The story starts out with a long narration about how ants do this and that. Basically, it is more direct and less pretentious than the one in Phase IV. Basically, it is on par with the ridiculous 'killer whales are awesome' speech from Orca. This actually gives you a lot of foreshadowing for the story, so I won't spoil anything...yet. The story proper begins with a bunch of people being given the tour of an island that is going to be the home of some condos. The tour is being led by Joan Collins, so you know that the quality of this movie is going to be high! You get some stock characters including some nosy old people, a philanderer and the impossibly-nice guy who only exists in movies. One of them hits on Joan- you'll never guess which! They get the usual spiel about 'houses will go here' and 'this place is great for this reason.' All the while, we are treated to random camera angle shots of the group passing by that are accompanied by loud buzzing. This must have been fun for those with bootleg VHS tapes! We also get some P.O.V. shots from some creatures with multiple eyes in one. You want to lay off the suspense and just show them, movie?
*Finally, the movie does so and it is...well, funny. You get a mix of film-projection effects and super-tight shots of people interacting with model props. The beasts attack the group, who flee in their little go-kart thing. Basically, it's the thing that drives you to your parking zone at Disney. The annoying old people are killed off first, followed by some people who decide to hide in a tiny shack. Gee, it's not like they are giant or anything! Escape is removed as an option when the Captain- generic older character actor- is attacked by an ant on the boat. During the struggle, a fire is set and their only means of escape is blown up. Mind you, they could always swim themselves, but that would be silly. After some silly chasing, the survivors get in a boat and take a river ride. Faster than you can say 'they did this in Frogs,' ants attack them and the group barely escapes. Incidentally, the ants attacking is very awkward and only matched by the action choreography from Hercules in New York. Mind you, in this film it is because people are battling imaginary or out-of-scale threats, while the people were just awful in Hercules. A bit later, they make it to land and flee to a nearby town. Incidentally, this private island attaches to a town now. Ready for the film to go into insane territory now?
Our heroes set-up in town pretty quickly and feel safe. Oddly, there is no way to call out and the people act a bit curious. The group decide to flee, but are cut off by the police. They are taken to the sugar factory where they see some tiny ants in a pile of sugar...er, I mean, a bunch of giant ants in a mountain of sugar. What the hell is going on, you ask? As we learn, the ants have set up shop in town and have an army of human slaves. How? As the introductory bullshit explained, ants have pheromones that are used to communicate in lieu of a voice. The film took that and made it into a magic, mind-controlling substance. You want to be taken over? It's a simple procedure. They dump you in a tiny glass room that is adjacent to the film-projection of the queen ant and she sprays you. They demonstrate this on Joan, who does not take kindly to the whole thing. Our young hero manages to steal a tanker truck full of gas- I guess they borrowed it from a Terminator movie's crash scene- and manages to light the place up. Two of our leads escape, but leave everyone else to die. The End.
Holy crap, does this movie turn weird in the third act. Based on what you read/saw, were you expecting that stuff? I sure as hell wasn't. Honestly, if you exclude this part, the movie does not have a lot to offer you. It does, however, put the ant effects from Honey, I Shrunk the Kids into perspective though! I will say that Bert I. Gordon always knew how to make these ridiculous premises work, even if he was never all the clever. This is a bit of pulpy fan that will make you both appreciate the days of this kind of film and remind yourself of just how lucky you are to be living in this time. Wait, this is the generation that made the Transformers films. On second thought, scratch that second part!
Up next, a film that has been waiting for a review for a while now. What do you get when you combine the 'crazy family' sub-genre with the 'dwarf-spoiltation' one? The answer is really, really messed up. Stay tuned...