Marabunta, also known as Legion of Fire: Killer Ants (guess which name I prefer?) is a sci-fi horror movie about ants. Not just any ants though but a huge wave of ants that are able to strip a persons flesh from their bones.
It’s a simple premise that has served almost every killer *insert insect here* movie ever & here it’s no different. It’s also no better.
In the town of Burly Pines a huge amount of South American ants are causing chaos among the locals, stripping animals & humans of their flesh. Dr Jim Conrad is the first to notice what is going on & discovers that a ship from South America had crashed here some time ago. The ants had survived inside logs of wood that had been aboard the ship but stayed in hibernation because of the cold weather.
Some recent minor earthquakes have made it warm enough to support the ants & now they’re on a rampage. Be scared, terrible CGI ants are coming…
The acting is bad, the story complicated & far too long but by far the worse thing about this movie is the CGI ants. They are awful, sure it’s 1998 & this was a low budget effort but that is no excuse for these black fluffy dots.
They’re not threatening, well unless you consider their amazing ability to take down a helicopter (John McClane eat your heart out!) & characters over-react to such an extent that it’s hard to not wonder if you’re actually watching a comedy.
This may have been served better as a comedy as no-one is taking it seriously. Even a good actor like Mitch Pileggi (lots of TV roles such as X-files, Stargate: Atlantis, Sons of Anarchy etc.) can’t polish this turd.
It’s ending is such a gross over-reaction to a slow-moving army of ants (yes, I know they’re dangerous but still…) & it follows the step by step guide on how to end your disaster/creature movie. It even has a final scene showing some of the ants having survived!
Lasting 95 minutes it is far too long for such a paper-thin story & it inevitably becomes a struggle to stay awake through yet another lengthy talk about what they’re going to do next. The action scenes don’t liven the film up much either because it’s near impossible to suspend your disbelief enough to see the ants as anything but bad CGI.