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Phase IV 1974 ***

Written by Mayo Simon, Phase IV is an oddly involving sc-fii thriller that looks at the balance between humans and insects on planet earth and comes up with some surprising results. What would happen is ants were to utilise their teamwork and decide to wage war on humanity? Phase IV’s title gives away the structure, with four acts depicting the shifting balance of power, with scientists Michael Murphy and Nigel Davenport standing between mankind and insect rule. Phase IV’s structuralism makes sense coming from director Saul Bass, who designed credit-sequences for Alfred Hitchcock, Otto Preminger and Martin Scorsese; where most sci-fi goes for giant monsters and gore, Bass draws the battle-lines as man vs nature, with only one likely winner.

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