Remember Them (US-1954; dir. Gordon Douglas)? One of the great scifi horror films of the Cold-War era — eerie desert locations, the stink of formic acid and a weird, high-pitched whine, James Arness hunting giant ants through the sewers of Los Angeles.

Well, now there’s Thems! However, Thems! — a low-budget, in-development sci-fi horror film —  isn’t a sequel. Nor is it about ants. And it’s set in a ghetto rather than a desert. But it is going for the classic 50s black-and-white look of Them and works the monstrous insect theme, in this case cockroaches. Beyond that, director Eliab Alvarez de la Campa and production company ReelsurReal are keeping the details close to their chest. When quizzed on the topic, Eliab commented:

The film unites 50s sci-fi camp and 70s grindhouse, which we don’t believe has been done before. Beyond that we can’t reveal much more other than it involves mutant roaches taking over the ghetto.


What has just today been revealed is the full trailer for Thems! — “six months in the making!” It was premiered to an elite group of Facebook friends and now is available for all to see.

Full Trailer:

Looks good, eh? The trailer was greeted with considerable enthusiasm by attendees, following on as it did from the previous teaser, which includes elements that solidly identify its exploitative origins:

ReelsurReal was formed in the summer of 2009 by Eliab Alvarez de la Campa and Larry Bentley. “We are a film-production company that endeavors to put a spin on the independent filmmaking process,” they commented, then added enigmatically, “Unfortunately, we cannot reveal at this juncture how exactly we endeavor to do so. But we promise that it will differentiate us from what’s currently being done…”


Eliab Alvarez de la Campa comes from a background in music and film having studied electric jazz bass and composition at the Manhattan School of Music and film at New York University. He spent nine years traveling the country as a video calibration specialist with his company Avical before deciding on a career as a writer and filmmaker. He wrote and directed Thems! and is a co-owner of ReelsurReal.


Larry Bentley is the owner of Cellar Dweller Productions and comes from a background in computer graphics and audio/video production. He is the co-owner and technical muscle behind ReelsurReal.

Mark Asch portrays El General Cohiba in Thems! (see picture below), provides the narration, and wrote the trailer’s orchestral score. Mark studied jazz theory and piano at Miami University and composition at Julliard. His band StarFish is one of the premier “children’s” rock bands.


Other cast members include Natalie Nine and Jay Rodriguez:



ReelsurReal’s YouTube Channel contains several production videos for your amusement and edification, such as this one on compositing a 3-second sequence, which really brings home the grueling and detailed work necessary to make the films we so easily take for granted:


And you can go out to the inspiring sound of Mark Asch’s musical score — where you will hear nods to classic scifi and exploitation scores, including at least one snippet much beloved of Looney Tunes’ Carl Stalling and crew.

This entry was posted in Exploitation films, Film, Giant Bugs, Horror, Humour, Independent film and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to Thems!

  1. Mark Asch says:

    Thanks for giving us the mention! This has been a tremendously fun and inspiring project and you can definitely anticipate more stuff getting shot down and blown up from ReelsurReal.

  2. Yes indeed! Thanks very much for spreading the word about THEMS! We are working on a related project that should be available in about six weeks that we think your readers would enjoy as well..;)

  3. Robert Hood says:

    All sounds good, Mark and Eliab. I look forward to hearing about it.

  4. Avery says:

    Hey you guys are very welcome! Thanks for sharing the scoop with us and for making films that me and Rob totally dig! The new surprise sounds excellent! Can’t wait!

  5. Many thanks, Avery and Robert. That’s a really nice write up and it’s very much appreciated! Thanks for letting people know about THEMS and we look forward to staying in touch with you.

  6. Natalie Nine says:

    Awesome write up! I must admit, this was the most fun I’ve ever had getting messy! A concept so wild, I knew I had to be a part of it and proud to say, that I was. The bonus was getting to work with a group of the most talented and hilarious strangers, I now have the honor of calling friends. Keep spreading the good word.

  7. Jay Rodriguez says:

    I thought Eliab was a complete looney when he told me his idea for this trailer, I mean how could he possibly pull it off? I thought. Regardless, I really had faith in what Eliab was doing all the way once we started filming. It was a very fun and educating experience and I hope to work with him again down the road. Thx for the write up about the hard work we put into that trailer Robert!

  8. Thanks for your kind words Jay! But, WE all pulled this off and should mention Vanesa Aurora Varela’s terrific make-up work, Rosa Ines Acevedo’s tireless assistance and of course, your family’s willingness (and patience!) to allow us to film in their home..:)

  9. I would be remiss to not mention my brother-in-law Boguslaw Fortunka, who did an excellent job at filling in the shoes of the “Mad Scientist” and one of the “Ganstas.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.