30 terrible movies saved by great endings

Bad films that find their footing at the last minute

Phase IV (1974)

30 terrible movies saved by great endings 1

A box-office and critical flop, Phase IV is one of the many bad movies with good endings from the ‘70s. In the Saul Bass-directed movie, desert ants suddenly form a collective intelligence and begin to wage war on humans. Though the film has a unique premise, it simply doesn’t work.

Phase IV plainly concludes with a voiceover explaining that the ants are planning to peacefully incorporate humans into their new world. But it’s really the lost, original ending of the movie that saves it from becoming a total failure. The recently unearthed ending features a montage of Daliesque imagery including ants emerging from people’s heads, a half-fish half-woman, human swimming with frogs, and a kaleidoscope of nude women. Providing a touch of surrealist art to the film, the ending doesn’t come with an explanation, making it all the more enchanting.

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