You won’t be surprised when Vincent Price shows up in this clever mash-up of Them!, The Incredible Shrinking Man and Ant-Man made to make the newest Marvel movie look like a 1950s creature feature. He’s one of the only actors that truly understands the horrors that lie in the science lab.
Jeff Goldblum, too. They both hate any experimentation that involves insects.
The drive-in-ready trailer was made by our old pal Sleepy Skunk for Vulture/New York Magazine, and the juxtaposition actually makes Ant-Man feel more like Honey, I Shrunk the Kids instead of either a superhero action comedy or an antique monster movie. Now I’m wondering why Rick Moranis didn’t show up alongside Price.
It’s a pitch perfect homage to the thrilling, chilling, text-and-exaggeration-heavy advertisements of yesteryear which makes great use of an evocative movie title. In that sense, it’s a little surprising that there wasn’t already a movie called Ant Man from the 1950s. Them! had giant ants attacking puny humans with Oscar-nominated special effects, so why didn’t the copycat gravy train ensure that other studios would craft formicid-based feature films? This is a mystery that will never be solved.
For some side by side comparison, here’s the original trailer for Them!:
The “one word” that heralded a heart-pounding experience in 1954 was “Them,” but the one word referred to in Sleepy Skunk’s mash-up is, of course, “Marvel.”
I’m genuinely curious to see what the studio has been able to do with Ant-Man considering that the character is one of the least generally popular, has one of the most absurd super powers, and the production itself faced such upheaval after Edgar Wright exited. Some of my colleagues told me that they’ve pulled off something really fun, which I hope is the case.
I also hope that it’s a different kind of Marvel movie, even though the trailers portray a definitive Iron Man vibe. Troubled guy gets a power suit, learns to use it, says cocky one-liners, runs into trouble, and eventually has to take down a bad guy in a similar power suit.
Fingers (and all six legs) crossed. Ant-Man hits theaters July 17th.