Stars: James Whitmore, Edmund Gwenn, James Arness, Joan Weldon, Onslow Stevens, Don Shelton, Fess Parker
93 minutes
Distributor: Warner Bros
Cinema: 1954
SPECIAL FEATURES: Behind the Scenes, trailer, image gallery
1.33:1 (fullscreen - film shot in 1.66:1 and cropped slightly on disc)
Dolby Digital 1.0 (mono)
Audio Tracks:
English and multiple languages
English and multiple languages
Captions: English and Dutch
Menus: Static with music
Special Features Subtitles: None of the special features come with subtitles.



Them! 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 War!

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 Stood Still.)

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.

THE 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 mentioned.

WORTH IT? 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 night.



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