Reviewed By

Christopher Armstead
The ants have a request.  Seriously, they're negotiating.  They want half the island to themselves.  Problem being, and this is a direct quote from the big boss man on this island in this movie 'The Hive' which started out life as a Sci-Fi original before heading to DVD… 'We Don't Negotiate With Ants!!!'  My friends, lines like that just don't write themselves. 

An alien something or another has hit some island, I remember seeing a hand written sign that said 'Laos', so we will assume it's there somewhere.  What this alien lifeforce has done is unite ant populations of this island as we see them eat a poor mother then eat her baby.  Her freaking baby.  These ants are dicks. 

Fast forward a bit to the meanest, toughest, most hardcore ant exterminators ever!  Team Thorax!  Led by Dr. Len (Kal Weber), Team Thorax, logo and all, go to wherever there is an overrun insect population and wipe them out.  Think Orkin if Orkin was badass.  In a level of seriousness that I don't believe I've ever seen in a Sci-Fi original with a concept as ridiculous as this one, Team Thorax uses every technology in the book… to kill bugs.  Remote cameras, space suits, hover drones, laser fences and the coup de grace… patent pending… the Thorax Laser Canon!  If you're a bug, and you see Team Thorax in your neighborhood, then you had best head in the opposite direction.  Unless you're an alien controlled bug. 

These ants aren't behaving like regular ants… thinking, plotting, laying traps, learning.  It's not normal.  Even though Dr. Len's ex-girlfriend Dr. Claire (Elizabeth Healy) wrote about just this kind of thing in her ant book.  It was not a bestseller.  Claire and Len are somewhat at odds right now, Len murdering bugs with his Laser Canon and Claire loving them in an unnatural way, but Len invites her to Laos to witness the results of her Ant Book come to life.  And unnecessarily risk her life.  Claire is amazed by what she sees… I mean she knew that ants could communicate, but she didn't know they could do chemistry.  That's another quote.  These things do not write themselves. 
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Still, there's a job that needs to be done but there are issues.  First is Len's right hand man Bill (Tom Wopat) who during an attack got an ant in his ear and this ant is seriously f'n with my man.  I would've thought, eventually, this ant would've died, but clearly an ant can live for months on earwax alone.  Who knew?  There are two other members of Team Thorax in the lovely Debs (Jessica Revis) and the blackish looking Cortez (Mark Ramsey).  If I were to tell you, just off the cuff, at least one of Team Thorax was doomed for death… whom would you pick? 

Regardless, these ants are off the chain with their killing and eating and murdering but now Len and Claire have figured out what they want.  They want humans off their island.  And Len and Claire think that's a good idea.  Remember, these are the same ants that ate a baby unprovoked.  I don't trust 'em.  Neither does Bill, thank goodness.  It's time to nuke some ants.  Because we don't negotiate with ants.  Hell yeah.

Part of the RHI Maneater series of films, a twenty five film dossier of which I've seen sixteen of… almost there… and Directed by some dude named Peter Manus, 'The Hive', like the majority of the Maneater movies isn't very good.  But there is something unique to it.  I mentioned it earlier, but this like the most serious movie of its type I've ever seen.  Everything in this movie is delivered with End of the World earnestness.  When my man said he doesn't negotiate with ants, he was not joking.  When the ants held that little girl hostage, demanding a sit down at the negotiating table, they weren't joking.  Every Tom Wopat twitch and wince and convulsion was deadly serious.  Now, I think I'd know if there was an ant in my ear, and as such I'd grab a little hydrogen peroxide and get it out, but not Bill.  These people killed bugs with laser canons.  That should be funny, but it was deadly serious.  There was a scene where Dr. Claire showed Dr. Len a chemical layout and Dr. Len started freaking out.  Now I'm a chemist by trade and I knew immediately that this was the formula for Bi-Toluene-Hexachromide-Benzo-Proactive-Dichotomy-Carbonate… The secret ingredient in Dr. Len's ant murdering laser gun… but nobody else would've know this, yet this movie was so serious, they treated it as if everybody should've know this.  This was one serious ass movie.  In most cases we would chastise a movie for being so serious and humorless, but the seriousness of this movie was comic gold.

The thing that kind of sinks 'The Hive' are the usual suspects such as dodgy CGI, some seriously suspect acting… even from Luke Duke… a choppy pace, and an erratic plot.  The melodrama and the love story certainly didn't help matters.  We also have a director who really likes his zoom cam.  This cat will zoom in on anything, even if it's completely irrelevant.  Like the remote key opener to a car.  Why zoom in on that?  Or Tom Wopat's twitching face.  I get it, he's freaking out.  He has an ant in his ear.  

As far as the Manneater series goes, 'The Hive' probably isn't up to the lofty standards of 'Wyvern' or 'Roadkill', but it is better than 'Hybrid', 'Malibu Shark Attack', and a few others.  Plus it has a seriousness to wacky concept ratio than kind of lifts it up to another level.  That level being oddly tolerable.
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