I must confess, I wouldn’t be as much of a movie fan as I am now if it weren’t for…
Adapt or die.
Ants form a collective intelligence and attack humankind. Two scientists fight back.
I was pretty curious as to the body of work the cinematographer of Phase IV is known for outside of this project, so I wanted to look him up. To show my level of maturity and let you know that you should take my opinions and observations with a grain of salt, I couldn't do anything but giggle at his name - Dick Bush. Although, wildlife photographer Ken Middleham was responsible for a majority of what we see in the film--the closeup photography of the ants. Normally I love this sort of stuff in nature documentaries, but the main difference here is that it's used in a film without a narrator giving tons of facts about the creatures we're watching.…
The story about an interspecies conflict for global conquest between man and ant is not exactly the sort of stuff I expected from famed film credits designer Saul Bass. A cool crime caper is more what I had in mind when I think of his style, and yet here’s Phase IV coming right out of left field. His only work as a director is a weird sci-fi/horror/war pastiche that deemphasizes the human drama while favoring the insects’ point of view, resulting in a refreshing take on the usual B-movie creature feature trope. Ants take center stage whereas the main actors are no more than tired caricatures. In contrast to the mindless, hulking beasts from the Atomic Age cautionary tale Them!,…
Not a typical science fiction or ecological thriller, Saul Bass's directorial outing, "Phase IV," is a low-key piece of work that is as remarkable for its style as it is anything else. With its closeup cinematography, lack of dialogue, and focus on the real power of nature, the film is a genre oddity. It may not be for everyone, but it is strangely compelling.
Feeling like a combination nature documentary, experimental science fiction film, and 1970s thriller, "Phase IV" is built around the attempts of two scientists to stave off an invasion from ants. The ants are not imbued with radioactive powers or other genre pretensions, they are simply dangerous in their massive, collective amounts.
The standard genre plotting gives…
The odd, dark and otherwordly intelligent sci fi/horror of Phase IV blew me up. I'm just mad it took me this long to finally watch it.
no wonder Paramount saw this movie and freaked the fuck out and took off the extra psychedelic end sequence. this is sci fi that makes most modern sci fi look like Baby's Day Out. Directed by the visual genius Saul Bass, this is a small film that tells a huge and bizarre story of the start of man's evolution into another form of being. and it's all about super intelligent ants. Seriously, there's lots and LOTS of ants in this movie. amazingly filmed close up shots of real ants. ant society. ant funeral. it's incredible
Phase IV is absolutely next level, underrated and ahead of it's time and is now in glorious HD widescreen on Netflix streaming. just after you watch it, watch this original ending. you'll thank me later. youtu.be/beLpsWaUDNk
I keep typing stuff out, and then deleting it, because it is late, I've watched 8 films in the last 24 hours, and Phase IV has left me kind of flabbergasted. I had no idea that Saul Bass had directed a film, and I never would have thought that he would direct a film like this. Honestly, just seek this film out. I don't care if you absolutely hate the experience of watching this, because you'll at least be able to say that you have seen it, and that will pretty much make you be able to one up anyone who is talking about that weird film they saw the other day, at some dinner party you may happen to be attending. All credit goes to Colin the dude for wrecking my mind with this film.
“We knew then, that we were being changed... and made part of their world. We didn't know for what purpose... but we knew, we would be told.”
-James R. Lesko (Michael Murphy)
Phase IV is the sole film from graphic artist and title designer Saul Bass. During his 40 year career, Bass created many vividly memorable title sequences, such as those of Hitchcock’s Vertigo and Psycho, Anatomy of a Murder, GoodFellas and Casino. He also crafted many infamous movie posters, such as Carmen Jones, The Man with the Golden Arm and even The Shining.
Why do I know this? Well only really because I studied his work during Art at Sixth Form last year. Learnt something at least. So yeah,…
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¡Órale, Saul Bass dirigió una película de hormigas que quieren conquistar el planeta! Y le quedó bien padre. Dentro del subgénero de películas de animales come-gente, es algo muy diferente a todas las que había visto.
Para empezar, nunca vemos EL CAOS. Es una película de 3 personajes en un cuarto. Al inicio salen un par más por ahí, pero casi la película entera nos la pasamos en un laboratorio en donde 2 investigadores intentan comprender el comportamiento de las hormigas, comunicarse con ellas y ver qué se traen. Y todo se vuelve un juego de ataques, contrataques y ver quién aguanta más, los investigadores y la chica que cae ahí por desgracia, o las millones de hormigas provocándolos y…
Saul Bass's one and only directorial work(aside from shorts), about a hive mind of ants and their mysterious intentions for humanity.
Solid 70's sci-fi with some interesting visuals and thought provoking ending. I enjoyed the closeups of the ants and their deeds, and the look of the structures they create. Performances were fine, a bit bland. Ominous music throughout.
I mainly watched this because I read that it was an inspiration for the movie Beyond the Black Rainbow, which I really enjoyed when I watched it. That movie took the more trippy visuals of this and created a hypnotic atmosphere. Phase IV was more standard than I thought it would be.
In a world where ants have been made hyper intelligent from a "space event" 2 scientists seek refuge in a geodesic dome in a quest for answers! The movie is smarter than my silly description sounds and leaves us asking what can we learn from our new socialist ant overlords. The movie suffers from a bit of pacing issue where it seems like nothing happens for long stretches of time except for people pushing buttons on a computers but those scenes will be interrupted by some really amazing shots of ants working against the humans. They even blow up a truck! You just kind of have to go with this stuff to enjoy the movie.
It's worth seeking out the…
While I can appreciate that Saul Bass wanted to make something different from your typical eco-horror film, his approach was not at all successful. I know this film has its fans, but I found it really, REALLY boring. I'm not even sure Bass was interested in making a horror film – it's more like a documentary about ants, because they weren't menacing at all. Phase IV was marketed as an ants-terrorizing-the-earth film, which I suppose it technically is, but Bass flat out refuses to deliver the goods – no wonder it flopped at the box office. I knew I should have watched Empire of the Ants instead!
I think 1970s sci-fi is my favourite genre. Or maybe too many episodes of Space Ghost and The Patridge Family in Space warped my brain. Whatever the reason, I have greatly enjoyed Todd and Bruce's excursions into the varied experimental, schlocky and sometimes psychedelic world of 70s sci-fi, and this is a great example. Summary: ants have spontaneously organized and evolved because space. Two scientists travel to the desert to explore this phenomenon, along the way acquiring a girl (let's call her CD for collateral damage). One is so rational/emotionless that a family's death doesn't bother him, but quickly evolves into a paranoid crazed obsessed apologist for human's tendency to might-makes-right them vs us thinking. The other fella befriends CD…
You know that science fiction movie about ants? The crazy seventies one? Did you also know that it is a surprisingly compelling and thought provoking experience, that has effective performances, top level production value, and some truly breathtaking macro photography? Because I sure didn't know that, and boy am I impressed. Understated, eerie, and able to overcome what initially seems preposterous, Phase IV deals with some heady issues from our relationship with nature and other species, the knee-jerk reaction of humanity to provoke through violence instead of trying to communicate, the unexpected paths of evolution, and how war and strategy quickly discount the value of life itself. The ant photography in this film is better than any modern visual effects...the…
Niente parrebbe più inoffensivo di una formica.
Saul Bass dirige un film di insolita ed enigmatica
Stupende le scene con gli insetti, veri protagonisti del film.
Pretty boring when the humans are around but the macro photography of the insects is pretty remarkable. Was very surprised by the absence of a killer opening title sequence. Was he trying to go against expectations? This is very much a party movie. Something to have on that people don't have to pay attention to, but visually interesting enough to create an atmosphere.
- The Seventh Victim
- The Devils
- Carnival of Souls
- The Perfume of the Lady in Black
- Dead Man's Letters
- The Ugly Swans
- Morel's Invention
- The Man from Earth
I'm posting this list earlier than normal as I'm not sure I'll be around much next week.
For the purposes…
- Salò, or the 120 Days of Sodom
- A Serbian Film
- Men Behind the Sun
A list of some obscure, twisted, fucked up movies that i sorta like. How many have u watched?