18th Jun2019

‘Giant Killer Ants’ VOD Review

by Chris Cummings

Stars: Tom Arnold, Sean Astin, Martin Blasick, Natasha Blasick, Jake Busey, Rhys Coiro, Leisha Hailey, Michael Horse, Joi Liaye, David A. Lockhart, Nick Mason, Amber Martinez, Michelle Campbell, Angelica Cassidy, Ewart Chin | Written by Ron Carlson, Hank Braxtan, Dan Sinclair | Directed by Ron Carlson

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Ron Carlson (Tom Cool) co-wrote the story and the screenplay of Giant Killer Ants with story co-writers Dan Sinclair (Chemical Peel) and Hank Braxtan (Snake Outta Compton), and they created a flashback of 80s comedy horror.

Giant Killer Ants takes a trip down peyote-lane with a 1980s glam rock band who have only had one hit, and they plan to rejuvenate their career by heading to a music festival in the middle of the desert. It isn’t as simple as going out and rocking out though, because they are attacked by, you guessed it, GIANT ANTS!

I love the concept. A comedy film about a glam band mixed together with an old-school giant-bug b-movie. Count me in. The cast, which included well-known names like Sean Astin (Lord of the Rings), Tom Arnold (The Stupids) and Jake Busey (Starship Troopers), create a campy and pretty ridiculous-by-design movie. A movie that is entertaining, peculiar but, it must be said, a tad on the disappointing side.

Disappointing is the word though. Giant Killer Ants isn’t “bad” or without its charms. It just perhaps failed to live up to what the synopsis put in my head. Some of the actors aren’t used as well as they could have been, the humour, at times, falls on its bum, and the B-movie feel doesn’t always land. The CGI is poor, but I was okay with that, it’s to be expected, and it almost helped make the film feel more like a good-bad low budget killer bug film from days gone by. I just felt, for a good portion of Giant Killer Ants that things weren’t going as well as they could have gone.

Performances are mostly fine, but none really stand out as anything incredible. Now, here’s the thing about B-movie acting… it doesn’t need to be Academy Award level, but it should be memorable and entertaining. It can be over-the-top and cornball, it can be weirdly straight and dog-serious. This didn’t really do that, the performances were all just “okay”. I’d have preferred some balls-out full-on cringeworthy performances here, it would have added a lot.

Don’t get me wrong, though, it isn’t all “disappointing”. There are some hilarious moments to be had, some of the dialogue will get a laugh and a cheer out of audiences who let themselves enjoy it, and there are action scenes that I thought were really fun. The film also looks slick, it looks nice. The music works well, and in the end, regardless of the missed opportunities present, I still enjoyed my time with Giant Killer Ants.

Silly, cheesy and full of screaming, bikinis, metal and giant insects, Giant Killer Ants is an amusing trip through the desert, and I think some folks will dig it.

Giant Killer Ants will be available digitally from today, Monday June 17th, courtesy of Signature Entertainment.

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