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!,…
Phase IV answers the ultimate cinematic question, what would happen if you mixed 2001: A Space Odyssey with Them!. This film would be the result. Though it is admittedly nowhere near as good as either of those seminal sci-fi works, it is a surprisingly well made, intelligent killer ant film, something which I don't get to say near often enough.
After a cosmic occurrence which prophets say will be the end of the world, humanity is surprised to find that nothing has changed the next day, at least that they can see. Deep within the acrid desert of the American Southwest an army is being forged. Ants from disparate species are joining forces and constructing massive towers, and soon they…
"We had quite a severe ant problem at the vineyard this year. I had Art Garfunkel come by with his compressor, and we created a total vacuum outside the house, and we blew the ants out the front door. But I'm sure you high-tech NASA people could care less about our resort-town ways."
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
The 'lost' original ending alone, is a 5 star film.
A bizarre B movie/art film hybrid that is never 100% there but always feels close. Gorgeous cinematography and some amazing ant footage. The lead scientist's any bite didn't add up to much in the end but I liked how it helped physically show his transformation into a single-minded beast. I looked up the original ending on youtube and I was surprised by how much better it made the film. This truly was a strange experience and I wish this a better known movie.
Saul Bass is probably the most famous Marketing Artist in history, abd this is the only Film he ever Directed start to finish. It can be creepy, but you have to be in a real mood to watch it, as I was the other night. Shot in England at Pinewood and Kenya for Arizona, the microscopic photography by Ken Middleham cuts nicely with the spherical lensing by the Oft Fired Dick Bush. Lynne Fredrick plays the girl in the film (is that Her Nipple being trod on by an adventurous Ant?), who was later known as Peter Sellers gold digging last wife before drinking herself dead at 39. A very Interesting piece of 70's cinema, one wonders why Bass wasn't asked to do the marketing for his own film?!
The thinking man's giant ant movie.
Psychedelic ant horror. Only features a minimum of the human side, which is never elegant, but is effective nonetheless.
Na ja, unter Anbetracht des Alters schon nett gemacht, dementsprechend lahm geht es teilweise aber auch voran. Es fehlt dem Film einfach teilweise an Drive, auch wurde die eigentliche Bedrohung für mich nicht richtig greifbar. Dafür gibt es ein paar schöne Ameisen-Aufnahmen die besonders damals im Kino bestimmt richtig gut kamen!
Weird movie - all the bug scenes (esp. their cinematography) is insane!
Desert ants suddenly form a collective intelligence and begin to wage war on the desert inhabitants.
Classic ecological sci-fi thriller with emphasis more on atmosphere than suspense, but nevertheless quite gripping.
A fun pseudoscience delivery system. An allegory for the Vietnam war. A showcase for Saul Bass's skill with practical effects. A means to see some amazing insect footage. A psychedelic mind freak. A delight.
- 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…
- Beyond the Time Barrier
- Mothra vs. Godzilla
- The Man from Planet X
- The Angry Red Planet
they try to bury them under mountains of "popular on facebook" junk, but there is actually a ton of old…