Saturday, October 16, 2010

31 Monsters of October, Day 16: Them!

Real World Origin:
Film, Them! (1954)

In-Universe Description:
Police near Alamogorodo, New Mexico find a little girl wandering in the desert. The trailer where she and her parents had been staying has been ripped open and ransacked. A nearby general store is found in a similar condition. The owner's body has been mangled and poisoned with formic acid. Whoever did these crimes took nothing from the scene but sugar.

In dramatic fashion, the culprits behind these murders are revealed to be giant, nearly elephant-sized ants. Apparently radioactivity left behind when the experimental Trinity bomb was detonated in 1945 resulted in the freakish mutation of a colony of aggressive desert ants. Being unable to satisfy their hunger with the species' usual food source, the ants have turned to preying on human beings for sustenance.

The ants' colony in New Mexico is found and destroyed with cyanide gas and flamethrowers. However, the discovery of egg casings that would have held queens, and the lack of winged ants among the dead insects, mean that several queens have left the nest and are looking for a new place to start their own colonies. Mounting evidence indicates that at least one queen has found a home in the Los Angeles sewers, putting millions of people at risk. The military has to find the colony and destroy it before giant ants overrun the city or before more queens are bred and start even more colonies.

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