beautiful print looking absolutely glorious in a black and white presentation that has deep blacks and good highlights with no blemishes or speckles and entirely free of grain.

    The audio on the DVD is also very nicely restored. The track also shows very little signs of sibilance or distortion, making for a great presentation of this classic film that is virtually free of any defects.

    Warner has kept the spirit of the film right from the artwork on the cardboard cover - which has the most garish pulp novel type of cover to the menus in the form of a classic newspaper - they are a bit slow - but the second time I watched the film I had already got used to them. The main extra is some Behind-the-scenes footage consisting of alternate takes and test footage of the ants (how they looked, camera angles and where the cast stand etc). An overview of the cast is also included, as well as the movie`s theatrical trailer.

    "Them!" is a gem for every fan of classic 1950`s science fiction and Warner`s DVD release of this movie turned out much better than anyone could have hoped for. Make sure to sink your mandibles into this one when you have the chance. It is most definitely worth it.
    posted by Tony Myhill on 26/8/2002 03:12