Thursday, 24 July 2014

A Sci-Fi B Movie if Ever I Saw One

From ITV

A huge nest of rare super ants, known to feast on electric cables, has been found in the UK.

The insects, which have a fatal attraction to electricity, were found at a property in Hendon in north London.

The first sighting of the insects in the UK was at at Hidcote Manor Gloucestershire in 2009. This YouTube video shows their 'super' strength.

I'm not sure which direction you'd go from there. The ants become immune to the power of electricity and mankind gets sent back to the Victorian age as electricity is constantly under threat. Or do the ants feed off the electricity and become like batteries, swarming around humans and destroying them with a static charge before eating us.


Mark Wadsworth said...

No, they get electrocuted and die.

I saw a TV programme about this a couple of years ago. In some warmer areas of America, they have to have people at airports whose job it is searching the place for these ants and killing them before they destroy all the delicate electrics and electronics.

JuliaM said...

News that Russia has lost contact with some geckos they sent into space can only chill the blood even further...

Mark Wadsworth said...


"The four female and one male gecko on board will die from hunger within two and a half months or earlier if the craft's life-support systems are also disrupted, "

Do geckos resort to cannibalism when hungry?

DBC Reed said...

The scenario where society returns to the stage of development before electricity is the essence of the Steampunk genre,I believe,where the story may ,even, be set in the present but one which has evolved around steam and clockwork.The only big film of this type(-ish) was the "Wild Wild West" but that was a bit sad.

The Stigler said...

Yeah... but, it would make a great addition to the Sharktopus/Supergator type movies

The geckos will start broadcasting the signal that the lizards have infiltrated the royal family. Begin the invasion.

If it's your sort of bag, The Difference Engine by Bruce Sterling is rather good. It's an alternative history where Babbage built his analytical engine and the Victorians began an era of steam-powered computing.

DBC Reed said...

More interested in Steampunk films to tell you the truth.(There are over twenty of them apparently including Steam Trek.Has anybody ever seen this or any of the rest?)

The Stigler said...


Checking Wikipedia's list, I've seen a few. I wouldn't call Hugo steampunk. There's nothing sci-fi about the film, it's really just historical (and well worth seeing).

League of Extraordinary Gentlemen is terrible. As is Wild Wild West. The Extraordinary adventures of Adele Blanc-Sec is a disappointment. Rather brilliant to look at, but plot and cast ain't great. Sherlock Holmes is quite fun.

Mark Wadsworth said...

I'd agree that LOEG and WWW were visually great but terrible, terrible films. I like the song WWW though.

DBC Reed said...

Maybe the basic premise of Steampunk does not translate well to the screen: it all appears too impractical and implausible. Things will get worse zeitgeist wise if photovoltaic slant -roofed tower blocks get built in towns everywhere as paul's Telegraph article indicates.The steam punk lovelies, all Victorian clothes cut down and tarted up, work well on screen perhaps because they look agelessly trollopy.
As I said the biggest Steampunk successes are Steampunk economics and Steampunk banking where things carry on in the Victorian manner as if the 20th century and the "discovery" that banks don't lend money but create it into existence, never happened.(Even the BoE's confessional "Money Creation in the Modern Economy"
has n't made any difference.)And now we've got a pre Rock and Roll Fifties revival: the Cold War.Hope does not spring eternal.

The Stigler said...


I can only comment on those I've seen, but I think more than anything, it's been the execution of those films.

A film that's not steampunk but does the whole "mixing technologies" is Terry Gilliam's Brazil where it's clearly a future story of a fascist state, but all the technology looks like it belongs in the 1940s and it really works.

I think people would suspend disbelief if the story was good enough. People have done things in stories to try to explain the unexplained in history.