Writer: Trent Haaga, Marko Makilaakso, Hank Woon Jr (Screenplay)
Starring: Harry Lister Smith, Alex Mils, Vanessa Grasse, Mark Arnold, Callum McGowan, Andrew Horton
Plot: A pulpy, action monster movie, inspired by Cinemaware’s cult 1980s video game “It Came from the Desert”. A nostalgic tribute to creature features from the 1950’s, It Came From The Desert features rival motocross heroes and heroines, kegger parties in the desert, secret underground military bases, romantic insecurities…and of course giant ants.
Runtime: 1 Hour 30 Minutes
There may be spoilers in the rest of the review
Verdict: Fun Late Night Movie
Story: It Came from the Desert starts when motocross champion Lukas (Mills) and his shy engineer Brian (Smith) head out to the desert for a celebrational party with drinks and girls including Brian’s crush Lisa (Grasse). When the two friends discover an abandoned research facility they investigate only to discover giant ants.
Joined by Lisa the three must defeat the ants before they can breed to uncontrollable numbers causing chaos in the world.
Thoughts on It Came from the Desert
Characters – Brian is shy mechanic that has helped Lukas win most of those competitions. He is madly in love with Lisa, but has always been afraid to take chances in his life, when the two friends discover the ants he must learn to escape his shell to fight back to save the girl and the world. Lukas is the dumb motocross rider, he has all the confidence in the world and he just wants to help Brian come out of his shell. He will push Brian this day to a level where they just start becoming as daredevil as each other. Lisa is the girl of Brian’s dream, she goes on the party which she doesn’t seem that interested in being part off, she shows herself to be deadly when fighting the ants, he brains become important for the two guys. Dr Renard fills in the blanks for the two teenagers and for the audience.
Performances – Harry Lister Smith and Alex Mills are both strong in the leading role, they have good chemistry playing the opposites but ever loyal friends. Vanessa Grasse is strong in the supporting role with key moments. The rest of the cast fit the generic performances required in the film.
Story – The story is based on a video game, based on a vintage monster movie ‘Them’, it follows two friends that must off giant ants before they can breed to world dominating numbers, now this is a story we mustn’t take seriously because of the nature of everything happening, it does feel like a video game with each level becoming more difficult. The story never tries to take itself seriously which is a bonus too because we know this is going to be just another creature feature.
Action/Comedy/Horror/Sci-Fi – The action come from chases to escape from the ants, it does have plenty of gun fire which comes for defeat the ants, the comedy plays out from the dumb reactions to certain moments, this will get a basic laugh or two along the way. The horror is pure creature feature which is good and enjoyable for anyone who enjoys the genre. With the sci-fi side of the film looking at idea that alien genes can be combined with Ants.
Settings – The film is set in the desert, hell it is in the title of the film, it uses the ideas of the nuclear tests to create a secret base which could have this type of consequence.
Special Effects – The effects for this low budget film are mixed because the practical ones do look wonderful, though the CGI moments are not to the same level of strength.
Final Thoughts – Fun creature feature that will be a lovely treat in a midnight screening.
Overall: Late night delight.