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.
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.