Dead Ant aka Giant Killer Ants – USA, 2017 – overview and reviews


Dead Ant aka Giant Killer Ants is a 2017 American science fiction comedy horror feature film written and directed by Ron Carlson from a story co-written by Hank Braxtan (director of Dragon Soldiers; Snake Outta Compton; Unnatural) and Dan Sinclair (Dragon Soldiers; Chemical Peel).

The August Heart Entertainment production stars Tom Arnold, Sean Astin, Martin Blasick, Natasha Blasick, Daisy Rock Bassisk and Jake Busey.


When the 1989 one-hit-wonder glam metal band Sonic Grave embark on a trip to Coachella in hopes of a comeback, their peyote trip pit stop in Joshua Tree incites an “unworldly” viscous attack, and they must “rock” themselves out of harm’s way…

Reviews [click links to read more]:

” …despite its generally genial ambience, tips over into “bad trip” territory, […] The final revelation about what will finally end the characters’ long national nightmare, or at least drug induced hysteria, seems almost willfully lifted from the similar (identical?) denouement in Mars Attacks!.”

Dead Ant takes a genre of music, much beloved by many, and uses it to set the mood for an enjoyable horror-comedy romp through the desert. It’s title, screenplay and original song “Side Boob” are all wonderfully witty, and its cast is truly exceptional in their diverse roles.” Cryptic Rock

“Stunted early pacing takes too many cues from stoner comedy slowness. Inherently by virtue of its wild idea, you’d think Dead Ant would be irreverently edgy. Instead, it’s missing a colorful vibrancy that would send more snappiness into its style […] Tom Arnold in particular puts enormous passion into his performance, although the script doesn’t fully reward him for his effort.” Culture Crypt

Dead Ant falls under the umbrella of exploitation flicks better served by their title than product, but not as wholly as some might expect […] a toast to shredded 80s metal imagination, and a nod for peyote-pusher universe rules that rarely make sense yet couldn’t care less. Same “D-grade exploitation” schtick, new shade of guyliner.” Flickering Myth

Dead Ant screams into the mic that you’d better respect the legacy of hair metal and giant insects. That’s a combination that any self-respecting fan should be able to appreciate. Is it cheesy both in presentation and style? Sure it is. That’s the one of the biggest parts of its charm.” Horror DNA

“While it’s undemanding knockabout fun there’s the sense that the full potential for humour hasn’t been wrung out of every (and any) scene. As the film progresses one wonders how much of the dialogue was scripted and how much was directorial instruction to ‘just be funny in a metal way’. The CGI ants are basic effects…” House of Mortal Cinema

“Carlson maintains a well-caffeinated energy level and there is plenty of silliness to keep drunk or stoned fans giggling, but the film does not have any real heart or soul. It is no Ahockalypse, that’s for sure. You are better off watching Them! instead.” J.B. Spins

“Nearly every minute is filled with some combination of jiggling cleavage, splattering insect guts, and corny jokes about rock ’n’ roll losers. Dead Ant isn’t exactly clever […] But Carlson does swiftly and skillfully move the story toward a surprisingly spectacular finish…” Los Angeles Times

“Carlson finds a good balance between the films of the ’50s and the present by having the film play seriously but inject it with plenty of humor which doesn’t treat the material like a joke or breaks the fourth wall.  Far from perfect but certainly nowhere near being a bad film this proves to be an entertaining film worthy of a TV viewing on a Saturday afternoon.” Ernie Trinidad, Retro Filmmaven

“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.” Voices from the Balcony

Choice dialogue:

Danny (Tom Arnold): “I’m not creepy. I proved it in court.”


Dead Ant premiered at Screamfest in Hollywood in October 2017.

In North America, Cinedigm released Dead Ant theatrically, on VOD, and Digital HD on January 25, 2019.

In the UK, Signature released the movie as Giant Killer Ants on VOD on 17 June 2019.

Main cast and credits:

  • Tom Arnold … Danny – Shriek If You Know What I Did Last Friday the 13th; Body Bags
  • Sean Astin … Art
  • Martin Blasick … Guitarist Stereoblasters
  • Natasha Blasick … Daisy Rock Bassist
  • Jake Busey … Merrick
  • Michelle Campbell … Festival Goer
  • Angelica Cassidy … Festival Goer (as Angelica Chitwood)
  • Ewart Chin … Festival Monk
  • Leonel Claude … Festival Goer
  • Rhys Coiro … Pager
  • Leisha Hailey … Stevie
  • Michael Horse … Bigfoot
  • Camilla Jackson … Festival Goer
  • Lilith Kundalini
  • Jessica Lenz … Festival Goer
  • Joi Liaye … Lisa
  • David A. Lockhart … Lead Singer of Stereoblasters
  • Amber Martinez … Band Roadie
  • Nick Mason … Stereoblasters Drummer
  • Nic Novicki
  • Cortney Palm … Girl
  • Shawn C. Phillips
  • Cameron Richardson … Love
  • Shevyn Roberts … Rock Star
  • Abigail Sakari … Festival flower (as Abigail Johns)
  • Sydney Sweeney … Sam
  • Danny Woodburn … Firecracker

Filming locations:

Santa Clarita, California

Technical details:

87 minutes


2017 horror

Giant ants

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