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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

(aka "Ants: Panic at Lakewood Manor" aka "Ants" aka "It Happened at Lakewood Manor")

 

directed by Robert Scheerer
USA 1977

In case you haven't already guessed it, this TV movie involves (drum roll please...) killer ants. A first? Actually, no. Hell, it wasn't even the only killer ant movie of its year. EMPIRE OF THE ANTS, a cheese-fest about giant, super-intelligent ants starring Joan Collins, also debuted in 1977 (though it played in theaters, unlike this one). Ants! doesn't feature giant ants, just normal-sized ones... and yet it can't even claim to be the first to do that either. The vastly superior PHASE IV (1974) featured them as well, only three years earlier. And, of course, the killer ant movie to end all killer ant movies was THEM!, a still highly enjoyable gem from way back in 1954.

Excerpt from TheBloodyPitofHorror located HERE

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The story centers around an old hotel run by Ethel (Myrna Loy) and her daughter Valerie (Lynda Day George). Next door, construction foreman and Valerie's main squeeze Mike (Robert Foxworth) is building or digging something when his men happen upon an ant colony. One man dies, another is in the hospital, and the grizzled doctor is flummoxed. Why is an ambulance having to show up at the hotel three or four times a day, what is causing these mysterious poisonings? We certainly hope thousands of killer ants don't ruin Tony (Gerald Gordon) and Gloria's (Suzanne Somers) plans to buy the old hotel, or handyman Richard's (Barry Van Dyke) romancing of hot homeless hippie Linda (Karen Lamm, completing the sexy blonde trifecta featuring George and Somers). Government officials poo-poo Mike's killer ant theory (I blame Jimmy Carter), and shut the hotel down because of a mysterious "virus." Mike goes a little nuts trying to prove his theory, and inadvertently pisses the ants off as well. The insects trap most of the cast in the hotel, and they must be rescued since no one seems to own any of those flowery looking ant traps.

Excerpt from eFilmCritic located HERE

VHS Cover/TV Guide Advert/Poster

Broadcast Premiere: December 2nd, 1977

 

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DVD Review: Direct Source Label - Region 1 - NTSC

DVD Box Cover

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Distribution

Direct Source Label

Region 1 - NTSC

Runtime 1:35:33
Video

1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 5.74 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate

Audio Dolby Digital 2.0 (English)
Subtitles None
Features Release Information:
Studio: Direct Source Label

Aspect Ratio:
Original - 1.33:1

Edition Details:
• None

DVD Release Date: February 9th, 2014
Keep Case

Chapters 6

 

 

 

Comments

Firstly, what a horrible movie. It compounds to ridiculous story by shamefully throwing in the great Myrna Loy... and then tries to make up for it with 70s babes Suzanne Somers (cleavage enticement) + Lynda Day George. Ohh my... see, these aren't 'giant' ants as in Empire of the Ants or Them! - and it has no where near the intellectual prowess of Phase IV, or The Naked Jungle. It's a TV movie, with minimal budget and tailing the existing wave of creature-feature appeal (Jaws) or the many disaster flics of the decade. Disaster indeed...

It's single-layered and interlaced in the original 1.33:1 aspect ratio and it looks like there is some warping as many times there is horizontal stretching (fatter faces) making characters appeal abnormal - look at the capture below of poor Brian Dennehy. The DVD image is represented by the samples below. It's below par, but watchable.

Lossy Dolby about the same level as the video. The film has a score by Kim Richmond (as 'Ken Richmond') - it's unremarkable. There are no subtitles, or extras, on the NTSC DVD.

Let me give an example of the absurdity of the entire premise. Ants can move quickly - but not that quickly. You have one on your calf and you slap it off. You aren't immediately covered by their poisonous following. If Suzanne Somers felt an ant or two on her in bed - what would she do? I can guarantee she wouldn't stay in bed pushing her breasts together while hundreds more crawled all over her naked body. So, Ants requires a huge suspension of disbelief. They should have used larger pismire sizes but it probably wasn't in the budget. Silly but, yes, sometimes even that fits the bill... This bare-bones DVD, and film, is of poor quality. Pass.

NOTE: You know you're in trouble when they spell Suzanne Somers named incorrectly on the cover!

  - Gary Tooze

 



 

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As close as the film get to the salacious advertisements...

 


 

 


 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 


DVD Box Cover

CLICK to order from:

  

   

Distribution

Direct Source Label

Region 1 - NTSC

 




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