Watching the first 15 minutes of King of the Ants is like a constipated old man trying to squeeze out his first lump. Conversely, once the body of the film hits, you better get yourself a bottle of Imodium AD, because the shit really hits the fan!
Sean Crawley (McKenna) is a drifter who makes a living by painting peoples' houses and doing other handiwork. He lives a very monotonous and petty life, clinging to the notion of "I'm still living" as his driving force. When fellow handyman Duke (Wendt) stumbles upon Crawley at a house, the two hit it off and Duke offers to call Sean if his services are ever needed. Enter construction mogul Ray Matthews (Baldwin), who through Duke contracts Crawley to follow a city auditor to find out what dirt the auditor has on him.
One night, a drunken Matthews corrals Crawley and offers him $13K to off the auditor for good to remedy his investigative woes. Reluctantly, Crawley agrees to do the deed, and in a wonderfully brutal scene he bashes the auditor's head in, then drops a refrigerator on him. Unfortunately for Crawley, he crossed a line that Duke or the now sober Matthews did not appreciate, and they deliver an ultimatum to leave town or die. Crawley uses the information he stole from the auditor to try and blackmail Matthews, however, it backfires and Crawley is kidnapped by Duke and Co. Subjected to days of violent beatings, Crawley is nearly left braindead at Matthews' suburban ranch. He begins to hallucinate and have violent visions until one day, he is able to escape by viciously mauling Duke.
King of the Ants has a myriad of themes to the film, more prominently the hidden capacity for violence in a human being. It is the movie's title and subtleties that also convey the message that no one's life really matters, because we'll all keep bustling along like a colony of ants. Personally, I felt that if the movie stuck to the "ants" theme and made it more apparent, Mr. Crawley wouldn't have gotten his chance for revenge and this film would have sucked big balls. Luckily, Stuart Gordon delivers with an intense dose of violent outbursts and brutal slayings.
The extras on the disc are a bit thin, offering up a commentary by Gordon, McKenna and Wendt, as well as a making of featurette. Not much substance here, folks, so we'll just primarily focus on the fact that the film was completely bad ass!
Chock full of sex, violence and death, King of the Ants suffices the carnal needs of human beings. It offers up some valid points within society, but honestly, I could give two shits about morals when Kari Wuhrer is getting naked every 15 minutes and McKenna is pounding on people with a sledgehammer. Oh yeah, movie geek note - look for Commando's Bennet in a cameo role as one of Duke's thugs named Beckett. NICE!