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King of the Ants (2003)

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A young drifter discovers his true calling when he's hired by a mobster to stalk and kill a prominent accountant, and then decides to seek revenge when the stingy thugs try to kill him rather than pay him.

Director:

Stuart Gordon

Writers:

Charlie Higson (screenplay) (as Charles Higson), Charlie Higson (novel) (as Charles Higson)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Chris McKenna ... Sean Crawley (as Chris L. McKenna)
Kari Wuhrer ... Susan Gatley
George Wendt ... Duke Wayne
Vernon Wells ... Beckett
Lionel Mark Smith Lionel Mark Smith ... Carl
Timm Sharp ... George
Daniel Baldwin ... Ray Mathews
Carissa Kosta ... Maureen (as Carissa Koutantzis)
Briana Beghi Briana Beghi ... Maureen's Daughter
Carlie Westerman ... Catlin Gatley
Ian Patrick Williams ... Tony
Antoine Joseph Antoine Joseph ... Drooling Idiot
Shuko Akune ... Meade Park
Steve Heller ... Gary (as Steven Heller)
Ken 'Bam Bam' Johnson Jr. Ken 'Bam Bam' Johnson Jr. ... Apartment Kid
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Storyline

The handyman Sean Crawler meets the electrician Duke Wayne while painting a house and they drink a couple of beers together and have a small talk. A couple of days later, Duke offers a job to Sean, and they meet the corrupt constructor Ray Matthews in a golf club. Ray proposes Sean to stalk the accountant from the City Hall Eric Gatley, who is investigating him, and report every movement of Eric to Ray. While chasing Eric, Sean sees his wife Susan and has a crush on her. When Ray offers US$ 13,000.00 to Sean to kill Eric, he accepts, but steals Ray's dossier before leaving the crime scene. However Sean is double-crossed by Ray and is brutally tortured by the real estate mobster and his men in a lonely ranch, but he does not tell where the file is. Sean succeeds in escaping, but severely wounded, he goes to the mission where Susan works and four weeks later he is healed. He tries to start a new life with Susan, but when she finds the documents and the truth about him, he plots a ... Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

They wanted a Fall Guy. They created a Monster.

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong violence and sexuality, nudity and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

13 June 2003 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Asesino por naturaleza See more »

Filming Locations:

Los Angeles, California, USA

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Quotes

Sean Crawley: I am the ants, you fuckers!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Last Drive-In with Joe Bob Briggs: Re-Animator (2018) See more »

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User Reviews

Twisted, unusually vile,and very effective thriller!
29 October 2011 | by plpregentSee all my reviews

I rented this film a few years back, not knowing what to expect. I'll always be curious to watch a Stuart Gordon film, so I thought, meh, why not?

While King of the Ants kicks off smoothly, letting you know who the main character is, it unfolds without pulling any punches, neither morally, nor graphically. There are moments where your jaw is going to drop in disbelief, from how demented some plot twists happen to be. And visually, it does go pretty far. Be aware, when it comes to pure savagery, King of the Ants unleashes the heavy artillery.

That said, the real shocks result mostly from Sean Crawley's character, and the whole "hunted becomes the hunter" dynamic that he settles, after going through a psychological process that's delightfully built up through this nightmarish series of events and subplots. Without going too deep or pretending to be anyhow intellectual, it's actually an interesting behaviour study, paved with ever-growing, palpable tension.

There are a few silly moments, like the fight between Crawley and Kari Wurher's character, and Crawley's nightmares, but they're easily forgotten and don't affect the overall quality of the flick. In terms of directing, Gordon pulls it off, hands down. The cast delivers as well, especially newcomer Chris McKenna, who plays a progressively disturbed Sean Crawley.

This is not your typical, Oscar material type of film, don't get me wrong. This film didn't cost 200 million dollars, but you very rarely get the feeling that it's cheap, or that the budget was low. It's just a well-written, efficiently directed, sneaky little film that will take you by surprise with its downward spiral of events. You won't believe how disparate the ending is when compared to how the film begins. Pure craziness. And the way it's brought up, and with the "everyday feeling" that it provides, you'll find yourself thinking : "things like that probably really happen". It makes the whole experience even creepier.

You should appreciate King of the Ants if you're not too squeamish, and can enjoy a good old super-twisted thriller with a plot that takes unexpected turns. Think of a Shallow Grave type of tone, with the brutality and story elements from I Spit on Your Grave. But meaner, bloodier, maybe not as great cinematically speaking (even though it's very competent in every cinematic department), but satisfying nonetheless. Makes me want to read the Charlie Higson novel it's inspired from.

(4)

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