Friday, June 10, 2011

Us vs Them! The Ants Are Coming Back!

Independent filmmaker Joe Gatto is bringing back the giant ants!

The classic giant bug film Them! (US-1954; dir. Gordon Douglas), despite or (in part) perhaps because of its non-CGI, full-size puppetry, remains one of the truly great monster flicks of the 1950s and one of the best giant monster films of all time. The lonely desert landscapes, the rising wind as it carries the clicking shrill of the ants to us long before we see them, the young traumatised girl suddenly sitting up and screaming, "Them! Them!" -- who could not be deeply affected by the atmosphere created by these things. And the final confrontation deep with the city sewers that the ants have made their nest is a beautifully choreographed sequence, rich with tense and excitement.

The poster itself has become iconic!

Gatto's ambitious film, which follows Them! in being about giant ants but not in terms of characters or plot, is currently in script stage. He described it for the Backbrain:
I'm a huge fan of the classic big bug film. Us vs Them is actually a homage to the original Them! [rather than a remake or official sequel] so no rights acquisition was needed. This one will have lots of big bugs, flying ants vs. an Apache helicopter,  and massive hybrid insects that have evolved from genetic mutations. It's a feature script about 100 minutes long.

Below are several posters featuring the various stars of the film.

Plus a conceptual drawing of the Queen:

We'll keep you informed as this enticing project progresses.

Sources: Joe Gatto via Avery; Gatto's YouTube Channel.

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