19
Jun
09

June 19th, 2009 the 55th Anniversary of “THEM”


Today is an outstanding day, 55 years ago Warner Brothers released the first of the Giant Bug movies.  Entitled “THEM”,  This movie was born from the atomic age where the question, if a little bug was exposed to radiation, what would happen????  Well, the folks at Warner Brothers said, BIG ANTS.  Released in 1954, it was a huge hit and sparked a series of giant bug movies to follow.  In July of this same year there was the Giant Gila Monster followed by 1955’s Tarantula, 1957’s The Deadly Mantis, and the Black Scorpion.  Low budget films came as well, such as the Giant Leaches and Night of the Lepus.  “Them” had it all, an awesome cast with James Whitmore, the lovely Joan Weldon, Edmund Gwenn, and the towering James Arness (of Gunsmoke fame), followed by spectacular giant animatronic ants, great locations and some spooky music.  Here are some images from the masterpiece of what would be termed a B movie and a couple of links to supplement the film.  By far the best link is to Joe Dante’s Trailers from Hell site, which, once you’re there, you’ll spend the rest of the night watching all the cool trailers and the huge amount of gurus that take you through the trailers.  So with that, Happy Anniversary and have a good time with THEM!!!

http://www.trailersfromhell.com/trailers/138

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0047573

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Them!

pretty wild,, a color credit in a black and white film

pretty wild -- a color credit in a black and white film

the movie is filmed using an extensive amounts of low angle shots

the movie is filmed using an extensive amount of low angle shots

 

drawn by the smell of sugar the giant ant's wonder out of the desert and into human territory.

drawn by the smell of sugar, the giant ants wander out of the desert and into human territory.

 

James Whitmore does an awesome performance as the police officer who is brought into extraordinary circumstances..

James Whitmore does an awesome performance as the police officer who is brought into extraordinary circumstances...

 

Jim Schallart make his cameo as the DR. which he reprised in so many of these old films and later in many of Joe Dante's films

William Schallert make his cameo as the Doctor, which he reprised in so many of these old films and later in many of Joe Dante's films

the world famous aviator Paul Mantz is seen here taking up to the runway in his B-25.

The world famous aviator Paul Mantz is seen here taxiing up to the runway in his B-25.

 

legs and a big bad wolf look,,, awesome!

legs... and a big bad wolf look, awesome!

the discovery of the ants in the desert of Palmdale CA.

The discovery of the ants in the desert of Palmdale, CA.

for the time the amount of articulation and the sheer size of the ants is amazing.

For its' time, the amount of articulation and the sheer size of the ants is amazing.

 

full view of the mighty monster's

Full view of the mighty monsters. This one has a human rib cage is his mouth

Whitmore had to love this role, He got to shoot every kind of gun, rifle, bazooka, and a huge flame thrower!!!

Whitmore had to love this role. He got to shoot every kind of gun, rifle, bazooka, and a huge flame thrower!!!

one of the incredible sets

one of the incredible sets

 

A young Leonard Nimoy has a cameo

A young Leonard Nimoy has a cameo

 

it's Fess Parker, AKA Daniel Boone, and Davie Crockett

It's Fess Parker, best known for Disney's Davie Crockett in the '50s and later Daniel Boone on TV in the '60s

 

 

 

James Arness is to big for the little helmet they gave him

James Arness is too big for the little helmet they gave him

another shot of his tiny helmet

another shot of his tiny helmet

 

the set had to have been 150 degrees at least when these would all go off at once

the set had to have been 150 degrees at least when these would all go off at once

and a final scene reminiscent of the mystery science theater pov.

and a final scene reminiscent of the mystery science theater POV

 

this is also the fifth anniversary of my first, First day cover/cachet. Them was the first and it is funny to look back at how crude the art was for this one. Got 50 more envelopes cancelled today for the 55th and the art work will be upped considerably!!

this is also the fifth anniversary of my first, First day cover/cachet. "Them" was the first one and it is funny to look back at how crude the art was for this one. Got 50 more envelopes cancelled today for the 55th and the art work will be upped considerably!!


50 Responses to “June 19th, 2009 the 55th Anniversary of “THEM””


  1. June 19, 2009 at 5:48 am

    John, thanks for the trip down memory lane.

    “Them!” is one of my all-time favorite “classic horror film”. I always get the feeling that James Cameron watched this a few times before sitting down to write Aliens.

    This is one of the few films from that era that still holds up…story-wise, at least. Still, those giant ant animatonics are still impressive, considering the level of technology available at the time.

  2. 3 Freak
    June 19, 2009 at 6:02 am

    It’s been years since I last saw this.
    Thanks for reminding me of it.
    During my Teen years I tried to see all the classic B movies form the 50’s. Always a lot of fun to watch. Might see if I can find this one on DVD.🙂

  3. 5 Don
    June 19, 2009 at 6:03 am

    Ah. The classics!

  4. June 19, 2009 at 6:05 am

    Growing up in Phoenix, we had these big red ants in our yard (haven’t seen any in years). My little brother was about five when we saw “Them” the first time (and this was on a small screen TV). It scared him so badly that whenever we encountered a red ant in the backyard, he would be literally terrified and go screaming into the house.

  5. 8 Rich Knapp
    June 19, 2009 at 6:08 am

    Love this movie. Soon after I got married, I watched this one with my wife. We were living in an apartment at the time and she had never seen it. Oddly enough, the next morning when she got up and went out to the kitchen we had a small army of ants coming up out of the drain in our sink. How perfect was that!

  6. 9 Buckaroohawk
    June 19, 2009 at 6:49 am

    “Them!” is definitely one of the greatest B movies of all time. I enjoy watching it whenever it comes on TV. The animatronic ants were amazing for the time, but what really sells the movie is the earnestness of the entire cast. They play their parts seriously, which goes a long way in diffusing the absurdity of the film’s premise.

    On the other end of the B movie scale is “Night of the Lepus,” which you mentioned above. “Oh Noes!! Giant Fuzzy Bunnies!” The scenes of real rabbits attacking the obviously miniature town are uproariously funny. If you’re in a mood for a movie so bad that it’s good, “Night of the Lepus” is the one to watch. And it stars DeForrest Kelley, who easily trumps William Shatner’s performance in “Kingdom of the Spiders,” another B movie favorite.

    Thanks for posting this story, Mr. Eaves! I loves me my B movies!

  7. June 19, 2009 at 7:35 am

    Oh see, this film puts the very classic is big-bug sci-fi classic!

    I may not ever know who “they” are, but I do know who THEM! is! (Hey, is that even a proper use of English, eh?)😀

    My bro and mine’s favorite line (that we still do to this day, along with the whoosh-y-vibrating ant sound effect) is the drunk the army guys finds out on the road, with him seeing them, starts drunken-slurring/yelling:

    Make me a sergeant in charge of the booze! Make me a sergeant in charge of the booze!

    Oh man, classic movie line! I just watched this film last year, eh.

    One of my other fav radioactive big-bug films ya didn’t mention was The Beginning of the End with Peter Graves (no relation, that I know of anywho), with the giant grasshoppers that attack Chicago, with them comped crawling up the Wrigley Building. They lured them all out into Lake Michigan with a small boat with this sonic beam thingy they were all attracted to. They all drowned in the lake then. I liked it for the big-bugs, but also because it was set in Chicago and it was the first film I ever saw that I knew and had been at the actual locations in it.

    Great stuff, dude, thanks!😀

    Make me a sergeant in charge of the booze! Make me a sergeant in charge of the booze!

    LLP,
    deg

    PS. Doug and I were goin’ on about ABC TV Movie Gargoyles and how much we loved it yesterday, and he said to ask Eaves about it too, as you loved it too. I said; Oh yeah, that figures, eh.😉

    • 13 johneaves
      June 19, 2009 at 9:52 am

      DIANAH!!!! That bloody truck driving in circles out in the desert still haunts my mind!!!

      • June 19, 2009 at 10:03 am

        Me too. Man that was weird! My folks somehow let me watch that thing when I was very young . . .
        The sounds they made when attacking that cabin in the begininng really freaked me out too as well as the Gargoyle looking over the foot of the bed.

  8. 15 DeanneM
    June 19, 2009 at 7:49 am

    I haven’t seen very many of these old horror movies, but I’ve been checking regularly and catching some as they come on TV. This one has some great actors and looks pretty good!

    deg, maybe you should check around and see if there’s a connection with Peter Graves. It would be kinda cool to have a famous actor in the family! 😀

    Anyone hear of The Curse of the Demon with Dana Andrews? I have it in my DVR from last week, but haven’t watched it yet.

    • June 19, 2009 at 8:24 am

      DeanneM,

      Man! You need to see some of these old classics. They are really a hoot! You should check out Dennis Muren’s first VFX film, Equinox. It’s a cult classic from the Criterion Collection. David Stipes worked on that when he was just seventeen years old filming partly in Dennis Muren’s backyard.

      • 17 DeanneM
        June 19, 2009 at 8:33 am

        I made a list of videos John told me to start with a couple of weeks ago, and I’ll add this one to the list! Thanks!!

        My problem is time. I’m working slowly on watching new BSG Season 1 and rewatching ENT as it comes on TV, but I have tons of homework for a writing intensive class I’m taking at the moment. 😯

  9. June 19, 2009 at 7:50 am

    And check the uncredited bits at IMDB… Dub Taylor, who did countless westerns; stuntman Hubie Kerns, who doubled Adam West on Batman; Lawrence Dobkin, who directed the TOS “Charlie X” and later guested as a Klingon on TNG; Richard Deacon who took years of abuse from Morey Amsterdam on The Dick Van Dyke Show; and finally some other guy in the cast named Leonard Nimoy.

  10. June 19, 2009 at 8:16 am

    Sure sure dea, Night of the Demon was the original title. The demon from the Night Gallery eps. Pickman’s Model, that Doug and I were talking about yesterday in the Dick Smith entry, I swear they based it offa this film’s demon design. They both look like puppy-dogs gone crazy to me. Pickman’s demon even more like a puppy, esp in that shot of it in the TV Guide that I mentioned, with its tongue sticking out of it mouth/muzzle, that Doug managed to find and post.😀

    It’s a fun film, if you like this sorta thing, eh, which I know I do.😀

    LLP,
    deg

    • 20 DeanneM
      June 19, 2009 at 8:21 am

      Thanks for the info! I didn’t get to read everything yesterday, so I missed some of that conversation (gasp!).😀 I’ll have to go back and check it out…sounds fun and enlightening. I saw one shot of the demon in a preview, and it does look pretty campy, but that’s all a part of most 50’s sci fi, right?

      I’ll watch it over the weekend, most likely, and now I’m looking more forward to it!

  11. June 19, 2009 at 8:33 am

    DeanneM:

    …and it does look pretty campy, but that’s all a part of most 50’s sci fi, right?

    While this films scared peeps at the time, at this point in the game dea, some (myself included) would say, thee best part, eh.🙂

    PLL,
    deg

    • 22 DeanneM
      June 19, 2009 at 8:39 am

      Which post from yesterday were you two having that discussion?

      BTW, do you see my pic or Serenity when I post? I can’t see my pic in posts, even though it says it’s my gravatar in my profile page.

      • June 19, 2009 at 9:05 am

        I’ve changed out my Gravatar picture before. Sometimes it just takes awhile, it has more to do with Gravatar site than what you do.

      • 24 DeanneM
        June 19, 2009 at 9:08 am

        Well, it’s showing up for everyone but me! That’s what’s odd, but I guess I’ll just be glad it’s there and not worry about seeing what it looks like for myself. Maybe it’ll pop up correctly in time, like you said. 🙂

      • 25 DeanneM
        June 19, 2009 at 9:09 am

        I actually don’t mind, because I can still see Serenity, which I like very much!!

  12. June 19, 2009 at 8:34 am

    Hello John,

    “Them” was one of the great movies I remember from childhood. However, unlike so many of these films, “Them” has the added virtue of holding up well when viewing it from an adult perspective.

    Thank you for sharing this today.

    When I see this film, I am reminded of Forry Ackerman, a notorious punster, who referred to “Them” as the attack of the ‘gi-ants’.

    David

    • 27 johneaves
      June 19, 2009 at 10:06 am

      Not to long ago We went out and found all the filming loctions,,, they’re all just East of my house out by Lake Los Angeles.

  13. 28 Matt Wright
    June 19, 2009 at 8:42 am

    “Them” used to be on AMC I think quite often a few years ago, but I haven’t seen it in a long time, much less all the way through in one sitting.

  14. June 19, 2009 at 8:46 am

    Ahaha, that’s awesome, David! Didn’t Forry actually coined the term “Sci-Fi” if I recall correctly…

    LLP,
    deg

  15. June 19, 2009 at 8:50 am

    dea, I did see the fire-bug before, but now I see your (I assume) cute face, eh.

    It’s the Dick Smith tribute entry found: here

    LLP,
    deg

    • 32 DeanneM
      June 19, 2009 at 8:54 am

      You assume? You Assume!? Why you little..(sound of Homer strangling Bart).

      I know they’re small, but is it that hard to see? I wish I could get a look at it, but even signed in under John’s name, it doesn’t show up on my computer…oh well!! I’ll try purging my temp internet file.

      • 33 Matt Wright
        June 19, 2009 at 9:50 am

        I’ve seen your face for days now, weird you don’t. I would imagine emptying your browser cache would do it.

      • 34 DeanneM
        June 19, 2009 at 9:53 am

        You make it sound like I’m haunting you! Just let me know if you get tired of seeing my face all the time!! 😆

  16. June 19, 2009 at 10:00 am

    Just watched this the other night. To me, certain elements of “Aliens” really seems to have been inspired from this one.

    What a great old classic.

    Ever wonder why the New Mexico cop gets to travel across so many jurisdictions?

  17. June 19, 2009 at 10:08 am

    No silly, I was assuming it was a pic you, not assuming it was cute. Anyone can see that, eh.🙂

    John got a meeting for the project today, and I think Shatner is going to be there. Wish I could be to. The producer said he may call me to be there on the phone, we’ll see.

    Well, renders done, break over, back to the ship-yards, eh.

    LLP,
    deg

  18. June 19, 2009 at 10:12 am

    Oh, I was given permission by the producer to show some shots for another interview I am doing on a 3D website. Good pre=promo, eh.

    So I thought I’d share them here as well. More info to come,

    LLP,
    deg

    John’s Art

    Orion #1

    Orion #2

  19. June 19, 2009 at 4:10 pm

    “Make me a sergeant and charge the booze!” one of the best..

  20. June 19, 2009 at 5:22 pm

    All these were so cool when I saw them as a kid. In chicago most of them got shown on The Son Of Svengoolie. Kind of like Elvira but a guy.
    And yes Deg Uncle Forry coined the term sci-fi.

  21. June 19, 2009 at 6:12 pm

    All three are the “football,” dea. John’s concept art, and then my mesh of it, with added detailing.

    John says Shatner loved the ships, BTW.😀

    And xfozzboute, ol’ Son of Sven, Rich Koz. Still watch ‘im. Remember the original Svengooli, Jerry G. Bishop?

    There is a great docu-film out there (saw it on Netflix “Watch Instantly”) called American Scary all about the local channel horror hosts across the country. Great fun, eh.

    And yeah, I thought it was Uncle Forry, thanks, eh.🙂

    BTW, (I don’t think I asked you this yet), where you at in Chicagoland, eh?

    LLP,
    deg

    • June 20, 2009 at 3:40 pm

      Koz also does Stooge-a-palooza. Don’t really care for Svengoolie now because I think he makes a little too much fun of the movies he shows and I don’t like the Sven-Surround part when he does his MST3K thing. I never got a chance to see the original show with Jerry G. Bishop.
      There is also the complete Svengoolie story in Chicago TV Horror Movie Shows: From Shock Theatre to Svengoolie by Ted Okuda and Mark Yurkiw.
      I’m right in the middle of Downers Grove, Westmont, and Willowbrook right off of rt 83.

      Berwyn:)

  22. June 20, 2009 at 3:58 pm

    Oh I forgot I’m so glad I’m not the only one who remembers Gargoyles. They used to make some great made for T.V. horror movies like Gargoyles and Trilogy Of Terror back then.

  23. June 20, 2009 at 4:52 pm

    Ah, Son of Sven would be proud, Berwyn, eh. His side-kick is named Doug Graves, my real name, LOL.

    And yeah, Stooge-a-palooza, eh. Sure sure. And I know what ya mean about the Sven-Surround, eh.

    I’ll look for that show you mentioned, eh.

    I’m just off I355 and North Ave. eh. Small world.🙂

    LLP,
    deg

  24. June 20, 2009 at 4:53 pm

    Yeah, and Karen Black in TOT, rocked! Classic ABC TV Movie, eh.😀

    LLP,
    deg

  25. June 20, 2009 at 5:09 pm

    I’ve seen “THEM!” advertised on TCM a few days ago (as part of their “Vade Retro” block), but the commercial was just ending and I didn’t get to see when it was going to be shown… with my luck, it may have been last night. I’m going to pay attention to see if they announce it again.

    “Night of the Lepus”… I definitely remember that one. I’ve wanted to watch it again for quite some time. Hmmm, what was it called around here? It definitely wasn’t some literal translation like “La noche del conejo”, that much I know… it was more like “Una noche de terror” or something like that.


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