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.
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
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
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.