It Happened at Lakewood Manor

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It Happened at Lakewood Manor
Genre Horror
Written by Guerdon Trueblood
Directed by Robert Scheerer
Starring Suzanne Somers
Robert Foxworth
Lynda Day George
Bernie Casey
Myrna Loy
Theme music composer Kim Richmond
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
Production
Executive producer(s) Alan Landsburg
Producer(s) Peter Nelson
Cinematography Bernie Abramson
Editor(s) George Folsey, Jr.
Running time 100 min.
Production company(s) Alan Landsburg Productions
Distributor ABC
Release
Original network ABC
Original release
  • December 2, 1977 (1977-12-02)[1]

It Happened at Lakewood Manor (also known by the titles Ants and Panic at Lakewood Manor)[1] is a 1977 television film. The cast includes Lynda Day George, Suzanne Somers, Myrna Loy, Brian Dennehy and Bernie Casey.

Plot[edit]

During construction at the old, hard-pressed Lakewood Hotel, two workers stumble upon a swarm of ants in a closed section of the building. After discovering the unusually aggressive and dangerous ants, they attempt to get the warning out, but are accidentally buried alive.

Shortly after, the unscrupulous real estate magnate Anthony Fleming (Gerald Gordon) and his partner and mistress Gloria (Suzanne Somers) arrive at the hotel, there to haggle with the elderly proprietor, Ethel Adams (Myrna Loy), and her daughter Valerie (Lynda Day George) as they pursue plans to convert Lakewood into a casino.

In the meantime, foreman Mike Carr (Robert Foxworth), who is in a relationship with Valerie, and his co-worker and friend Vince (Bernie Casey) find the two missing men, but dead from poisoning. The ants begin to emerge, attacking a boy, then killing a hotel cook. They nearly kill Vince as he and Mike investigate the pit in which their men were buried.

Peggy Kenter (Anita Gillette), a Board of Health (BOH) inspector and an acquaintance of Carr's, decides to quarantine the hotel, thinking a virus is at work. But Mike soon discovers that there is an immense ant nest in the pit, and concludes that these insects are responsible for the attacks. Tom (Bruce French), a BOH researcher, finally discovers that the ants are highly poisonous and resistant to insecticides.

By that time, the ants are swarming the hotel by the millions, killing Gloria and Peggy's assistant White (Steve Franken) and driving Carr, Valerie, Ethel, Fleming, hotel employee Richard (Barry Van Dyke) and his girlfriend Linda (Karen Lamm) upstairs. Vince alerts the authorities, who attempt to contain the ants with a trench - filled first with water, then with burning gasoline after Tom points out that army ants cross streams on bridges built from ant corpses - and rescue most of the trapped people inside the hotel. Carr, Valerie and Fleming, the only people remaining, are eventually cornered by the ants; Tom tells them not to move, in order to give the ants no reason to attack them. As the ants begin crawling all over them, Fleming launches himself from the room's balcony into the swimming pool below, in a desperate attempt to escape, and dies in the fall. Shortly afterwards, two suited-up rescuers arrive and take Carr and Valerie to safety.

When they are taken away by the ambulance, Tom assures Carr that such a case will not likely be recurring, as the unique environmental conditions at the hotel estate were vital for the existence of the ants' nest.

Cast[edit]

Production[edit]

The location for Lakewood Manor was The College Inn in Qualicum Beach BC, Canada.[2]

Stuntman Conrad Palmisano was buried alive for the film (with a garden hose supplying him air); he would later become chairman of the Screen Actors Guild's stunt and safety committee.[3]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Erickson, Hal. "It Happened at Lakewood Manor (1977)". Rovi. The New York Times. Retrieved 2013-06-08. Boiled down to basics, this is a rehash of Jaws, with ants (!) substituting for sharks (the film's video release title, in fact, was Ants)....First telecast December 2, 1977, It Happened at Lakewood Manor was subsequently retitled Panic at Lakewood Manor. 
  2. ^ Horner, Neil (November 25, 2011). "Get the creepy-crawlies in Qualicum Beach". Parksville Qualicum Beach News. pqbnews.com. Retrieved 2013-06-08. That’s where the other local star of the show comes in. Lakewood Manor was played by The College Inn in Qualicum Beach. The film — somewhat less than a box office smash — came to the attention of Qualicum Beach Museum manager Netaja Waddell recently ... 
  3. ^ "Stunts given due". January 27, 2012. Retrieved 2013-06-08. Veteran Hollywood stuntman and second-unit director Conrad E. Palmisano was once buried alive for a scene in 1977′s It Happened at Lakewood Manor. With his only source of oxygen coming from a small garden hose connected to him underground, he gave strict instructions to the surrounding film crew: 'Bury me once, bury me good. I only want to do this once.' 

External links[edit]