The title is designed to provoke an immediate reaction – revulsion, curiosity or laughter; or maybe all three. Just telling people my plans to watch it over the past week has elicited responses like “Is that a real movie?”, “Are you kidding me?” or “Dude. You’re messed up.”, and in many ways that’s half the point. Director Bill Zebub has made a cottage industry of ultra low-budget productions with lurid titles like METAL RETARDATION, FORGIVE ME FOR RAPING YOU (a title worthy of asshole grindcore legends Anal Cunt), and – of course – JESUS CHRIST: SERIAL RAPIST. But a movie cannot live on a title alone, and after the laughter has faded, it’s time to sit down and see if the 90 minute film can possibly live up to its moniker.
And it can’t. Perhaps no film could. But Mr. Zebub (who writes, directs, edits and stars here) has little interest in pouring vast efforts into meeting the expectations of his audience. There are ants. There’s a dick. And those ants both go in and come out of that dick. That’s where his pact with the viewers ends. It’s ok if the dick in question is only vaguely penis shaped, or barely flesh colored. And it’s ok if the ants are just big, plastic bugs that don’t actually move. It’s even ok if the actors spend most of their time making HORRIBLE ant-related puns (“I’m an Ant-achronism”), as Bill Zebub takes pride in his films being sloppy. The seams are not only visible, they are celebrated: line flubs and hokey FX are part of the joke, as is the copious female nudity (scientists and news reporters are only seen in bikinis or less) and lengthy, ridiculous dialogue.
But, I’m all sure you’re curious about how the titular dickhole actually gets filled by ants. Well, it’s really quite simple. Ant-drew (Mike Nastri, and – yes – all the main character have Ant-related names) and Ant-Thony (Bill Zebub) are good friends who find themselves regularly bullied while attempting to just relax and enjoy nature. One incident involves them being beaten into unconsciousness in the middle of the woods, where (theoretically South American) ants crawl into Ant-drew’s dickhole. Ant-Thony is spared since he’s uncircumcised, and therefore the ants mistook his penis for an Ant-eater (AN ACTUAL PLOT POINT). Soon Ant-drew discovers that the ants are protecting him as if he was their antfarm, which leads a) his self esteem to rocket and b) to him getting revenge on the bullies by murdering their girlfriends with his ant/penis power. Meanwhile Ant-Thony is trying to cure Ant-drew’s problem with the help of his new girlfriend Ant-drea.
Simple enough, right? It’s the old story. Guy gets ants in dickhole. Guy loves ants in dickhole. Guy loses ants in dickhole. The forest locations which provide the background for most of the action are attractive, but perfunctory. ANTFARM DICKHOLE has little interest in visual stylization, instead spending most of the run-time bouncing between a series of bizarre set-pieces of varying amounts of wretchedness. Ever want to see a man hump the tailpipe of a car until he ejaculates ants, which proceed to attack the (bikini clad) driver until she’s covered in fake blood? How about seeing a woman sexually assaulted by a giant rubber spider? In one of my personal favorite moments, a line of (invisible) ants try to drag a banana back to their nest, leading Ant-drew (who was napping by a tree with his Johnson hanging out) to wake up and discover a banana jammed half-way down his dickhole! Quality entertainment, but only tangentially held together by endless scenes of Ant-Thony waxing philosophic on any number of braindead topics.
It’s sporadically entertaining, but Bill Zebub is simply too in love with his own voice, to the detriment of the film. If it was simply a series of insane set pieces, that’s something I can totally get behind, but when the film moves away from its batshit concept – the bizarre fake news broadcasts, the post-plot nonsense, the conversation between the Richard Dawkins-loving bikini ANT-omologist and Ant-Thony – it becomes nearly unbearable. Zebub obviously finds himself and his viewpoint very amusing – which I can relate to – and seems devoted to having a good time on his set, but this good time isn’t always communicated into the film itself – no matter how many flubbed lines and outtakes are left in the finished product. It’s not about taking the material seriously, it’s about appreciating the craft – and your audience – appropriately.
Insane, sporadically offensive, and at least twenty minutes too long, ANTFARM DICKHOLE delivers only slightly more than the bare minimum for fans of no-budget exploitation. While fans of bad-taste will have plenty to dig their teeth into, the moments of inspiration are few and far between and the emphasis on tiresome dialogue peppered with terrible puns begins to grate before the half-way mark. Curb your ANT-icipation and turn your ANT-tention elsewhere; ANTFARM DICKHOLE falls short of the mark.
Four Nightmares out of Five – NOT MUCH FUN
One Nightmare – No-Budget Perfection, Two Nightmares – Shocking Success, Three Nightmares – Shows Potential, Four Nightmares – Not Much Fun, Five Nightmares – Please Kill Me
Join Moe Porne and I for the latest NO-BUDGET NIGHTMARES podcast where we will be discussing Bill Zebub’s ANTFARM DICKHOLE.
- [NO-BUDGET NIGHTMARES] PODCAST #80: PLAGA ZOMBIE (1997) - July 25, 2016