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DEAD ANT (2018)

A film that starts with a woman running from a giant ant and ripping off her clothes off apparently to throw at the creature has to be good cheesy fun, right? Well, that’s how Dead Ant starts before becoming a hybrid of THEM! and This Is Spinal Tap. It’s cheese alright, but whether it’s Cheddar, Velveeta or Limburger is a matter of opinion.

Sonic Grave were one hit wonders back in the Hair Metal era. But they’re about to stage their big comeback, starting with a gig at Coachella. Except their manager Danny (Tom Arnold, True Lies) has booked them for No-Chella, a slightly less prestigious festival.

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The band, singer Merrick (Jake Busey, Predator, Ghost In The Graveyard), guitarist Pager (Rhys Coiro), bassist Art (Sean Astin, Lord Of the Rings, Range 15) and drummer Stevie (Leisha Hailey, Fertile Ground) argue over playing old material or debuting new songs. And most importantly, where to score the best drugs on the way to the gig.

This entails a detour to Bigfoot’s (Michael Horse, Twin Peaks, Skinwalker Ranch) desert store to get some legendary peyote. Which, of course, comes with a warning about harming any living creatures while on it. Of course, somebody has to go and piss on an ant. You can guess the rest.

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Director Ron Carlson and his co-writers Dan Sinclair and Hank Braxton should have a handle on this given their involvement in the genetically modified polar bear film, Unnatural. And even more relevantly, the rappers versus giant serpent comedy Snake Outta Compton.

But Dead Ant never really gets into gear. The premise seems a natural setup for over the top antics. Sex, drugs and rock n roll are natural companions for horror. The script, however, plays it safe, staying tame when it should let loose. Probably the funniest gag involves a cover version of Kix’s song Blow My Fuse. Something so obscure that 95% of the audience won’t get it.

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The effects are also a letdown. There are some very convincing shots of single ants. But anything with a group of them, let alone the horde at the end, is pretty much garbage. The odd bit of gore is well done, but Dead Ant is a movie you watch for the ants. And they don’t deliver.

Dead Ant might be watchable with the right drugs and low enough expectations. But It Came From The Desert is a much better updating of the giant ant film.

Dead Ant is available on VOD. Check for possible DVD releases on their Facebook page.

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