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King of the Ants
King of the Ants
Actors: Shuko Akune, Daniel Baldwin, Ron Livingston, Lionel Mark Smith, Vernon Wells
Director: Stuart Gordon
Genres: Horror, Science Fiction & Fantasy
R     2005     1hr 43min

Studio: First Look Home Entertain Release Date: 06/21/2005 Run time: 102 minutes Rating: R

     

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Movie Details

Actors: Shuko Akune, Daniel Baldwin, Ron Livingston, Lionel Mark Smith, Vernon Wells
Director: Stuart Gordon
Genres: Horror, Science Fiction & Fantasy
Sub-Genres: Horror, Science Fiction & Fantasy
Studio: First Look Pictures
Format: DVD - Color
DVD Release Date: 08/24/2005
Original Release Date: 01/01/2003
Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/2003
Release Year: 2005
Run Time: 1hr 43min
Screens: Color
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 0
MPAA Rating: R (Restricted)
Languages: English
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Movie Reviews

One ticked off Ant
07/06/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)

"This certainly wasn't what I expected from a stuart gordon film but it worked nonetheless. Gone are the sci-fi trimmings of re-animator, dagon etc..and in its place is somewhat of a character study. Our subject is sean crowly, who we find painting houses. There he meets Duke (played by the ever rotund George Wendt but in a sinister turn). Its an ill fated meeting as it sets in motion a turn of events from which there is no escape. Before we know it, crowly has killed a man for money, only the people who hired him say they didn't really want him to kill the guy. They don't pay. Crowly's guilt sets in when he realizes the guy he killed was a model citizen. The folks who put out the hit get nervous and decide to tenderize crowly abit. Revenge ensues.
This one was solid from the top down. The acting was good. Once george wendt went from good duke to bad duke, there was no hint of his norm character from cheers to be found. The guy who played crowly was good to. I haven't seen him anywhere before but the kid has a future. Theres one of the baldwin brothers in this one too, the older fatter one from john carpenter's vampires. Maybe he can get out from the shadows of his brothers now. He brings his corrupt real estate developer character to life. Direction is good.
Gore:Theres a good amount of red sauce flying around but its more about the sounds in this one. As the golf clubs are put to one guys head, the sound of the bones popping will make you cringe.
T&A: Kari wuher naked as usual. Crowly rolls around in his bed naked whilst having bad dreams."
Don't meet with thugs!
James McDonald | Southern California | 03/29/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Ants have nothing to do with this film.
Sean (Chris L. McKenna) must do a dirty deed for two bad guys, Duke (George Wendt) and Ray (Daniel Baldwin). He must spy on this family man, Eric (Ron Livingston), who works at the Los Angeles City Hall) and take photographs of him outside. Then they want Sean to kill the man. Sean did not sleep very well and doesn't really want to do this thug job. The next day, he had hoped the man wouldn't answer the door. Sean goes in and commits murder with difficulty. At night as Sean lays in bed, he constantly recalls what he did.
Duke scares Sean into not giving him his money for the job. Sean was only suppose to rattle the man, not kill him. But Sean claims Ray wanted him too. Duke threatens Sean to "disappear". later they capture him and torture him for many days. he was able to escape, but had to kill to do it. His problems get deeper as he tries to destroy all evidence of his existence and crimes.
Includes grissly violence, full male nudity and female nudity, sexual scenes and foul language.
George Wendt also co-produced. Ron Livingston was not credited for his film appearance.
DVD includes Director's Commentary with Chris L. McKenna and a featurette."
Gordon rocks. Again. First time in a while.
Robert P. Beveridge | Cleveland, OH | 11/29/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)

"King of the Ants (Stuart Gordon, 2003)

Stuart Gordon is, of course, best-known for his basement-budget adaptations of Lovecraft, but he's never confined himself solely to the horror film; witness the sci-fi action flick Fortress, or his work in the kids'-film genre (which, while not extensive, does comprise a surprising amount of his production time). Thus, King of the Ants is not as much of a surprise as it would first seem. Unlike most of his previous forays into non-horror, though, King of the Ants delivers in spades.

Sean Crawley (Chris McKenna, previously seen in the TV series Opposite Sex) is a rootless guy who's willing to do just about anything to make a buck. While painting a house one day, he meets an electrician named Duke (Cheers' George Wendt). Duke works for a guy named Ray Matthews (Daniel Baldwin). Matthews needs a guy watched. Crawley has a dumb fantasy about being a private eye. Everyone's happy, until Matthews reveals to Crawley while drunk one night that the guy he's having followed he actually wants dead. From there, things get weird.

Based on a novel by Charles Higson, King of the Ants is in most respects your standard action-revenge fare. (Had it gotten wide release, its timing would have been perfect; Blake Crouch's book Desert Places came out around the same time, and the two have a good deal in common.) Where it rises above is in its characters. Much has been made of Sean's move from being a basically likable drifter into being a basically likable killer, and it probably says more about me than about the movie that I didn't see it as being all that much a stretch (thus, my being impressed comes from different areas); if you're the kind of person who thinks such a transformation would be something to see, by all means, rent this. More surprising, to me, was the detail to be found in even the minor characters. One expects development from Ray and Duke, but in most action flicks, the other henchmen who form Ray's band of criminals would just be there as window dressing. Not so here; the other two guys on the team (capably played by Vernon Wells, the villain in Schwarzenegger vehicle Commando, and Lionel Mark Smith, recently seen in State and Main, Magnolia, and Life Among the Cannibals) are fully-fleshed minor players. One assumes they were even more fleshed out in the novel, but that the adaptation didn't jettison their characters altogether is one of the things that makes this such a fine film.

Definitely worth seeing. Not for the weak of stomach by any means, but a fine thrill-ride. *** ½"
...or how Stuart Gordon crawls under your skin....
G. Van Der Bent | Katwijk, The Netherlands | 06/21/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)

"A few weeks ago I considered myself a lucky man. A big fan of director Stuart Gordon (of Re-Animator, and more recent Dagon fame.) I came across a UK DVD version of this movie. Not yet released in the States I get to tell you how good a movie this is.For American (and these days also more and more overseas) audiences groomed on Hollywood dung like Van Helsing and Harry Potter this is going to be a hard movie. For underground and indie moviebuffs this is...well one helluva treat!In short, the story is based on a novel by British writer Charlie Higson (most famous for writing tv series like the revamped Randall and Hopkirk) and follows a down on his luck house painter who sees himself being recruited as a hitman. Sounds improbable? Trust me,it all works out onscreen. What follows is a very violent, at times almost surrealistic movie. And like with his previous films, Gordon had me loving every minute of it (I even liked his Fortress).
There are some fine performances here, by the likes of George 'Norm' Wendt as utter scumbag Duke and the least known Baldwin brother as the main baddie. I also liked Aussie genre fave Vernon Wells (from Mad Max II and he played Bennet in Schwarzenegger's Commando) as a baddie who softens up against his captive. You'll be suprised about what fate Gordon has in store for him...but than again this isn't that Hollywood blockbuster, and I refuse to go into spoiler territory.
The revelation here however is Chris McKenna. As Sean Crawley he is a good solid actor with plenty of screen persona and wit. I loved him and hope he has a long career ahead of him. His line where Duke compares him to: "James f....ing Bond" and he just answers: 'No, Sean f....ing Crawley!' is a classic and had me gloating in my seat.I can't rave about this movie enough. I recommend it to everybody who knows how to find it. Personally I can't help but compare it to a Tarantino flick. I saw this about the same time as everybody was hyping the video release of Kill Bill vol 1. This is so much more brutal and yes SUPERIOR than that(and by the way Gordon is so much better at portraying onscreen eroticism and perversities than Tarantino will ever be)! Rent, buy or steal it (if need to)!!! KING OF THE ANTS rules my hill!"