Them! 1954 PG
1.00PM Sun 4 Mar 2018
GOMA | Cinema A | Free
Them! will screen from an archival 35mm film print.
Them! is A-grade B-cinema – a symbol of atomic monster moviemaking at its finest. The plot follows the struggle by a team of American law enforcement to contain a scourge of giant irradiated ants that have been discovered in the New Mexico desert. When two of the colossal ant queens are found to have escaped to form new nests, it becomes clear that the fate of civilisation could be in danger unless these radioactive insects are stopped.
Largely disinterested in the hard politics surrounding nuclear development, Them! uses the strange new possibilities of radiation to give some quasi-scientific basis to its outlandish concept – a technique that became increasingly common in the post-WWII sci-fi landscape.
The greatest delights of the film, of course, emerge from its Oscar-nominated special effects. The massive ants are a testament to the joy of old-school practical effects, with the creatures running rampant in cleverly utilised combinations of rear projection, miniatures, and trick photography.
The film was extremely successful at the time of its release and its influence (in terms of both its effects and its nuclear themes) continues to cast a long shadow over even the monster-driven disaster movies of today.
35MM, BLACK AND WHITE, MONO, 94 MINUTES, USA, ENGLISH / DIRECTOR: GORDON DOUGLAS / SCRIPT: TED SHERDEMAN, RUSSELL HUGHES / BASED ON A STORY BY GEORGE WORTHING YATES / CINEMATOGRAPHER: SIDNEY HICKOX / EDITOR: THOMAS REILLY / PRODUCTION CO: WARNER BROS / PRINT SOURCE: NATIONAL FILM AND SOUND ARCHIVE OF AUSTRALIA / RIGHTS: ROADSHOW ENTERTAINMENT / SCREENING FORMAT: 35MM
PG | Mild horror