An early entry in the 1950s cycle of creature-feature pictures, Them!
is the one about hordes of ants mutated to a giant size by the first A-bomb test. An exciting, persuasive exercise in paranoid science fiction, it exhibits an interesting tension between cautious warning about irresponsible tampering with the atom and a Cold War vision of the authorities taking on extraordinary powers to combat a threat to the country.
It begins as an eerie desert mystery, with New Mexico cop James Whitmore investigating disappearances and deaths: a mobile-home and a general store are crushed as if tanks have rolled over them, a shopkeeper is found dead of a huge injection of formic acid, quantities of sugar have been stolen (the film's sole straight-faced joke) and a catatonic little girl is shocked into shrieking "them, them!". FBI agent James Arness takes charge and a plaster-cast of a strange imprint summons a father and daughter investigative team from the Department of Agriculture, cherubic Edmond Gwenn and smart-suited Joan Taylor. Law-enforcement, military and scientific experts deduce the nature of the problem and take swift, decisive action to counteract the danger. Director Gordon Douglas stages several great monster-suspense scenes: a first encounter in a sandstorm, a venture into a poisoned nest, a glimpse of horror at sea, and a finale in the Los Angeles storm drains.
On the DVD: Them! has the wonderful scarlet-lettered, shrieking title on an otherwise sharp-looking black and white print. An amusing newspaper-style menu uses original artwork from the lurid poster to showcase some interesting snippets of test or outtake footage of the big puppet ants in action, and there's a wonderfully overblown terror-trailer.--Kim Newman
Classic 1950s monster movie. Giant mutant ants, the result of atomic weapons tests in the desert, are cutting a path through to the city of Los Angeles, destroying everything that gets in their way. Among the folks doing their best to combat the insect threat are cop Ben Peterson (James Whitmore), FBI man Robert Graham (James Arness) and a father/daughter team of insect experts, Harold and Patricia (Edmund Gwenn and Joan Weldon).This product is manufactured on demand using DVD-R recordable media. Amazon.com's standard return policy will apply.This product is expected to play back in DVD Video "play only" devices, and may not play in other DVD devices, including recorders and PC drives.