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Reviewed by Andrew Borntreger on 4 March 2008

Capsule Review:    

Of all the original "Outer Limits" episodes, this might be my favorite. Does anyone else remember being shocked when the deadly alien ants with human faces first appeared on the television? Little Andrew did; the stop-motion fiends were nightmare fuel for weeks.

The planet Zanti has a problem similar to every society: what to do with their violent criminals. Obviously, the Zanti home world lacks oceans or other natural boundaries, because they contact Earth and deliver an ultimatum. "We are sending a penal ship filled with our misfits to your planet." After the proto-SETI scientists stopped jumping for joy at finally having discovered evidence of intelligent alien life, they realized that Earth was getting the shaft.

What person in their right mind wants a bunch of alien convicts set loose on their planet? Human criminals are bad enough. The Zanti misfits might shoot death rays from their eyes and feed on human brains (aliens find people to be frightfully delectable most of the time).

One edict issued by the Zanti government is that the misfits are to be left alone. Unfortunately, a car driven by a hoodlum crashes through a gate that leads into the restricted Zanti landing zone. The male driver and his self-destructive female companion find the Zanti ship. Their intrusion provokes the aliens. The Air Force personnel monitoring the Zanti listen to the man's screams as a creepy crawler from outer space slowly kills the poor sap. Old Mrs. "I like to hang out with criminals" escapes six-legged death when a government historian bravely comes to her rescue, despite orders to keep away. The historian smashes the Zanti jailor (that's one for the history books) and all heck breaks loose.

As I mentioned earlier, the Zanti are memorable! The aliens are ten inch-long ants with human faces and (apparently) poison stingers. I do not want to find one of those in my bed.

Filled with buzzing anger, the Zanti attack the military command center. Dozens of killer ants crawl down the sides of the building, up the walls, and across the floor. The Air Force kicks alien butt! Seeing them blasting mutant ants with .45 Colts and M1 Carbines was pretty wild.

Bear with me, but when the Zanti attacked I couldn't help but yell, "Cry havoc and let loose the ants of war!"

Things I Learned From This Show:  

Green Dot Earth is the interplanetary equivalent of Australia.
Green Dot In the old days, cars were so large that they showed up on radar.
Green Dot There is a very good reason that present day government fence contracts specifically prohibit the use of gates made from balsa wood.

Stuff To Watch For:  

Green Dot 6 mins - Foreshadowing?
Green Dot 23 mins - I know what you are thinking, and it would be strange for somebody to take a stainless steel coffee pot with them rock climbing, then leave it behind by accident.
Green Dot 28 mins - Besides war, famine, and disease…
Green Dot 37 mins - Why don't you turn on the jeep's air conditioning? Oh, right.
Green Dot 44 mins - Ant with a beard!

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Earth is visited by a GIANT ANTIMATTER SPACE BUZZARD! Gawk at the amazingly bad bird puppet, or chuckle over the silly dialog. This is one of the greatest b-movies ever made.

Lesson Learned:
  • Osmosis: os·mo·sis (oz-mo'sis, os-) n., 1. When a bird eats something.

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