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Sunday, May 2, 2010

Steve's Church-less Movie Of The Week ...

I'm proud! Today I'll be watching this on my Nintendo Wii thanks to our netflix trial and movies on demand. I'm excited. this one is supposed to be a classic.


I mean, sure it's bad and cheesy and stuff.


But it's still a classic.




Yoinked from bmoviecentral.com and the almighty wiki ...


"Them! is a 1954 American black and white science fiction film about man's encounter with a nest of gigantic irradiated ants. It is based on an original story treatment by George Worthing Yates, was developed into a screenplay by Ted Sherdeman and Russell Hughes for Warner Bros. Pictures Inc., which was produced by David Weisbart and directed by Gordon Douglas for the company. It starred James Whitmore, Edmund Gwenn, Joan Weldon and James Arness.


One of the first of the 'nuclear monster' movies, and the first 'big bug' film, Them! was nominated for an Oscar for Special Effects and won a Golden Reel Award for Best Sound Editing. It is significant that the film starts off as a simple suspense story, with police investigating mysterious disappearances and deaths, all from no explainable cause. The giant ants are not even seen until almost a third of the way into the film.




The ants in this movie really creepy and well done. They actually look like giant, mutant ants rather than some stupid 50's atomic movie monster. The plot flows well and there aren't any times where you feel lost or confused about what was going on. The beautiful thing about how this movie was written, is that they actually allowed the characters to be smart. The dialogue was intelligent, the plan of attack was intelligent, the investigations were intelligent. The writers really allow these characters to shine, and that took the film to a whole other level when compared to other, more shoddy films with poor dialogue and even poorer acting.




Here's a story for you... When casting his planned Davy Crockett episode of the Disneyland television show, Walt Disney viewed the film to see James Arness who had been recommended for the role. However, Disney was impressed by a brief scene of Fess Parker, detained in a mental institution and insisting that giant flying ants had caused him to crash his plane. Disney realized he had found his Crockett. Arness, however, did well for himself. John Wayne had seen this movie and, impressed with his performance, coupled with his familiarity with Arness as part of his Batjac Productions company of players, recommended Arness for the role of Marshall Matt Dillon in Gunsmoke, a role which lasted from 1955 to 1975. Wayne himself had turned down the part, but did appear in the pilot episode to introduce Arness.


When this movie was first released in Sweden, it was strangely named The Spiders. This film was originally supposed to be filmed in color. Two days before shooting began a nervous studio cut the budget and the film had to be made in black and white. It was also supposed to be in 3-D. Some elements of the 3-D effects, such as the ants having extreme close-ups and the flame throwers shooting straight into the camera, were used in the film.




Since its original release, Them! has become generally regarded as one of the very best science fiction films of the 1950’s. Bill Warren described the film as '… tight, fast-paced and credible…[T]he picture is suspenseful.' Phil Hardy’s The Aurum Film Encyclopedia: Science Fiction noted, 'Directed by Douglas in semi-documentary fashion, Them! is one of the best American science fiction films of the fifties.' Danny Peary believed the film 'ranks with The Thing and Invasion of the Body Snatchers as the best of the countless fifties science fiction films.'


The film has also embedded itself in popular culture as well. The Van Morrison-led band Them was named after this film. Joe Dante's 1993 comedy Matinee depicts a film about a man who mutates into a giant ant and wreaks havoc, an homage to the film. An unfinished episode of Invader Zim concerning giant ants was entitled 'Those!' in reference to this film. In the post-apocalyptic video game Fallout 3, a side quest involving giant mutated fire ants is also titled 'Those!' New Jersey punk band the Misfits have a song entitled Them! which has lyrics directly inspired by the film, on their 1999 release Famous Monsters. And in the Disney film Lilo & Stitch 2: Stitch Has a Glitch the film where in a scene the characters were watching the footage from the movie."




Steve's Snacks Of The Week:



Coffee

Ton O' Pills

Leftovers

Cheap Soda

Goldfish Crackers

A Few Gummy Bears

Popcorn Stolen From Next Door

A Ton of Screaming Children


AND NOW Steve Galindo and this blog are pleased to bring you today's Church-less Movie Of The Weel absolutely REE! Please, though, a few rules first. There's absolutely no talking in Steve's Theater and talkers WILL be shot. No cell phones or African-American berries in the theater. And be sure to dim your headlights (where applicable).


Oh, and remember ...




I absolutely love that video. I do. Freaking old school. It brings me back to Arizona summers sitting next to my brother watching stupid shit. I just love that stupid candy space trash whatever video. Man. Good times.


Anyway, I might make today a double feature, or I might not. I dunno. I'm sitting on a LOT of bad movies I'm itching to watch. Who knows. So just stay tuned.


as always, enjoy the show y'all!




Watch out for ants.

1 comment:

Reverend Steve said...

I am surprised at how GOOD that movie was!