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.
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!,…
“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,…
There's the odd good image in this film. If you took a pair of scissors to this film, cut out most of it, redid some of the sound, and maybe moved some stuff around chronologically, you might end up with an interesting short film.
But as the film stands, in my opinion it's very much let down by the plot and the way the plot unfolds, which includes an unfortunate need to use voice-over narration during the opening. The rest is not all good either. The sound design is a mixed bag in my opinion, the dialogue is bad, the direction is questionable at times with some pretty underwhelming takes making it in, and some of the imagery—like mysterious stone…
Este documental ficcionado recupera uno hechos acontecidos a mediados de los setenta, cuando el mundo estuvo a punto de ser invadido por un ejército de hormigas racionales. La atmósfera es tan seria como grave fue este olvidado acontecimiento.
Trospidez bien entendida en este 2001 de las hormigas.
One damn fine piece of hard scifi with superb audio and visuals, some of the antsequences are pretty damn stunning.
And this is why I hate MST3K, for having the audacity to have an episode with it.
A lovely little b-movie about intelligent killer ants that are slowly taking over the world. It starts out with some sort of event in space that has seemingly no effect. In reality, it made the ants smart and aggressive. The script is quite ambiguous about how all this happens, which works perfectly. It leaves the viewer to imagine what kind of interstellar horror would want ants to take over the earth.
The film is nothing like what the poster suggests. It's highly influenced by 2001 both in terms of imagery (the opening sequence, the monoliths, the ending) and the overall, slow mood. The approach is hard-ish scifi, with the occasional b-movie silliness thrown in. I also got a bit of…
The poster makes it look like a B-grade Sci-fi horror film and while it is disturbing and eerie, it plays almost like a documentary and has a very unusual tone. Good, but different.
A weird sci-fi/bugs gone wild 70's flick. I find the movie mesmerizing even though little happens. A good 10 minutes of this film is ants in action. A minimalistic cast is solid, Nigel Davenport, Michael Murphy and Lynne Frederick are excellent. While I enjoy this little known movie, this is defintely not for everyone.
That alternate ending. Man.
50 Film October Horror Challenge #2
While generally upheld as a science fiction movie, the slow, eerie sense of dread and unease this film unfolds earn it a place on any list of unsung cinematic horror.
This is the only feature length film as a director of Saul Bass, perhaps best known for the unforgettable opening titles sequences to Vertigo, Psycho and North by Nortwest.
This film is tragically little-known as it's a visionary masterwork. Stunningly photographed, awesomely designed and beautifully acted. I found the hard-to-find DVD copy in a charity shop for a mere £1 and it's one of the best-looking prints of a film I've seen on DVD.
Loved the ant coming out of the hole in the hand (as seen in the movie poster) but not a lot else. It didn't start too badly as the scientists began their study of some supposedly super intelligent ants, but as things progressed it just got more and more absurd. The quality deteriorates rapidly when the second phase begins and it just never recovers. But, as others have pointed out, if you like ants then you'll be quids in because there's some great natural environment and ant-life shots here. Not sure that's enough to carry a weak concept for 80+ minutes, but there you go.
Well, this was just a little bit mind-bending. Renowned title designer Saul Bass directs this almost indescribable work portraying the intelligence of ants and some sort of experiment by scientists to prevent an all-out world domination (?). It’s weird, but it mostly works as Bass blazes through the science-fiction genre with one heavy reference to 2001: A Space Odyssey - assuming the illustration of those anthills replace Kubrick’s monoliths - and then thunders through some admirable thematic horror content. Criticism pointed at the human dialogue is understandable, but there’s no denying the ant photography featured extensively throughout is extraordinary.
The ants (and the machines, for that matter) are far more interesting than the people. Kubrick probably would've gotten a better performance out of the usually pretty good Michael Murphy, but other than that, he'd have been proud.
Awesome psychedelic killer-ant movie featuring incredible close-up ant footage and terrible human acting.
SF-Klassiker in dem Ameisen sich anschicken die Weltherrschaft an sich zu reißen. So glaubt zumindest ein Wissenschaftler, der damit den Wahnsinn im Denken der Menschen selbst aufzeigt. Ameisen handeln wie Menschen – wie würde das aussehen? Dieser Frage geht der Film nach, schafft es jedoch nicht besonders viel Antworten oder Denkanregungen zu geben. Gezeigt wird der Kampf Mensch gegen menschlich agierende Ameisen. Psychedelische Bilder helfen das Ganze in eine strange Space New Age Atmosphäre zu hiefen. Ich hab mich danach komisch gefühlt.
- 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?