Them 1954 ****

1950’s creature features, with giant insects and animals fuelled by atomic testing, made for some pretty hokey movies, but Gordon Douglas’s 1954 chiller isn’t to be tarred with the same brush.  Opening in the New Mexico desert,  Ben Peterson (James Whitmore) comes across a little girl with a fear of ants; it’s the first sign that giant mutant ants are on the attack, and the army move in to destroy their nest. Two queens take flight and start a new colony in the LA storm drains, and Peterson has to move fast to stop a new and deadly infestation for happening. Them! Is more like a police mystery than a sci-fi thriller, and it’s all the better from the Naked City approach. Leonard Nimoy has a tiny role, but the ants themselves are the stars; their appearances are well handled although some of the effects seem a bit weak now; if ever a movie deserved a CGI makeover, Them! should be a prime candidate.


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