is one of many 1950s sci-fi creature features to reflect that era’s fears
and concerns about the Atom bomb – it was after all the height of the Cold
The age’s other major concern in movies like this was probably fear
of alien invasion (read: communism), hence movies like
Invasion of the Body Snatchers,
The Thing From Another World and
War of the Worlds. (Probably the only voice of
cool rationality was the peacenik The Day the Earth
As you might have
gathered from the garishly appropriate poster art on the DVD cover,
Them! refers to giant mutant ants threatening humanity’s very
existence. Yup, this is the granddaddy of last year’s Eight Legged
Freaks (which featured giant spiders) and to be honest a host of many
other SF movies throughout the years. Them! is actually okay when the
ridiculous ants themselves aren’t on-screen and this DVD is worth a rental
for those in the mood for some retro fun.
DISC: Presented in full screen aspect (its
slightly cropped at the edges), Them!
looks astoundingly fantastic. The image quality is simply fantastic. Note
that I didn’t even add the disclaimer “for a movie practically half a
century old.” The Black & White photography looks exceptionally clear and
I hardly noticed any surfaces scratches or anything. Except for some
scenes towards the end in the Los Angeles city sewers, this DVD boasts
fantastic image quality.
The sound is its
original mono track, which is clear and quite audible. Extra features
include some footage of special effects ants malfunctioning more than
usual I suppose. The static menu resembles that lurid poster artwork I
Bit bare on the extras, but that fantastic image transfer makes up for it!
Now I feel in the mood for checking out some other 1950s classics on DVD
like Earth vs. the Flying Saucers, which I
recently saw at a local shop.
RECOMMENDATION: Fans of 1950s sci-fi movies would definitely want to check
out this disc. For the rest of us, it’s worth a rental for a retro video