Wednesday, July 07, 2004

King of the Ants

Ok, I have a complex command here. See King Of The Ants, unless you don't think you're up to it.

Stuart Gordon, best known as the director of classic Lovecraft adaptations like Re-Animator, From Beyond, Castle Freak (from the story The Outsider, which can be read online in illustrated form by clicking the link) and Dagon, has taken a British novel, King Of The Ants by Charles Higson, and made it into one of the most powerful tales of real life violence I've ever witnessed.

Newcomer Chris McKenna stars as a young laborer searching for his way in life, who finds himself working with "Duke" Wayne (played by George Wendt, who also co-produced and helped acquire the rights), who sends him to his boss, Ray Mathews (Daniel Baldwin), to do some, well, odd jobs. I won't give away too much more, but the events unfold with a truly horrifying and intimate kind of violence that it becomes difficult to watch at times.

It brings up basic questions of violence without offering any easy answers. It's horrific without any aspect of supernatural. There were moments that a person couldn't help but think about current events, and the torture of the prisoners in Iraq, although the movie well precedes those events. It left me with a lot to think about.

I think Gordon may have made his best movie here. I won't state that definitely quite yet, but that's the feeling I have now.

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